::tap tap tap::
Is this thing on? Is anyone listening?
Hi. How are you guys? What’s new?
So yeah. I haven’t been writing. It’s not that I stopped caring about the world or that I stopped loving words. It’s that I got tired of being outraged. There was such a level of fatigue that set in after years of being glued to MSNBC and HuffPo and Mother Jones. I just got so tired whenever I saw another headline about a boneheaded state legislator saying something ignorant about women or gay people. I would just shut down rather than muster up emotions from another segment where a perfectly coifed pundit was telling me how to feel about politics. It was like being waterboarded with vitriol. I don’t know when it all crossed the line from righteous anger to shrill panic but that’s what it felt like to me.
I used to work in an office dedicated to lobbying at the federal level. I was around smart people who knew a lot about how Capitol Hill works. How it REALLY works, not how the fear-mongers tell you it works. I knew about committee processes, the balance between policy priorities and election strategy, the difference between a hearing where a law gets written and hearing where a headline gets written. I had access to the best of the Capitol Hill media and databases of background materials. It was substance. And I loved it.
Since leaving that field, I’m left with scraps. I don’t have insider access handed to me and I get lazy about seeking it all out. I let my Twitter feed double as my news source and that’s never good.There’s a difference between what you’ll read when you click a link to Raw Story and when you click a link to Roll Call. Somehow, I always ended up at Raw Story.
I don’t want to be part of the liberal outrage machinery. I know the difference between reality and performance in politics. I know what’s behind the curtain of lawmaking and it’s so much more that what we see reported. I LOVE policy making. I love watching the process and understanding how all the parts go together. I don’t love the media circus and the way Congress dances around action. I don’t want to listen to what they say. I want to see what they do.
They don’t do anything. They talk. The talk is meaningless. It’s just outrage.
I don’t know what the write about because the thing I love to write about most seems to be frozen in amber. There’s a lot of shine and glare but no development.
I want to beg Congressional leadership to do the people’s work instead of holding their parties’ press conferences. Just pass a law, even a bad one! I want to will the White House to act unilaterally on something, anything. Dear lord, how wonderful would it be to see someone do something?
But no. No, that’s not how we do things. We have gridlock, and endless election cycles, and outrage. So much outrage.
I’m not sure what to do with this space. I do know I’m not ready to let this little blog, dust-covered and disused as it may be, vanish. I’m trying to use my words again. It remains to be seen how exactly I’ll use them. The only thing I know is that I don’t want to be part of outrage politics. I want to be better than that.