Service of You Can’t Win: President Obama, Event Timing, Redskins, Debt Limit and Voting

October 7th, 2013

Categories: Choice, Options, Sports, Winning

you can't win them all charlie brown

Sometimes you can’t win.

The options President Obama has when dealing with the Syrian or debt limit crises could be summarized: No matter what, too many innocents will be killed or hurt.

RSVPFortunately most of us don’t have to weigh options with such momentous repercussions, yet choices come up daily that work for some and not others. Plan an event for an organization, company or family and it’s inevitable: some can’t make mornings, others can’t fit in anything in the evening, lunch is out and didn’t you remember that favorite Aunt Muriel is off to her annual timeshare on the only weekend you, your brothers, sisters and cousins can travel to the family reunion?

Result: Noses out of joint.

RedSkins helmetThe owner of the Redskins football team is being challenged to change the team’s name as it offends Native Americans. Even the President chimed in suggesting clearly that he consider an alternative. In discussions I’ve heard on TV and radio nobody remarks on the millions spent to build the brand and what it will cost to create the new identity. Goodness knows, these teams almost print money so that’s not the primary consideration but still. Regardless of the decision there will be many who disagree.

Choose a menu for your guests winding it around allergies and taste preferences and you’re sure some will think you hadn’t considered them.

You can’t win at the polling booth when you object to both candidates. [I can think of one Senatorial race like that and I’m happy I don’t live in that state.]

Is flipping a coin the only thing you can do under such circumstances? How do you make choices when you’re not totally happy with any option? Are there words that work to soothe injured feelings of those whose preferences must be disregarded?

Photo: Coastal Capital Wealth


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4 Responses to “Service of You Can’t Win: President Obama, Event Timing, Redskins, Debt Limit and Voting”

  1. Lucrezia Said:

    The controversy over the Redskins is a non issue, and the “offended” should be sent packing. Everyone faces what they consider under qualified opponents in the voting booth, and if that’s the worst thing, along with occasional family kerfuffles, that one must face, life’s a breeze.

    Now for the heavy stuff. Without pointing fingers of blame, the government shutdown is causing no grief for those responsible. They aren’t losing their jobs because of closure of federally funded children centers. Our national wildlife and parks face the possibility of irreparable damage because of neglect, and one could go on. Worse yet, take the young mother of 3, and undoubtedly countless others, who face certain death because of shutdowns of various lifesaving programs. Here, the medical community, with it’s “do no harm” oath share responsibility.

    If this nonsense doesn’t clear up soon, and enough people are suffering, while becoming increasingly aware of the fat cats with fat pensions in Washington who are sitting there uttering fatuous statements in justification of the national disgrace for which they are responsible, restlessness and riots could follow. Old people are supposed to quake at the mere thought of revolution. I’m old, but not quaking. Perhaps a genuine shake up is long overdue.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Good point that those holding up lifesaving programs are not suffering one whit.

    Countless people chant “throw the bums out,” yet they are reelected year after year. My guess is that most of those holding up the works don’t know mothers who can’t go to work unless there’s a safe place to keep their children and unless a national park is in their district, who cares about them, either?

    I’m not for revolution and riots but frankly, I’m all ears as to what the public can do at this point. I heard news anchors almost loosing their tempers at some of the congress people they interviewed on yesterday’s Sunday morning news shows, demanding to know whether they realize what the public is saying and thinking about the holdup resulting in potentially life-threatening situations while they wax poetic with their verbal games. Even that didn’t have much impact. Guess they hold the cards. They’ve lost sight of what their jobs are.

  3. H. Adams Said:

    You make a darn good point. Sometimes you do have to have to eat humble pie and beg, bribe or coerce Aunt Muriel into changing her travel plans.

    Looking at the mess we are in, I keep thinking back to the late 1850s. President Obama reminds me much of the unfairly maligned President James Buchanan. He was a skilled state politician who knew how to get elected, had clear ideas about right and wrong, but wasn’t capable of persuading either congress or the country to follow his generally, but especially regionally, unpopular course. As Buchanan was with slavery, Obama is with health care.

    Much of the country, especially in the south and west, is frightened by Obama care (I am also; I believe with considerable justification.)just as a little over a century and a half ago, those same parts of the country in particular, were frightened of having their way of life destroyed, their property confiscated and far worse. Buchanan couldn’t win then, and Obama can’t now. Unlike Alexander the Great when faced with much the same kind of dilemma, the Gordian knot, literally cut through it, neither of these presidents was born with the Macedonian’s spark of genius.

    Just as Lincoln appeared, almost out of nowhere, in the late 1850s, vacuums of power do become filled. A new leader may soon emerge who will succeed in cutting the knot. If one does, he or she may well be, like Lincoln, elected president by a plurality and as the candidate of a new political party. Ironically, like the Republican party was the offspring of the failed Whigs, this new party will almost surely come forth from the shriveled carcass of that same once great Grand Old Party, now relegated to serving the regional, lunatic fringe on the right. To compound ironies, don’t count Colin Powell out. He could do it even at his age.

    I did not vote in the past several elections, because in my state gerrymandering has made a farce of contests below state level, the Senatorial candidates are inevitably extremists from the left or the right, and I found both presidential candidates sufficiently distasteful, that I couldn’t bring myself to vote for either– another case of, “You Can’t Win.” A new political party would bring me back to the poles in a hurry!

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:

    H Adams,

    My guess is that you are a history professor or writer of American history books. Who else would have such a vivid, articulate handle on history?

    I would be thrilled to see Colin Powell run for President. There are times when one must start from scratch and perhaps this may be it for a party that’s so divided it can agree on only one thing: To keep the Congressional health club open while so much else [the members don’t care about] is closed.

    I disagree strongly with your not voting however. If enough people as well informed as you have given up, might this perhaps be yet another reason for gridlock in Washington caused by a few fanatics holding hostage the rest?

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