Errors in judgement


It seems to me that when a person makes an error in judgement, particularly in a public forum such as a newspaper opinion column, the appropriate response is to “fess up,” as we used to say, and admit the mistake.

That’s the position I find myself in — kinda like the weather forecaster who predicted a few snow flurries but was actually faced with a veritable blizzard instead. Sure, the expectation of snow was accurate, but the degree and intensity was way off. OK, so what am I referring to?

Well, couple of weeks ago I ventured into the realm of prognostication, that is, of predicting the future. I kinda poked fun at the long range weather folks and the sports pundits with their expectations of what is likely to happen in their venues. My generalizations were so broad that they likely will hold true unless something truly catastrophic happens. So far, so good.

Where I ran into trouble was when I presumed to intrude into the arena of politics, in particular my opinion of what the new administration and congress would be doing now that one party was in charge of both branches of government. I wrote, “So what do I figure will happen in and around the beltway surrounding our national government offices? The descriptor being bandied about is ‘return to normalcy’ which can be translated to ‘the way everything was before the deplorables somehow took over the executive branch.’ ” That prediction has proved to be grossly inaccurate.

The new administration has not “returned to normalcy,” which would have involved Congress passing new legislation to implement changes. Nope, it has instead embarked on an unprecedented course of action by issuing — not the anticipated small flurry but a regular blizzard — of executive orders, memos, and directives in a concerted effort to “undo” major decisions and actions of the previous administration. Just like the situation with that unfortunate weather forecaster, my expectation was accurate but the degree and intensity was way off.

Probably one of the most contentious (that means “divisive, controversial”) order was the shutdown of the oil pipeline from Canada to refineries here in this country. This cost US workers about 15,000 well-paying jobs directly and an estimated equal number indirectly among folks such as merchants and service providers who relied on pipeline workers for their livelihood. In addition, Canada reportedly lost a whole buncha jobs as well. So what will become of the some 80,000 barrels of oil that the pipeline would have carried daily?

Well, one option I’ve heard about would be to divert the oil to western Canada for delivery by oil tanker to energy-starved China. Betcha China would like that. There are lotsa other topics ranging from providing pathways to citizenship for “undocumented immigrants,” that is, folks who have entered this country illegally, to the decree “[I]t shall be the policy of the United States to ensure that all transgender individuals who wish to serve in the United States military … shall be able to do so openly and free from discrimination.”

Another prediction I made was “There is one area of investigation that will burst forth with new life and vigor after having been dormant for a while — that of trying to root out something, anything to charge the outgoing president with. The total resources of the incoming attorney general, the FBI, and congressional committees will be applied to succeeding where years of investigation and millions of dollars have previously failed.”

Boy, did I blow that one.

Never considered the House of Representatives impeaching the president without committee hearings, allowing any opposition, or other usual proceedings. Whoda thunk it! I did get one prediction right — that the investigations into the FBI and other Department of Justice officials involved with shenanigans in the manufactured case of “collusion” against the former president would “fizzle.” Well the FBI agent convicted of falsifying official document(s) and subject to five years in the clink plus a $250,000 fine was sentence to “community control” (probation) and some hours of “community service.”

Yep, just as I figured, “Tsk! Tsk! You shouldn’t have done that.” Kinda reminds me of the school boy who was ordered to write 100 times, “I will never again be caught cheating on an exam.” But you know what? Maybe this is the new “normalcy” and I was right after all.

At least that’s how it seems to me.

Bill Taylor

Bill Taylor, a regular contributing columnist and local area resident, may be contacted at [email protected].

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