Whale Herding

Whenever people describe doing something with a moderate to severe difficulty factor they refer to “herding cats.” Cats are independent and only care about what interests them at the moment. They have the attention span and interest factor of a gnat on a bowl of jello; they touch a lot but carry away next to nothing.

Barack Obama says we’ll hear how he’ll energize the economy in September. That’s nice.

But why wait until September? We wait because Obama has NO personally developed idea of what the heck to do. He needs ideology-specific “yes-men/women” to tell him what he thinks. Remember: he was a Community Organizer. Nobody ever said he personally was organized. His Blackberry® is loaded for him daily.

During the Great Greyhound Chase of 2011, where he’s wandered the countryside in Moses-like intensity looking for some message from the Promised Land, he’s offered platitudes and patronizing buzz killing diatribe like: “I call this; Get it done.”

Are you for real, Mr. Obama? “Get it done?” That’s original; if your name is Larry the Cable Guy. You, Mr. Obama, however are NOT original no matter the claim of fact you are the “first” of anything. You’re not. You’re another politician with a better set of banal commentary and buzz-words to gain a job holding more illusory power than substantive might.

Every candidate for office comes before the American people and makes one statement: “As President, I will_______” (fill the blank with a partisan political goal, desire, action or wish for governmental direction). Then they go on with the force of their hyperbole and the power of “tele-prompted” rhetoric. And this is the place where somebody will proclaim the candidate has his job cut-out for him because getting Congress to act is comparable to “herding cats”.

The fact is NO President WILL get squat done. He WILL try to influence, direct, cajole, beg, barter, extort and any of a million other nasty political realities to push his agenda forward. But HE won’t “get it done”. Congress does that, and lately they’ve been digging in their heels showing just how wrong they feel his wish to “get IT done” is. They don’t want to get his thing done; they want to get their thing done. (To clarify; they both [Congress and the Incumbent] want to stay in office-nothing more, nothing less.)

So, in light of this program of ideological opposition and inability to see beyond the central dogma put out by the two contentious political parties, I want to offer a better analogy then “herding cats”.

I suggest we say: “like herding a whale pod.”

(Say what?”)

Think about it. Most cats are sleek; apex hunters in their realms. They have grace, agility, power, speed. Cheetah can sprint at speeds in excess of 50 mph. Their claws shred and tear and ultimately protect themselves and their young. Cats are instinctive.

Look at Whales. They’re deliberate and arguably have the highest intellect in the seas. They’re majestic looking and sleek under water. They speak loudly. Some “whale-song” was recorded thousands of miles away from where the animal emitted the communication. They travel in “pods” as community and they move slowly, inexorably, relentlessly forward in search of food and safety from the natural enemies in the specific world they inhabit. They dive to incredible depths and resist pressures unimaginable to humans, their mammalian brothers. But every so often they must come to the surface to breathe and blow-off the waste product of respiration. They look cool.

But one thing that’s different is the fact no one person (no matter how presidential they think themselves) is going to herd that pod as it lumbers along with the force of thousands of tons of momentum behind their mass movement. It doesn’t matter the intent of the herder or the sharpness he perceives his harpoon to have, he isn’t going to “get it done” alone. The pod will go where it wants, when it wants. They follow their own group-think; not some wannabe that’s all wet in a suit.

So, the next time somebody says working with Congress is like “herding cats,” hand ‘em this column. It’s a more honest appraisal.

Thanks for listening.



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