John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Here’s to Getting Out of Ruts in 2013

Posted on December 31, 2012

My brother, my nephew, my niece, my son and I were riding our bikes on the beach over the weekend.  It was glorious if a bit windy on Siesta Key beach, rated the number one beach in the country by Doctor Beach in 2011.

You have to walk your beach on the public portion of the Siesta Key beach, and we decided to cut over from the beach to the parking lot.  My son and I shared a tandem bike, and I had the responsibility of guiding the bike through the deeper portion (the non-wet part) of the beach, and I found it a lot easier to follow the path cut although plowed by my brother and his kids.

But I didn’t want to follow exactly in their path.  I didn’t want to get stuck in a rut.

So, I would use the footprints and the tire marks as a starting point, but would veer off from time to time.

That is how paths were made when pioneers first explored America.  They wouldn’t follow the exact same route.  They would go in the same direction, using the earlier travelers footprints as a guide.  But they would slowly put surely turn those footprints into pathways and those pathway into roads and eventually they would become turnpikes.

That might be overstating it, but the point is they wouldn’t try to use the exact same path as the first travelers because then they would get in a rut.

I feel like both the Republican and Democratic parties are caught in a rut.

They fear veering one iota from past dogma, despite the fact that doing the same thing over and over again has dug them deeper into a hole.  This is especially true of the GOP, which got its butt kicked in the last election.

But President Obama, despite his election win, is caught in rut of his own making, which is why we are going to go over this so-called fiscal cliff.

We all get caught up in our own little personal ruts.  We get the same cup of coffee at Starbucks, even though it is needlessly expensive and probably has too many calories.   We watch the same programs on television, whether it Rachel Maddow or Sean Hannitty or The Real Housewives of Atlanta or ESPN Sportscenter, confirming either our pre-conceived political notions or the fact that we hate politics.

New Year’s Eve is all about promising to get out of our personal ruts.  It is all about promising to ditch bad habits and start new ones.

It would be nice if Washington could use New Year’s Eve as an excuse to get out of its collective rut and promise to go beyond the narrow dogmas that have infected the political parties.

Here’s to hoping that we all get out of the 2012 rut and have a happier and more productive 2013.