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Ross: How we let political theater get in the way of our COVID-19 relief

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson. (Getty Images)

Well, the rebels didn’t show up to shut down the Capitol on Thursday. But then they didn’t need to.

That’s because it shut itself down, thanks to Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, who demanded –– as is his right, that Senate clerks read the full text of the COVID relief bill word for word. He wanted to expose its complexity and make the point that no senator could possibly understand what’s in it.

But then Ron Johnson and every other senator, except the presiding officer, left the chamber, presumably so they could listen to the performance at home.

The reading of the bill was briefly interrupted, though. Why did the reader stop? Did she lose her place? Was the Capitol breached again? Nope. The Senate was just switching to the next clerk … in mid-sentence!

I get your point, Ron Johnson. This is a complicated bill and maybe some senators were going to pass it without reading it all.

I hear you saying, “Dave this is why so many of us love our country but hate our government.” Yes, except every one of us is guilty of the exact same thing.

You signed a credit agreement you didn’t read. You ignored the fine print in your health care plan. You haven’t read your homeowners policy, or the end user agreement for any of your software, or your refrigerator warranty.

Not only that, most of us go through life without understanding consciousness, gravity, or where deleted emails go. But that’s the world. We either accept the complexity, or pitch a tent under I-5.

When election day rolls around, I look at each candidate and I ask myself: Do I trust this person to keep me and my neighbors secure, and the society peaceful? If this bill helps do that, I don’t care how incomprehensible it is. That includes a particularly poignant passage in the bill about making sure babies have diapers and wipes.

Yes, I even want America’s babies to go through life with clean bottoms.

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