Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bad Divorce Lawyers Are Running The Country

Nightmare divorce cases. Unlikely that anyone who's had the misfortune of enduring them can ever erase them from their memory banks.

The torturous negotiations that dragged on endlessly. The pain-in-the-butt lawyer who dug his or her heels in, who refused to answer telephone calls. Who sent letters in which every other word was in italics or in bold lettering or underlined. Who constantly badgered and bullied and postured and flailed around, instigating a fight when everyone else already agreed to the bottom line. The passive-aggressive or over-aggressive spouse on the other side.

Belligerence just to make a point and look "tough." Ridiculous demands that were made, knowing they were totally unacceptable, so the other side would look bad or be forced into a potential disadvantage. And then, even after getting everything they wanted, upping the ante yet again by insisting on more capitulation to things that were never discussed, or inventing new issues to be disputed.

What a colossal waste of time, energy and money. What enormous risks to, and tolls taken on, the physical, emotional and financial health of everyone involved.

Sounds like a micro-version of the current debt ceiling negotiations. Like a bunch of nitwit matrimonial lawyers dithering around, overwhelmed by multiple-trillion-dollar issues that they're treating like hyper-personal allocations of marital assets or parenting times. Cripes.

Every day for the past few weeks, escalating over the past few days, our political leaders in Washington (and the wannabes running for office) have been playing reckless games with the debt ceiling issue. Many of these people seem positively clueless about who are really the potential victims of their stupidity - not just the recipients of government checks, but everyone who has direct and indirect market exposure, i.e., just about everyone. American politicians with power and influence, who are either inept or damgerously indifferent to how underlying market and economic currents react to any ripples in our financial strength that emanate from their embarrassing political ditherings.

And they ARE embarrassing. Democracy at its worst, partisanship at its most divisive. The level of venom has attained heights not seen since the worst days of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Only this time there's a lot more at stake than the moral malfunctions of a randy middle-aged president and semen stains on the dress of a dim-witted intern.

I swear, the current debt ceiling impasse reminds me of some of the worst divorce cases I've seen. Same pointless posturing, same foolish risk-taking, same poor leadership, same insane brinksmanship - but with the entire country, no, the world economy - held hostage to these fools.

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