Our Opinion: Play ball

If you saw any video from the Congressional Baseball Game last week, you may have been gratified by the let-bygones-be-bygones spirit of the participants. Democrats and Republicans who sometimes describe each other in less than flattering terms went out of their way to emphasize collegiality and friendship.

Now, back to reality: Lawmakers and many others at the game said and did all the right things during and after the game. That happens every year; the event itself has been around for decades as a way of reminding members of Congress of the importance of leaving enmity behind on Capitol Hill.

Adding to the impact of this year’s contest was the attack on congressman practicing for the game.

But even with that as a backdrop, all was not friendly bipartisanship. According to one report, dozens of congressional staffers booed and jeered when President Donald Trump’s message was played on a video screen. A few made obscene gestures. But wait. It gets worse.

A highlight of the evening was when members of Congress getting ready to play ball gathered for a prayer. That, too, was mocked by some of the Capitol Hill staffers.

What the political persuasions of the louts are does not matter. What is important is that they are the government, more so than their bosses in Congress or the White House. They are among the hundreds of thousands of paid bureaucrats who really make things happen in Washington — or can prevent them from occurring.

Many members of Congress seem to have resolved to try harder on returning civility to politics. Trump, too, seems to have been affected.

It needs to be noted that most of the congressional staffers at the game appeared to have caught the spirit of civility. As with anything, however, it takes just a few bad apples to spoil the barrel.

Until more bureaucrats sign on, then, expect even more of the viciousness.


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