Bluto (John Belushi) gives a stirring speech toward the end of "Animal House" about how it's not over until we say it's over.
As we come to today, Election Day, the hopes for improving school lunches, food safety, and the quality of the food supply are not over. But the vital signs aren't good.
The margins for approving a Child Nutrition bill aren't good enough now. A different makeup — at least the one predicted by the experts — will make that harder to accomplish. That 6¢ increase in the lunch program may seem like a pipe dream.
The House and Senate won't be able to come up with a bill for President Barack Obama to sign before the end of the year. The Senate's makeup may change as soon as this week, and not in a way that will encourage passage of the bill.
If a bill is passed before the end of the calendar year, the House would have to pass the Senate version in its entirety with the 6¢ increase to be paid for by cutting food stamps money. And that is still a big "if."
If the bill waits until 2011, the legislation may be dramatically altered. In midterm elections, both major parties wait to see what the makeup of each house will be. If the GOP is in charge of either house, its priorities aren't going to include increasing money for school lunches.
Food safety will also be put on the burner that is two burners behind the back burner. The GOP, if they end up in charge, won't push legislation to increase inspections or any sort of regulation against factory farms and large corporations.
At this point, you might be one of those people that says, "He's just bashing the Republicans. The Democrats haven't done a whole lot either."
Stating the reality of what a GOP led world looks like isn't bashing them; reality is reality. And you would also be right; the Dems haven't done a whole lot either.
But there are decades of damage that neither political party has the courage to tackle. But there was a bill that increased the allotment for school lunches for the first time since 1973. Sure it hasn't been passed yet.
But asking politicians to supply all the courage needed isn't going to be enough to solve these problems. Sorry if that disappoints you.
Politicians won't listen to you unless you stand up for what you want. Blanche Lincoln (who watered down the increase to 6¢) and Tom Coburn don't want solid progress in improving school lunches. And they won't change their positions in the current climate, because they don't see something in it for themselves.
This idea that 2 years is going to make a difference in the last 35 years is horribly naive.
The good news is that you can make a difference. The pundits are only right if you make them right. Wouldn't you want the pundits to eat their words on Election Night?
On Election Day, you have a chance to participate in the democracy process by voting. The good news is that you don't have to wait for another 2 years to be involved again. You can make your voice heard by getting involved.
You have been bombarded with TV political ads designed to scare the crap out of you.
This will not be a scary experience, but more of a practical "what's at stake today."
The Child Nutrition bill still hasn't been passed. Whether you think the bill is the cat's meow or more like a newborn kitten, the bill is in serious danger based on the predictions the MSM is making.
Neophytes to the political system can ask given their majorities, why the Democratic Party can't pass more and stronger bills. The short answer is that the system is designed to work very slowly, especially the Senate. And one senator (Sen. Tom Coburn R-OK) can hold up any bill (Child Nutrition bill) for any reason.
Having a slow system works when not much is at stake, and when government moves along enough where problems are getting solved. Today's times don't reflect that in the slightest.
The one thing that you have to consider is that things can get worse. We forget that in election season. We don't like where things are now, but they can get worse.