NASCAR and Congress have much in common.

  • They both go round and round in circles burning up vast amounts of resources without ever really going anywhere.
  • Both are driven by big-monied sponsors although only the racing companies are transparent about who those sponsors are.
  • NASCAR is implementing a host of green measures to try to compensate for the fact that its cars get 5 miles per gallon and emit enormous amounts of greenhouse gasses.   Similarly Republican Congress members bluster and grandstand trying to divert attention away from the damage being inflicted by the Tea Partyers.
  • The fact that both of these institutions are American icons make lots and lots of people in other parts of the world scratch their heads in wonder.
  • In both auto racing and politics what most people find the most interesting are the fiery crashes and lately Congress’ have been more dramatic, sensational and dangerous.

That latter point brings me to the most important difference between these two bizarre entities: NASCAR has no substantive purpose but Congress’ dysfunction matters.  Their partisan game-playing, power-grabbing and ideological gridlock isn’t just wrecking cars it’s wrecking America.