In the 1960s, the British comedy duo of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore had this skit called “Frog and Peach” in which Moore played a reporter interviewing an eccentric restauranteur played by Cook. (It’s definitely worth looking up if you are not familiar with it.)
After introductions Moore asks Cook when he started his restaurant, “The Frog and Peach.”
Cook replies, “Shortly after the Second World War.” And then continues, “Do you remember that? Absolutely ghastly business. Absolutely ghastly.” Pauses and adds, “I was against it.”
Moore agrees, “I… I think we all were.”
A bit indignantly, Cook replies, “Yes, well, I wrote a letter.”
Indeed. So not only was I against that ghastly Proposal 1 business, I wrote a letter. Well… in my case, it was a cartoon. For others it was a comment or blog post or perhaps even an actual letter. As evidenced by the vote, we were all pretty much against it.
But being right and indignant doesn’t necessarily absolve us of blame. It is Michigan voters who keep electing representatives who actively proclaim to hate government, who proudly want no part of knowing how to create viable legislation, whose only perceptible lawmaking skills are saying “no” and kicking a can down the road. Why would we have any reason to expect competence?
We’re just as nutty as a fellow who opens a restaurant in the middle of a bog that serves only two dishes — Frog a la Peche and Peche a la Frog — both of which are as revolting as they sound. Of course, the business has been a catastrophe. Near the end of the skit Moore asks Cook, “Do you feel you have learned from your mistakes?”
Cook replies enthusiastically, “Oh, certainly. Certainly. I have learned from my mistakes, and I’m sure I could repeat them exactly.”
Seriously. You should give it a listen: