- - Tuesday, July 29, 2014

If you hear a politician utter the word “comprehensive,” rest assured that he is seeking re-election. Such politicians are going to present the salient issue of our current crisis in such a huge piece of poorly crafted legislation that it will stand a good chance of being overturned in court. “Comprehensive” is the Gordian knot of politics.

The oft-ballyhooed need for “comprehensive action” is the reason our border with Mexico is no more effective at stopping interlopers than one of President Obama’s “red lines” were at stopping a civil war in Syria. The simple act of building a wall to properly secure our border has been buried in the grander (wait for it) “comprehensive” scheme designed to milk the American cash cow.

Making any issue “comprehensive” dilutes the focus of what needs to be done first and foremost. It is just another word for diversionary. The loss of initial intensity comes from diverting focus to secondary issues that doom the momentum of the core idea needed for success, or as the old saying goes, “When you are up to your keester in alligators, you rapidly forget the primary objective was to drain the swamp.”

Meanwhile, Mexico’s human version of the Keystone XL pipeline is flowing wide open, spewing illegal aliens across America’s purple plains — and Congress can’t find the wherewithal to approach the problem one step at a time. Our political Cub Scouts created a bigger problem by tying too many objectives together to create a Gordian knot of a problem too “comprehensive” to solve in short order. Congress must secure our border first, then register and identify the interlopers, and lastly decide who stays and who is deported.

Any plumber can tell you that first you have to turn off the water, then you have to fix the broken pipe, and lastly you mop up the mess.

K.J. DOLNEY

Columbia, S.C.