Take a look at this picture. You know what it is. It’s one of the seats of power in our nation’s government.
I snapped this picture of the U.S. Capitol Building in mid-June on our final full day in Washington, D.C., where my wife and I visited our niece and her husband. The sun was setting and the building looked so very serene. The four of us had enjoyed a final dinner together and we were enjoying a quiet evening in one of the nation’s most thrilling cities.
The picture belies a fascinating truth about the place. It is full of tumult, chaos, tempestuousness, anger (that borders on hatred) and contentiousness.
It was hard for me in the moment to think that the atmosphere under that magnificent dome could get any angrier. Silly me. It has. It’s burning white-hot, even as members of Congress have vacated Washington for their lengthy end-of-summer recess.
Members of the Senate and the House have fanned out across the land and around the world. Some of them have come back to their House districts and their states to, oh, do some “constituent service work.” Others have jetted off on those “fact-finding junkets” to ostensible worldwide trouble spots in, let’s say, Fiji, Monaco or the Mexican Riviera.
The president of the United States is quite possibly finding himself in some serious trouble. A special counsel reportedly has impaneled a grand jury to collect evidence related to that “Russia thing” that caused the president to fire an FBI director.
Members of Congress are being whipsawed by the political forces that are pulling them apart. The debate that goes on in this building is going to reach a crescendo — eventually. How it concludes remains anyone’s guess.
I felt like sharing this picture with you today as we all ponder the proverbial gale-force winds that are going to rock the Capitol Building in the weeks, months — maybe years — to come. They also are going to pound that building at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue.
It’s where the president and his family currently reside. It’s the place the president supposedly referred to as a “real dump.” It’s no such thing. However, the White House — as well as the Capitol Building — will have to withstand some mighty ferocious forces.
Thus, the serenity you see in the picture here is a disguise.
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