ROBERT SHEARON: Coming to a realization

I had an epiphany Sunday. I was at church, although I’m not sure that had anything to do with it.I’ve been watching the jockeying the Republicans and Democrats have been doing over the Affordable Care Act. The Republicans seem nearly rabid on the subject of stopping it from taking effect.It finally dawned on me why.The Republicans are not afraid the Affordable Care Act will fail. If they really and truly felt like it was going to be the disaster they have been predicting, they would let it become law, let it fail, say “I told you so” and ride that failure into the White House in three years.Instead, they are absolutely terrified, and firmly believe, that the act will succeed, which will invalidate everything they have been preaching for the last few years.I hope the Democrats will stand their ground on this issue. If the Republicans believe this strongly in the Affordable Care Act, they should, too.Likewise, I have been amused over the Republicans’ kidnapper tactics. Basically, they’ve tied the continuing operation of the government with defunding or postponing the Affordable Care Act. Failure to accept their terms means a partial government shutdown. With nearly straight faces they are claiming if the government shuts down, it’s the Democrats’ fault. It will be the same way it is the family’s fault when a kidnapper kills a hostage. If the family had only paid, the hostage would be alive. Way to go Republicans.On a happier note, Jim Dunn and I took our motorcycles out to Lake Wister on Sunday afternoon.While we were there, we watched a group of kids fishing. They looked to be in the 10-12 age range. There were several boys and a girl.There were a couple of things about this I found remarkable.There was not the usual confusion of how to bait a hook, how to cast a line, cries of “I’m not going to touch that” or any sort of panic when a fish was caught and had to be transferred from hook to stringer.The kids were fishing with determination. No one’s line got crossed. No one snagged a line.And, the most amazing thing was this: the kids were having a blast. There was lots of laughter, excitement and the shared thrill when one landed a fish. No one was staring at a cell phone or a laptop or portable game. They were all completely and actively and joyously involved in the act of fishing. It was neat.An adult relative was keeping an eye on them from the parking area, but was letting them have their own fun.I was impressed. I congratulate whoever took the time to show these kids how to fish, and do it right.Robert Shearon is publisher of the Poteau Daily News. Write him at P.O. Box 1237, Poteau, OK 74953 or e-mail him at