Commentary: Recommendations to congress on ways to unite the country


By Cam Savage

Cam Savage is a principal at Limestone Strategies and a veteran of numerous Republican campaigns.

Cam Savage is a principal at Limestone Strategies and a veteran of numerous Republican campaigns.

Two weeks into a partial government shutdown, Congress negotiated down to the last minute – the night before the treasury department’s Oct. 17 deadline to raise the nation’s debt limit.

Commentary button in JPG - no shadowThese negotiations, though the word “negotiation” seems a charitable characterization of what was happening, always – or at least routinely – go down to the last minute.

So with that behind us, for now, I offer a few suggested pieces of legislation which I believe could unite Democrats and Republicans in both the House and Senate and bring some measure of peace and harmony to the American people.

Packaged together, call this legislative package the “Things that Grind our Gears Agenda for America.”

First, we must address an issue critical to all Americans (at least occasionally). I suggest a nationwide ban on restaurant bathroom doors being labeled with anything other than “Women” or “Men” or “Women/Men,” given the recent trend of unisex bathrooms. Also acceptable will be very standard images depicting obvious symbols for “women” or “men.”

What we have to put an end to is the trendy and covert speakeasy-type labels popping up on bathroom doors in restaurants around the country.

Enough already with the men’s rooms marked as “Room 201: Office of Albert B. Huffandpuff, Esquire” or “Dressing Room of Mrs. Dolores K. Snickerdoodle.” We get it, inside jokes are great for management and staff, but when en route to the bathroom, what patron is interested in cleverness? Give us cleverness in the name of your establishment, the décor, even the menu, but don’t leave us scrambling in our moment of need.

Now, if you’re out at an Italian or German or Mexican restaurant in the good ole United States, this is your problem. It won’t kill you to know two words in a couple different languages and restaurants are well within their rights to mark their bathroom doors in the language of the restaurant’s offered fare. But don’t be silly about it. Yes, I’m talking to you Outback Steakhouse.

Now, because only Congress can address issues of national security, let’s end this ridiculous practice of state troopers accompanying college football coaches onto the playing field for post-game handshakes. These coaches are surrounded by 75 fully padded college athletes, are we really worried about their safety?

Some people think this tradition began with legendary Alabama football coach Paul Bryant, but no one seems to be really sure. Why a guy whose nickname was “Bear” needed a security detail is a mystery, but now every big-time college coach has at least one state trooper at his side.

This does not seem to be the case with women’s college volleyball coaches.

And I don’t care if big college teams reimburse taxpayers for the overtime that state troopers rack up while escorting teams to and from crowded stadiums or even traveling with the teams on the road. I’m okay with that as long as the athletic departments are picking up the tab, but the shadowing of coaches onto the field just looks silly. Ban it!

And here’s an urgent issue Congress must address – those people who stand up on airplanes as soon as the plane arrives at the gate. Where do these people think they are going? There are 300 people in front of you to exit the plane, cool your jets: You aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Standing up and putting your backside into my face isn’t going to get you off this plane any faster.

For this offense to common courtesy, I propose a $50,000 fine and 75 hours of community service as a TSA pat-down agent. Problem solved – immediately.

If Congress cannot unite Americans around a simple package of reforms targeting annoying airline passengers, obnoxious college football coaches, and misleading bathroom doors, what can unite us?

Cam Savage is a principal at Limestone Strategies and a veteran of numerous Republican campaigns and the National Republican Senatorial Committee. He is a graduate of Franklin College. He can be reached at