Draining the swamp is a tough job

Published 2:07 pm Saturday, August 5, 2017

Editorial by Bobby Tingle


Soon after moving to Orange, a historic flood occurred on the Sabine River. Just after New Year’s Day in 2016 our life’s accumulated treasures were moved and secured in our new home. Less than sixty days later the Sabine River crested at 7.62 feet in Orange. The expectation was for flooding to occur that would match the flooding during Hurricane Ike.

The Orange Leader reported, May 25, 2016 at www.orangeleader.com, ‘the Sabine River has reached a level over six feet three times in Orange according to the National Weather Service in Lake Charles. The first occurrence was in 1913 when it crested at 6.27 feet and the second was in 2008 when floodwaters reached 9.86 feet as a result of Hurricane Ike. The latest incident was March 17, 2016 when the river crested at 7.62 feet in Orange.’

Fortunately the Sabine River, Adams Bayou and Sabine Lake held the floodwaters in 2016 better than when they were overwhelmed by the storm surge from Hurricane Ike. Although there was flooding, it did not reach the same levels.

But, that did not make my bride feel any better. She is convinced we now live in a swamp.

She has a point, maybe; after all we do live in South East Texas, near the coast, in a perfect place for rain, rain and more rain.

Almost every time it rains, the streets flood in our neighborhood. The problem is not poor drainage; the problem is the rain doesn’t come in small doses, or long slow drizzles. Either we get a torrential downpour or the sun is shining.

She worked with children for a while. During one storm she made the ages old comment, ‘it’s raining cats and dogs.’ One child took her seriously and swore they saw a cat falling from the sky during a subsequent storm.

Draining the swamp in Orange is all about an excess of water from rain or storm surges. Of course there is not much we can do which hasn’t been done already.

Not so in President Trump’s swamp.

Unless you haven’t been paying attention lately you most likely are aware of his plan to drain the swamp. Trump, it seems, is speaking of varmints in the Washington swamp. His varmints in his swamp are villains and naysayers in our federal government; elected, appointed and hired hands who make up the big fat bureaucracy.

Trump has much more to drain than an abundance of water from heavy rain. He has identified leakers on the inside. He has also identified members of the ‘fake media’ on the outside as his targets. Leakers are insiders who share secret information. Often the secret is alleged to be classified information. The secrets are shared with those he includes in the ‘fake media’. The secret information is then published but the inside sources are protected because they are not identified.   The fake media are protected by the First Amendment, as they should be.

After reading those last few paragraphs you may either be smiling or fuming.

Now if you are fuming, please realize the perspective it is written from, President Trump’s.

It appears the varmints in Washington may prevail. Rooting them out and ridding the swamp of all its vile creatures is a huge undertaking. Ridding the swamp of one or two may just create a void for another to emerge.

Sometimes the devil you do know is not as bad as the devil you don’t know. On the other hand one man’s varmint is another man’s adored pet.

You have to admit it is somewhat entertaining to watch it all. There are serious issues, but for the most part, much of what we see is mere grandstanding.

Both sides do it.

Fortunately for Orange our swamp is mostly full of water. President Trump has the hard swamp to drain.

Bobby Tingle is publisher of The Orange Leader. You can reach him at bobby.tingle@orangleader.com.