Saturday Morning Quarterback

Andy Reed • Updated Jul 27, 2013 at 12:43 AM

Right off the top, let me say I am not a fisherman. I don't have a fish in the battle with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over their planned restriction of prime fishing area below dams on the Cumberland River.

But I have followed the issue as reported by our Larry Woody and in other media outlets.

Ours is a country as divided as it's been since the Civil War. Name just about any issue and it's supporters and detractors argue tooth and nail. Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives. They can't agree that the sun rises in the East and sets in the West.

Whether it's Obamacare or gun control. If you're not hard core on one side or the other, a reasonable person can listen to both sides of the issues and see each one's viewpoint. Of course, it seems like it's a gut issue for everyone on one side or the other.

The Corps' plan to rope off the front of the dams has riled up fishermen. Politicians have taken up the cause. U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander has threatened to hold up the Corps' funding since the group has so arrogantly said it's its way or no way.

California's Dianne Feinstein, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water chairwoman [Alexander is the ranking Republican], would normally be hard pressed to draw many votes in Red state Tennessee. But the liberal Democrat and the conservative Alexander put the squeeze on the Corps this week. She told the commanding general, "My strong advice would be to try to work something out with [Alexander]."

Opposition to the Corps' plan is so strong the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, which patrols the lakes, has openly said it won't enforce the ban.

The Corps says 14 people have drowned near the dams since 1970. That's 14 too many, but thousands have perished in car crashes and there is no proposal to ban the automobile.

It appears to me the Corps is unilaterally trying to take away more freedoms under the guise of safety, and it doesn't care what anyone else thinks.

I've noticed that while every other gut issue facing our society has its pros and cons, the only support I've heard for the proposed ban has come from the Corps itself. No one else, from the left or the right, is in favor.

What does that tell you?

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