08/23/2011 01:37 pm ET | Updated Oct 20, 2011

Eureka! Washington Gridlock Solution

I was shaving the other day when it struck me. We can compel the U.S. Congress to legislate. We can break the cycle of gridlock. We can force each member of Congress to collaborate with his or her colleagues, understand problems, devise solutions, negotiate, compromise and gather majorities to pass legislation the president will sign and if not, then gather larger majorities to override his or her veto.

I am just an ordinary man living in Kirkwood, Missouri outside St. Louis with a wife, four adult children and nine grandchildren. The recent debt limit stalemate bothered me. It was on my mind when it suddenly occurred to me that the College of Cardinals elects the pope under a system of compulsion.

When a pope dies, the system does not allow the Cardinals to posture and preen for the media or hobnob with billion-dollar lobbyists. Instead, the system sequesters the Cardinals 24/7 together in a room until they fulfill their duties.

Eureka! The whole thing came to me in a flash. We need a Constitutional Amendment!

If deadlocks occur, we need to sequester Congress. Just the threat of sequestration probably will avoid many deadlocks. I thought it through and drafted the "Kirkwood Amendment" named in honor of my hometown. You can find the Kirkwood Amendment at

The current 18th century setup has become an embarrassment in our modern media age. It is terrible. We expect 18-year olds to go into combat, lose life or limb, and they do it. For members of Congress, however, we turn them into Hollywood-style celebrities. Of them, we expect little, require nothing and get less. This is nonsense! It is time to change the system!

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