A cardinal rule

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Here we are: the sequester has gone into effect, risking a return to recession; the Repubs won't budge; the Dems won't budge either, having had enough of trying to meet more than halfway. The country be damned!

Consider the following: In 1270, some 20 months into the longest papal conclave in history (32 months), the citizens of Viterbo, Italy, the site of the conclave, were out of patience with the cardinals, who had divided into two main factions, the smaller with just enough members to filibuster and thus block the election of a new pope.

So the city fathers locked the cardinals into the Palazzo dei Papi, reduced their rations to bread and water, and finally, in desperation removed the roof to force them to act.

I propose we employ this tactic on Congress. A show of hands, please?

Michele Margetts

Salt Lake City