This photo was taken by The Sacramento Bee’s Hector Amezcua, who even though I consider him a good friend, is still an excellent photographer. It depicts a salmon leaping up the fish ladder at the Nimbus Hatchery, on the lower American River.
With an impressive combination of lightning action and crisp clarity, it captures a moment in the life of a creature that is blindly following genetically imprinted instincts to accomplish its goal or die trying, and which, if successful, will die anyway.
It reminds me of Congress.
Now, you are probably thinking that there are few things members of Congress and salmon have in common, other than the obvious, such as similar morals, placement on the evolutionary scale, or aroma when they have been out of the water a bit too long. And I would concede that it is not a perfect comparison.
But consider the following:
The most telling parallel between the fish and the representative or senator, however, is in their primary purpose. Salmon are born to wander around the ocean for a few years, go back up a river and reproduce. Members of Congress are elected to wander around Washington for a few years, go back to their districts and get re-elected.
But as I mentioned earlier, it’s not a perfect comparison. Salmon make for good photos.