Marty’s photo of the day #4056: Last week Deb (wife), Nellie (dog), and I went on a three-day backpacking trip to May Creek Cabin, which is a U.S. Forest Service rental cabin in the Anaconda Mountain Range of southwestern Montana. If you look closely at this photo, you will see May Creek Cabin in a lush valley, and just above it, you will see mountains burned to a crisp by a forest fire.

In all of that greenery are multiple beaver dams. In fact, on our middle day, we hiked farther up the valley, where there were more beaver dams and a large, wet meadow. As we stood there, enjoying the lush greenery—with scorched mountains on either side—Deb said, “The beavers saved the valley.”

I agreed with her, and as I thought about her words, I realized that the beavers and forest fire were a perfect metaphor for America’s current political situation: Republicans are the fire—intent on burning everything down. Democrats are the beavers—unable to save everything from the flames, but saving what they can.