You hear it everyday. On TV, in the newspaper, words of mouth-the RED TAPE.
Not in literal sense, it’s a metaphor for obstacles, restrictions, and criteria. Requirements that must be met before certain things can be obtained, and the process is long and downright frustrating. It’s prominently featured in the laws of our land. Because there is no hard line; every law written by our dear government is published with many shades of gray (not to be confused with that awful torture-sex novel people are so crazy about these days). For example, the notorious Stimulus Act of 2009 passed by President Obama. It all sounds like the big deal, right? Not until you check the fine prints of it, you realize it ain’t so easy to obtain the financial aid needed to fix the infrastructures and businesses all over the country. And what about the criminals? You think the justice system will serve the victims their rightful dues, but alas the defense lawyers will nickpick out the loopholes that prosecution apparently missed, and the trial drags on for days and hours at taxpayers’ expense, and in the end, the perps don’t get the full extent of the punishment, and the victims and the public are left royally pissed.
The image is to show the frustration with all the obstacles one has to overcome to obtain a goal, much like trying to get a criminal pay for his sins. Instead of getting from point A to point B in one fell swoop one gets wrapped up and tangled in endless tapes and getting out of it is a killer.