Sunday, November 9, 2014

A Republic, Madam, If You Can Keep It

"Consider a pack of jackasses. Now, consider the United States Congress. But, I repeat myself."
--Mark Twain

That sentiment, some have said, is a gross insult to jackasses everywhere.  
Personally, I've known some very intelligent, decent and well meaning Congressmen, but every class, every Congress is different.  This one coming in is a real prize.
From New Hampshire, a Congresswoman who was described by a New Hampshire Republican legislator as "ugly as sin" was re elected, which might offer hope for the judgment of New Hampshire voters had another district not elected Frank Guinta, whose good looks were never at issue, but he does compete for the Jurassic Park Prize for prehistoric thinking:  The man believes life begins at conception, that any limitations on a citizen's individual right to an attack rifle is a violation of the Constitution and God's will, that Social Security ought to be privatized and, you name it, if it's Tea Party, he's just slightly to the right of that. 

Hampton elected Fred Rice to the state House of Representatives. Mr. Rice is revered for his firm belief that building more motorways,( more roads) would be the best way to prevent air pollution in New Hampshire, and clearly superior in environmental impact to building bicycle paths over the same abandoned railroad lines.  

On the other hand, New Hampshire did manage to reject Scott Brown's bid to make New Hampshire's Senate delegation the Senate's most photogenic duo. It had to be difficult for Granite Staters to resist that temptation--Kelly Ayotte and Scott Brown arms around each other's waists--hard to stop fantasizing about how many new HBO programs that one might have inspired. "Scandal" would have simply had to go sci fi to compete.  "House of Cards" has now entered the realm of documentary.  Life is not simply imitating art; art is simply trying to keep up.

Of course, John Kennedy inspired much talk in Washington, when he was in Congress, as he and his wenching buddy, Senator Smathers, a Republican from Florida cut a swath through Washington as swordsmen who never spent a night at home.  Who would have predicted JFK would have eventually settled down and tried to do some good? So, there's hope. Some people will prove pleasant surprises.

 Mitch McConnell, now the Senate Majority leader, has vowed to disembowel Obamacare, but, of course, he'll leave the wildly popular Obamacare program (Kynec) in his own state untouched. That ought to be a nifty trick.  
Prospects for changing the Supreme court got flushed down the toilet: Even if Justice Ginsberg departs the court, no way Mr. Obama will get any nominee short of Robert Bork or Roger Taney through the Republican Senate.
So now the Republicans have the House, the Senate, the Supreme Court. Why would they even want the White House?  As it stands they can blame the Democratic President for not delivering government to the people. If they had Jeb Bush in the White House, they'd have nobody left to blame. 

It's a glorious new day for the Republicans, whoever they may be. They are Tea Party Republicans and a whole melange of folks who may not be quite as mad as hatters, but they are surely not Democrats.  This last election was our very own version of The Red Wedding, and the winners are smirking and very satisfied.

But, as I write this, my train pulls out of New York City, rolls past fields of baseball diamonds filled with players happy in their fall ball leagues, past waterways plied by boaters, past towns with Christmas lights strung from the street poles (and it's not even Thanksgiving) and the country looks to be doing quite well.


  1. Mad Dog,
    Yes, Red Wedding-apt analogy, can just imagine Boehner and McConnell behind closed doors, kicking their heels like a couple Rockettes at the thought of their good almost unprecedented majority in Congress, an activist conservative Supreme Court and a whipping boy in the White House to lay blame..For the right, it's as good as it gets..They may have been unable to limit Obama to one term, but now they can get to work on effecting the next best thing- blocking and dismantling his accomplishments so that his only legacy is being elected. Such patriots, such service to the country..

    Quite a contrast between the GOP jokers in Washington and the veterans we say we honor this week. People who truly have sacrificed and paid the ultimate price with their lives or who are burdened with the loss of their health and facing the rest of their lives with physical pain, disability and mental anguish. Compare the "sacrifices' made by McConnell, Cruz, Boehner etc to individuals like Tomas Young who died this week at 34, a paralyzed Iraq vet who refused to be lauded, congratulated or complimented into submission and who's service to his country only increased once he left the battlefield. As an outspoken anti-war activist after his injury, Young didn't hold back on calling out the "rich, predominantly white men in the house and the senate, that have the power to send the children of other parents, but not their own, off to die or be injured". His message that those in Washington should be "exhausting every avenue, exploring every option" before engaging in war was so simple-common sense. Yet this, and truly caring for our veterans once they are home, are only two more issues that fail to receive the necessary attention because of the political hi-jinks in Washington. Boehner, McConnell etc don't provide service to their country they provide service to themselves and their wealthy patrons....and calling them jackasses is actually complimentary, since their behavior falls far below the bar of jackass...

  2. Maud,

    In a former life, you were, no doubt, Harriet Beecher Stowe, writing Uncle Tom's Cabin.
    Of course, you have progressed, you write better than Stowe, but the passion is the same.
    Ending the draft allowed our government to wage eternal war. It's always somebody else's kids doing the dying or spending years in rehab at Walter Reed.

    Mad Dog