Sunday, February 16, 2014

Careful with that Utensil, John

I'm the perfect person to offer observations on our national political scene because I've not yet (in six plus decades) allowed my lack of knowledge to keep me from having an opinion. Fox News and I would be perfect for one another except we hold ourselves in too high regard to tolerate the other. Rejoice and be glad.

Speaking of rejoicing, there's very little of that going on these days I suspect in the household of Representative John Boehner (R-OH, SPF-75), who assumed his position as Speaker of the House of Representatives when his party became the majority party in 2011. He has discovered, it appears, that when one sups with the devil, you need a long spoon (and separate checks).

Before you were born and nearly before my life started as well, Boehner's party had people such as Millicent Fenwick, Peter Freylinghusen, Clifford Case (all from Jersey, just sayin'), Nelson Rockefeller, William Scranton, Charles Percy, John Chafee, Edward Brooke, and dozens more (those are just some the East Coast names spoken in my parents' house at the dinner table; blue for a reason).

And now? Pointless polemic and empty rhetoric; in other words, not so much. In fairness (which is where me and Faux Gnus part ways) if you filled the sack with members from the other side of the aisle and smacked it with a bat you'd still be whacking a moron more often than not. What's your pleasure, a 33 or a 34?

Then, in my uneducated opinion, Richard Nixon and his posse decided to focus on winning the Presidency as our country tore itself apart in a national nightmare known as Vietnam, refined Barry Goldwater's Southern Strategy (the failed 1964 GOP presidential candidate was a spiritual precursor to the current crop of Know-Nothings in both the Senate and House with an "R" as a political affiliation) and began a new kind of math where he added electoral votes by subtracting voters he'd never have. First one to 270, wins, even if the nation loses.

Fast forward nearly a half a century and you have a national government, from the office of the President to the most junior member of the House of Representatives who are each, and all, dedicated to winning the next election and could care less about getting anything fixed in this country of ours.

That's the second time in just this space I've used the possessive plural, our, and maybe we all need to use it a lot more when we speak of the nation we profess to love because sometimes the things we do speak so loudly I cannot hear what we are saying and that may be just as well because my brain is having trouble with what my ears are relaying.

For so long, we were the very best hope for everyone else on this planet in terms of political, economic and philosophic freedom. We honored our parents and protected our children. We were consistent and conscientious in how we took care of ourselves, one another and the world in which we lived. And now, look at us and tell me you struggle to not look away.

This may be my favorite moment of American TV.
If I were in charge I would make every single person seeking office, from under-assistant selectman to the President, watch this before offering themselves for public office. And I'd hope to live long enough for the day to dawn when none of us has any idea what a single word, second or frame of video even means. When we listen to our better angels, none of whom are in a political action committee.
-bill kenny  

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