Well, here we go, headfirst down the rathole of what the GOP expects will be Christmas in November and the rest of us fear will be a hole full of grinning rats, wearing American-flag lapel pins.
It seems the Founding Fathers intended the business of running a republic to be tough sledding, given our whole setup. “That government is best which governs least” is a line often attributed to Thomas Jefferson.
But I don’t think ol’ Tom, or any of his bros, intended it to be impossible.
And yet, today, we, the inheritors of a republic we don’t seem able or willing to keep, are said to be eager not to solve the problems of self-governance, but rather to exacerbate them by turning the Senate over to a collection of bunko artists, waterheads and loons. It’s like electing a full slate of Hell’s Angels to run your local school board.
God knows that the Donks have not covered themselves in glory here. Candidates like Mark Udall in Colorado and Bruce Braley in Iowa have run inexplicably feeble campaigns, and as a consequence we seem to be on the verge of elevating Neanderpols Cory Gardner and Joni Ernst to the upper chamber of our national legislature. All hat and no cattle, and two very small hats at that.
This is in part the fault of the media, which focuses on horse race and narrative over résumé and platform. But it’s also the fault of an electorate that prefers chowing down on a steaming plate of deep-fried bullshit to actually rustling around in the national kitchen to see if there’s anything more nourishing to be had.
And we do this all the time. We elect Republicans who make a shambles of things, then elect Democrats to clean up their mess, and then elect Republicans again because the Democrats aren’t cleaning up the Republicans’ mess fast enough. It’s like watching an arson victim chase the firefighters off at gunpoint and then invite the firebug inside for a Molotov cocktail.
I voted, like always, but I won’t pretend to be happy about it. The folks at the county clerk’s office were friendly and helpful, and they said turnout was surprisingly good for a midterm, and I felt like I was using the last few squirts from an old can of Krylon to scrawl my name on a collapsed bridge on an abandoned road.
Today my “office” is at the Erna Fergusson Library on San Mateo. I pulled the early shift at the Northeast Heights Satellite Coffee outlet, because a day without a breakfast burrito is like a day without sunshine, and then moved over here to free up some parking space for the caffeine-deprived. I’d have used the Juan Tabo branch, which is closer to Rancho Pendejo, but it’s closed on Sundays.
The phrase “your tax dollars at work” has become a punchline for eons, but I doubt it’s funny to the three dozen or so folks who were queued up outside in the hot sun, waiting for the library to open at 1 p.m. Most of them were in the line to use the facility’s computers. Having mine in a messenger bag — two of them, actually — I felt slightly yuppified and ostentatious.
Imagine doing without the Innertubes and computers in this day and age. If you want to go low tech, that’s one thing; but having to is something else, especially if you’re trying to find, oh, I don’t know, a job or health care or child care or something.
Jesus H. Christ, how does Sen. Babbleyap McCrankypants (R-Off My Lawn) keep getting on TV? You’d get a smarter interview from a plastic plant at a nursing home. Or a sack of hair outside a barbershop that caters to the feeble-minded. Or a bag of Chinese hammers at Walmart.
You get the idea.
This bellicose plastic sack of wet war dreams never met a meat grinder he didn’t want to stuff someone else’s kid into. You could scrape enough stupid off his dumb ass to make a six-pack of Louie Gohmerts with enough left over for two Scientologists, a Fox News anchor and the DMV of your choice.
And I would like nothing better than to see some deceased grunt’s mom give him a roundhouse dick-punch with a roll of Kennedy half-dollars in her fist, just plain pop him like the pimple he is. Arizona and the nation would be better served by a Magic 8-Ball full of old Pat Buchanan columns.
I wonder what my old man would think about today’s United States of America, the descendant of the country he fought for in World War II. Would he even recognize the place?
Harold Joseph O’Grady was born in 1918, at the end of World War I — “The War to End All Wars” — so, having found himself suiting up for another one just a quarter century later, he might not be surprised to find the nation still embroiled in its longest war ever, in Afghanistan.
The nation asked a lot of the old man back when he was still a young fella — 668 hours of combat time, flying out of New Guinea with the 65th Squadron, 433rd Troop Carrier Group — but it paid him back, too, with a 30-year gig, a generous pension and free health care.
As a career Air Force officer with a reputation for caring about and giving credit to his subordinates, he would’ve been seriously pissed that so many of today’s troops can’t make ends meet on what Uncle Sammy pays, that the VA has been jerking his people around, cooking the books to make paper-shufflers look good and veterans look dead, and that Congress only takes notice when the cameras (and the cash) are rolling.
As a conservative Southerner, he would’ve been appalled that there is so little attention devoted to actual conservation — not of the constitutional rights to shoot off your mouth or your machine gun, but of the basics — life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, along with optional upgrades like serviceable roads and bridges, functional public schools, and a government that wouldn’t embarrass Albania.
As a guy with a sense of humor he might have asked, “Why did we fight a world war to save this country so you could treat it like a rental car?”
Shit, dude, we still can’t believe you gave us the keys.
The smart money says that the GOTea is poised to make big gains in the midterm elections, extending its pallid, liver-spotted grip on the U.S. House and perhaps retaking control of the Senate.
“What the hell?” you may think. “They’re all the same anyway, Donks and Pachyderms. Opposite sides of the same wooden nickel. How bad could it be?”
Well, we here in Bibleburg have been test-driving this brand of Gadsden-flag, live-free-or-die governance for you for as long as I can remember (my family moved here in 1967). And here’s what you get for your low-taxation, no-representation dollar:
• An unaddressed backlog of $1.3 billion in capital needs. Whether this figure includes repairing or replacing the burnt-up, 80-year-old Martin Drake Power Plant, which provides a third of Bibleburg’s power, is not clear.
• A “jobs-creation program” centered on tourist attraction that boils down to “there’ll be pie in the sky.” Not one of the visitors we’ve had at The House Back East® has expressed a desire to visit a downtown stadium, a sports medicine center, an Olympic museum, or an Air Force Academy visitors center (other than the one that already exists, on the base). They want to see the Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs — in other words, the things that are already here which we have yet to fuck up. And be certain to check the numbers for jobs, salaries and operating deficits from our other stadium/entertainment venues, the World Arena and the Pikes Peak Center.
• Plummeting home sales, and home-sale prices. For some reason, people seem uninterested in moving to communities that lack jobs, electricity and other must-have items.
We hate that out-of-control federal government’s spending, but gyrate like a speed-freak pole dancer for every freedom-killing dollar it stuffs in our threadbare G-string. We despise taxes, but demand services. We insist on Christmas 24/7, free of charge and taxation, but if anybody wearing a red suit climbs down our chimney we’ll blow him right back up it with our AR-15.
Take a good, long look, folks. America’s future is Bibleburg’s present.
Oh, Lord, the air must be thin up there in Dumbass Mountain, Nevada, where the peckerwood forest grows.
No, we must hear from his daughter, too.
The wingnut didn’t fall too far from the tree there, now, did it?
I’m old enough to remember when we used to call people who stole things “criminals,” not “patriots,” and those who defended the practice by force of arms, “dead criminals,” or at the very least, “jailbirds.”
The times, she do change.
* And yes, I did manage to find a way to work in a cheap Frank Zappa gag there. Thanks for noticing.
“Man plans, God laughs,” goes the Yiddish proverb.
So, naturally, as I was contemplating the intricacies, logistics and amusements of a bicycle tour, Management reminded me that spring is only a word, an arbitrary date on a manmade calendar.
Yesterday I was motoring around Fremont and Custer counties with the windows down, scoping out various back roads between Florence and Weirdcliffe with a Colorado Atlas & Gazetteer in the passenger seat while tugging frequently from a water bottle. Today I awakened to a few inches of heavy, wet snow on the deck, with more on the way.
No complaints here, mind you. Water from on high is water I don’t have to buy from Colorado Springs Utilities. And it sure beats being on fire.
So it looks to be a fine day for hanging around indoors, viewing with alarm. For instance, I notice that the Supremes are trying to make it less onerous for the 1 percent to run the country the way they see fit. And a Colorado judge is intent on making it harder for the 99 percent to catch them at it.
I’m starting to think Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy and Alito are deserving of life terms after all. Not on the high court, mind you, but in Leavenworth, making little rocks out of big ones for their crimes against the people.
You may recall that Kinky, who favors legalization and cultivation of hemp and the whacky-terbacky, once ran for governor and got thumped despite winning slogans like “Why the Hell Not?” and “How Hard Could It Be?”, references to predecessors Alfred E. “Worry” Bush and Goodhair “Bad Head” Perry. His chances in the ag-commish race appear equally poor, since if he manages to beat his runoff opponent there is a Republican candidate waiting in the wings.
Still … why the hell not? Ride ‘em, jewboy.
• Editor’s note: A tip of the Mad Dog Stetson to Ed Kilgore at Political Animal for noting that Kinky was in the hunt again, and for reminding me of the timely melody, “We Reserve the Right To Refuse Service To You.”