Thursday, January 06, 2011

Bring on the Clowns

Arizona bank robber demands
teller give him all the
$20, $40, and $60 bills.

I guess it’s probably not really accurate to compare Republicans to clowns, because clowns at least know what it is they are trying to do. Republicans are just hilariously funny without the basic intention of being funny. They are certainly off to an opening act that is pretty silly (perhaps weird might be a better description). Take John Boehner himself, the new Speaker of the House. After months of complaining about the lack of jobs and asking Democrats where the jobs were, he failed to even mention jobs in his acceptance speech. I thought that was pretty funny. Even funnier, when asked what he would cut out of the budget, after insisting for years on cuts, he failed to identify a single program. I thought the reading of the Constitution was fine, at least they proved to the public they could all read. I doubt that most of them will pass the comprehension test that will follow, especially as they presumably have to place any bill they bring up in a proper constitutional framework. This should be hilarious, given that they all seem to be (somewhat naïve) “originalists,” while the decisions will have to be made by “pragmatists.”

On their very first (surprise) vote, now they are in power in the House, they voted to strip the voting rights of the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Marianas, and Virgin Islands, rights that had been extended to them by the last Congress. I bet the delegates of those areas thought that was absolutely hilarious. Their next vote will be to repeal the health care bill, what they call “Obamacare.” No matter how they vote there will be no repeal because the Senate won’t allow it, and even if they did, Obama would veto it. Republicans know this but are bringing it up because they promised their base they would (it is “symbolic.”) I guess they think their base is too stupid to recognize a charade when they see one and I suppose they don’t mind wasting everyone’s time, what with no other matters of concern at the moment. Also, interestingly enough, even though they made it a rule to not introduce any bill that would cost money unless there was a plan to find the money elsewhere, they made an exception in the case of this health care bill. Then there is the coming vote to increase the national debt limit. Some of the new clowns (I mean members) still insist they will not vote to increase it. One particularly adamant member, when asked what he thought would happen if he voted against it, replied that he didn’t know (now that is funny!). Two other Republicans missed the swearing in ceremony but later voted anyway, violating the constitution on the very day it was being read. They apparently thought that if they watched the ceremony on TV and raised their hands that would be good enough. Of course they were absent because they were apparently also involved in an unconstitutional fundraiser at the Capitol. Having sworn to make everything more transparent with “open rules,” none of the first three bills they are considering allow for open rules.

Apparently no one has bothered to tell Republicans that you cannot decrease the deficit by giving billions of tax breaks to the wealthiest 2% of Americans, tax breaks that are not paid for. Similarly, they are embarked on a campaign to repeal health care, even though the official Office of the Budget says it will add another two hundred thirty billion to the deficit. When informed of this Boehner replied, “that is just their opinion!” Their constant bleating about doing away with Social Security to improve the deficit simply ignores the fact that Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit, having been deliberately designed to be an independently funded program.

Then there is Darrell (Mad Dog) Issa, who says he is going to investigate anything and everything the Obama administration ever did and has asked all the big businesses to tell him what they want him to do. There is also the Republican promise to cut 100 billion from the deficit in their first year, a promise already brought down by reality to 30 billion (and I wouldn’t bet on that). We can also probably look forward to a host of anti-abortion moves, birthers, states-righters, gold-standard whackos, and if that is not enough, Michele Bachmann, an escaped loon from somewhere in Minnesota, apparently buoyed by her success in establishing a Tea Party Caucus, is making noises about running for President (of the United States, no less!). I’m all for it! There is apparently nothing too far-fetched or bizarre for clowns.

I believe it is fair to say they have not had a very auspicious beginning. I would even go further and suggest they don’t know what they are doing. But wait, it will get better. Soon they’ll be tripping over their own feet, poking each other in the eyes and doing pratfalls. With Bawlbaby Boehner in charge, believed by some to be the laziest man in Congress, I’m sure they’ll go far, but I’m not certain in which direction. The sad fact is, once you get past the lower taxes, smaller government mantra, there’s no there, there.

When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.
Mark Twain

The concept of zero as a number seems to have originated in India.

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