Making sense of the stalemate
OK, it’s three weeks later, three weeks after the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. Was there any lasting message or emotion from that serio-comedic event, so capably staged by Mssrs. Stewart and Colbert? There was indeed, and it was given clear and strong voice not by Jon or Stephen, but by fellow lefty firebrand/ravist Bill Maher. You’ve probably seen his reaction, delivered soon after the rally. But in case you haven’t, here it is. Well, actually, just a small segment of it.
“MLK spoke on that mall in the Capitol and he didn’t say ‘Remember, folks, those Southern sheriffs with the fire hoses and the German shepherds, they have a point, too.’ No, he said, ‘I have a dream, and they have a nightmare.’ Liberals must stand up and be counted and not pretend that we’re as mean, or greedy, or short-sighted, or just plain batshit as they are. And if that’s too polarizing for you, and you still want to reach out across the aisle—try church!”
Well, yes. Right on. And just to clarify, I believe Mr. Maher wanted to use the word “crazy” after the “batshit.” I think.
So now, what looms ahead in a couple of months is a barely Democratic Senate, a solidly Republican House, and Mr. Obama. Perfect. Just the way America seems to like it. Which is to say, a situation of guaranteed Congressional constipation and D.C. dysfunction. What else can one conclude, since we continually vote to re-install these legislative strait-jackets, where one party gets one house, the other party gets the other house, and the president prefers more and more to just hide out in Air Force One. It’s almost as though we unconsciously know that they’re all zeros, creeps and turkeys, no matter what the party, so we might as well just set up a Beltway stand-off and hope things don’t get too screwed up.
If this new batch of fired-up, wild-eyed Republicans are truly serious about cutting the size of our government, there is one area where they could instantly and sincerely impress me. That would be the megalithic insanity that is our national defense budget. That sucker was up to $680 billion for fiscal 2010. In 2000, that figure was 300 billion. Obviously, our current wars ain’t cheap.
Now, it’s just a wild guess on my part, just a wild stab in the dark, but it would appear that there just may be a bit of fat and flab in that defense budget. Enough fat and flab so that any shiny new Mr. Smith who’s now gonna be a Congressman and who’s all lathered up and ready to stop government waste and make it more efficient and shrink the federal budget and all that jazz, well, have at it, pal. Here’s your ax. Start chopping. Hell, you might even find a Democrat or two willing to “work together” with you on that one.