Nearing the cliff

Yoo hoo? House Republicans? Hey, do you folks think you could do something—anything—that could be construed as likable, even (gasp!) popular just once this year? Just once. That’s all. Too much to ask? Thought so.

With Boehner pulling a super boner with Plan B (yes, that’s one low hanging fruit of a gag, but I’m not too proud to pluck it) and all this self-imposed Cliffocalypse looming, I’m forced to finally admit that, well, it would appear that we are in the clutches of a House of Representatives that’s completely sub-par, below average and inferior. As in—it’s just not a very good House. And considering that the approval rating of Congress is rapidly approaching a negative number, that’s not exactly a daring call to make.

In the dictionary of modern slang, to “house” someone is to defeat him impressively. We, the American people, appear to be getting “housed” by the House, which is curiously synonymous with getting “hosed.” I guess nobody told the Republicans that they are in desperate need of some good PR. Did they not see that in the last election cycle, they didn’t generate much of this crucially important element? Crucially important, that is, if you’re interested in remaining somewhat relevant as a political party of occasional influence. I mean, they came out as anti-women, anti-Hispanic, anti-environment, anti-health care, anti-social security, anti-gay, anti-medicare, anti-middle class, anti-pasto and anti-climax. And they lost because Frankenstorm Sandy messed it all up?

There are two images that accurately depict where this current batch of Republicans in the House is “at.” The first is that of Mr. Charles Montgomery Burns from The Simpsons, the grinch who owns the Springfield Nuke Plant. If we pose Monty as the typical billionaire, then it becomes easy to see his lackey Smithers as a perfect symbol for House Repubs, which is to say, as a groveling toady who will vote as his master desires. And his master doesn’t want his taxes going up.

The other image comes from the 1971 film A Clockwork Orange. If you’ve seen it, you’ll recall the scene where the pharmacologically reformed “droog,” Alex (played by Malcolm McDowell), is put on stage in a room full of politicians and forced to lick the sole of the shoe of a thug who’s just beaten him to the floor. Alex, in order to prevent a newly drug-installed catastrophic nausea from overwhelming him, sticks his tongue out, and, as ordered, slathers it liberally and grotesquely on the bottom of the thug’s wingtip.

House Republicans—Alex.

Mitt Koch Adelson—shoe-wearer.

I still harbor an ember of hope that by the time this column hits print, it will have been made totally moot by some evidence of sanity from Capitol Hill. If not—go out to the garage and locate your crash helmet!