I Need An Intervention

What is the point of any of these Congressional hearings?

No, maybe, the real question is…what specific neediness or Irritation-by-Proxy Syndrome drives me to observe any part of them?

Perhaps because I need to diet prior to our Lake trip, during the lunch hour… I turned on the appetite suppressing Kagan/Congress tete-a-tete yesterday. For those of you who missed it…imagine a spinster at lunch with the suspicious Mother and Aunts of the her long-awaited prospective Groom….and her own eager relatives also in tow.

Yes, she is always going to iron his underwear.
No, she never embraced another man.
Yes, she believes bottled spaghetti sauce to be a culinary crime against humanity.

Obviously, her own cunning family has rehearsed her on what the other narrow-eyed family matrons need to hear.

Meanwhile, back home alone, the Patriarch…Old Man Economy… lies unattended and thrashing on his deathbed….while the “girls” are out gossiping, posturing, and playing public “gotcha.” You heard it here first: That Old Man is gonna die alone.

My sad compulsion has forced me to view many of this tax-payer funded farces. I have regularly observed Blowhards who have never had to meet a payroll, pontificating as “experts” to those who do. I have watched those who have never worn the uniform of our country,or been responsible for the lives of other men in combat, lecturing to those who have served and endured just that. We are governed by a class of Professional Office-runners with little experience in anything other than campaigning. They do not know how to create jobs because they don’t have real jobs themselves. Their days are spent perpetuating their own status and spending other people’s money.

And now one of them has ascended in his supreme emptiness to the Oval Office.

Our political class was described individually centuries ago by the Bard himself:

“a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.”

Except, these days, our “poor players” are hardly EVER “heard no more” They strut and fret incessantly. They almost always get re-elected; the system is rigged that way.

The Sound and Fury never seems to stop, but I have to finally…remove myself.

I need to find the strength to keep myself from the self-flagellation of being riveted to this Congressional Carnival Road-show. Why don’t I improve my mind and watch “The Young and the Restless” or “Wheel of Fortune?”

National apathy and partisan appetite sustain this foolishness. Why can’t we dismiss the lot of them, from both parties? Why can’t we require each new Congressman to serve for 2 terms only and be paid the median salary of the folks he represents back home? Let our taxes provide for secretarial services and travel ONLY back home to report to us. At the end of the Congressional tour of duty, let these people return to the lives they had before…not enriched for enslaving us to special interests.

Let a Congressional office be public service post not a lifelong grab of self-serving squatters rights.

Ah well…I turn my head just now and see… the Matriarchs of both families are all miked up again for today. Kagan looks like she’s already booked the reception hall.

Will I have the strength to push the off button?

I’m not sure.

Well, at the least… it’s a potent appetite suppressor.

No small thing at this stage of my life.

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5 Responses

  1. I ame across a term yesterday (in the book, The Great Silence: Britain from the Shadow of the FIrst World War to the Dawn of the Jazz Age) that fits what I believe is the current state of mind of Americans – that of avoir le cafard – a lingering dissatisfaction with life; a sense of being down in the dumps for no identifiable reason. Juliet Nicolson, the author, uses it to refer to the feelings that people had for several years following the armistice. In the case of the US, I think it stems in large part from two things. The first is the feeling that the US will never be safe, innocent, and carefree in the way that it was prior to 9/11 (much the way that the British felt about the world pre August 1914). The second is the feeling on the growing part of many (particularly those who voted for the current occupant of the White House) that Obama is not a Messiah that he was hailed to be – that he is nothing more than a olitian in the old Chicago style – and that, just perhaps, things were not quite as bad under Bush (“are you missing me yet?”) as they were led to or wanted to believe. In fact, if anything, there is the growing unease that the US is changing in ways that many neither want or like – but they feel powerless to do much if anything about – thus the “cafard”.

    I watched a little (if anything, such hearings do not suppress my appetite – instead I want to find some comfort food) if the hearings and wondered how Kagan, who had written previously about how the procedure of Senate hearings were “vapid” as nominees said little and the senators did little more than posture, could sit there so primly and conduct herself exactly in the way for which she had criticized previous nominees. The word poseur came to mind immediately – as did the thought that here was someone so single minded as to gaining a position that she would sell her soul to get it. And get it she will – as there will be no real attempt nor is there the will) to prevent her confirmation.
    Meanwhile, the country lumbers along, like a two day drunk on a course that will not end well.

  2. Sorry – for some reason I am having difficulties catching spelling and grammatical errors – olitians should be politicians and another sentence should read “I watched a little…..of the hearings instead of if the hearings.

  3. Actually, cks, with print on this Blog..it looked like OIL-iticians to me….and given the slipperiness and gushing icky-ness… and the sideways allusion to destruction in the gulf…I rather thought it fit.

    🙂

    Great, great thought-provoking post , by the way.

    “avoir le cafard”

    Absolutely.

    Thank you.

  4. In seconding you here, I can’t do much better than quote from the musings of a clever fellow who used to post at Liestoppers:

    Long before “bloated government” became a redundancy, Americans rarely mistook politicians for saints or miracle-workers. Even at the local level, officeholders often needed to defend themselves from charges of serving the devil rather than their constituents. Libertarians applied the ambient skepticism to the institutions of government itself, which either conveniently accommodated already corrupt men or abetted the corrupting of innocents exposed to the public trough for the first time. Here, for example, is Albert Nock discharging his cannon in an essay from the 1920s:

    “It was once quite seriously suggested to me by some neighbours that I should go to Congress. I asked them why they wished me to do that, and they replied with some complimentary phrases about the satisfaction of having some one of a somewhat different type ‘amongst those damned rascals down there.’ ‘Yes, but,’ I said, ‘don’t you see that it would be only a matter of a month or so—a very short time, anyway—before I should be a damned rascal, too?'”

    Much has changed since Nock’s time–but in ways that hardly undermine his misgivings. For example, who would argue that politicians have become more modest and the perquisites of office less tempting? How many voters still ask the question that Friedrich Hayek and others asked decades ago: What sort of men (and women) seek office in the expanding central governments that have become the rule since the Second World War? Before you answer, consider these two questions first: How important is your privacy and that of your family? How much of your past would you wish to see sliced and diced on national television and on innumerable websites? I suspect most of us put a premium on privacy, or we would be posting at Liestoppers under our real names. And if you’re at all like me, you’d not want political operatives dredging up those two arrests for shoplifting items of intimate apparel. (Of course, if you’re the newly installed governor of New York, you just divulge your dirt yourself on day one, proving to all what a trustworthy fellow you must be.) Oh, yes, I almost forgot: What sort of person would subject members of his or her family to dramatically increased risk of physical harm from all the nuts and nobodies lurking in the shadows? Back to the beginning. . . . Long before television and the Internet became ubiquitous, long before Google searches came to unearth first-grade love letters–and restroom security cameras to distinguish those who wash their hands from those who don’t, Hayek gave to his question this answer: second-rate.

  5. Should you see that “clever fellow”, Bennie…tell him his posts were always WOW-worthy.

    Gerson has an interesting piece in WAPO today somewhat in the vein of our discussion.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/29/AR2010062903841.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

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