In our current political environment one is reminded of that song “Send in the Clowns” as irony builds upon irony and the sound of congressional flip flopping is heard in the land. Of course those familiar with the song know it concludes with the line “Don’t bother they’re here.” The public seems to have reached a similar conclusion although finding a solution to the mess the clowns have created is often beyond their capabilities. What has happened to the Congress, though, is somewhat encouraging. They have finally understood that their antics, free spending, corruption and willingness to go along with a stunningly incompetent administration have outraged the American people.
Thus, when only a few short months ago a Republican-dominated Congress was content to give a free ride to big oil and wiggle around any serious consideration of real lobbying reform or special-interest set-asides in spending bills, these same folks are taking a second look at “earmarks”, defense spending and subsidies for companies that are making enormous profits and whose executives retire with outrageously generous pensions. Perhaps the level of consumer anger has made a mark in what previously had seemed to be the impervious hide of the country’s legislative bodies.
Democrats have taken to asking, in what may be an electioneering slogan, “had enough?” And Republicans have become so addled by slippage in their ranks even among long-time supporters that they are actually willing to reconsider those subsidies and cheap access to public lands they had provided to oil companies. Why they may even knock out a lot of those “earmarks” that shamelessly appear in “emergency spending bills” although they can’t always bring themselves to go against pals like Trent Lott who is pushing for $700 million so that Mississippi can relocate a railroad that had already received emergency funding in the wake of Katrina.
Maybe and this is a very big maybe, the president will be forced by Congress and the people to structure future war-time spending to bring it in line with strict accounting standards and a sound budgetary framework. The president himself has said that exiting Iraq is a decision that will have to be made by some future administration. That being the case it is unacceptable that military expenses there should continue to be sent to Congress in “supplemental” requests for which there is no tax or other mechanism to pay for them and which therefore continue to be underwritten by ever more borrowing.
Another big maybe might be that if Republicans are nervous enough about holding the bag all by themselves so to speak, they might even be willing to include Democrats when committees from the two houses of Congress meet to reconcile legislation. But for this particular group of politicians that may be a bridge too far no matter what the pressures are.
For his part the president has called for the repeal of previously agreed-upon subsidies for deepwater drilling in Sugar Land, in Tom DeLay’s district. It could be this is thought to be a safe move since The Hammer, one might say, is damaged goods. Mr. Bush has also suggested that taxpayers receive $100 to help relieve the financial anguish they are experiencing at the gas pump. How such monies would be distributed and on what basis is hard to fathom.
Besides does anyone actually believe $100 would make a difference? Isn’t everyone, in fact, sick of empty gestures and non-solutions? Some people never catch on, but it seems a critical mass has begun to connect the dots on everything from the reasons for going to war to the fact that we have become a giant debtor nation and an object of ridicule in the rest of the world.
The president is attending one of those press club functions he so enjoys during one of which he did a tasteless, unfunny bit pretending to look for WMD under tables and behind the podium. Someone should tell him and his cronies that their material really isn’t all that funny and that the American people are tired of their country being run by a bunch of clowns.

One thought on “in our current political climate…

  1. Re comment 7, maha. Yes, the bieggr issue needs to be protecting American (of any race creed or national origin) wages and American workers rights. I do NOT support the exploitation of foreign workers, but the bieggr problem over the past few decades is a squeeze play where US jobs are exported and foreign workers (legal and illegal) are being imported. Look at the facts on the abuse of the H visas by tech companies to use Indian (the country) tech workers (computer & engineering) in this country rather than hire more expensive Amercian college grads. It’s not small either; we are talking hundreds of thousands of visas.The reform’ was designed to legalize not just Mexican, but all kinds of foreign labor for the benefit of corporations. It is that pressure from the Chamer of Commerce that resurrected amnesty. It is patriots from both sides of the aisle that killed it.

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