As I sit here, it’s the 8th of December and I have no idea if the government will be shut down before the end of the month. For my purposes, it hardly matters because the threat of a shutdown is always lurking in Washington. That is especially true now that the two parties are hunkered down in their respective trenches as if reenacting the bloodiest days of World War I.
For a long time, as my wife just reminded me, I opposed such shutdowns. But I only opposed them because the media is always quick to blame it on the Republicans and because in one case, the 2013 shutdown did lead to the Clintons’ bagman, Terry McAuliffe, defeating Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia’s gubernatorial race. That was because northern Virginia is home to so many federal bureaucrats that they took the work stoppage personally.
My own inclination is to bring the federal government to a halt as often as possible, if simply to slow down the rate at which Obama and Congress are destroying the nation. One of the problems with a shutdown, however, is that it’s the president who gets to decide how the available money is spent. And Obama being Obama, he loves to shut down things like the World War II Memorial and the national parks, knowing how much normal Americans resent such closures.
At the risk of being labeled a flip-flopper, I have changed my mind. That’s because I finally came to the realization that it’s only the mass media that blames the GOP, and fewer and fewer people, including Democrats, are paying any attention to the NY Times and the major TV networks.
Furthermore, I came to see the upside of the two major shutdowns in the recent past. The first took place in 1995, the second in 2013. In both cases, the GOP got the lion’s share of the blame, but so what? In 1996, although Clinton won re-election, defeating the zombie-like Bob Dole, the GOP picked up two seats in the Senate and only dropped two seats in the House.
In 2014, less than a year after the second shutdown, the GOP picked up nine seats in the Senate and a dozen more in the House. So perhaps I’m not the only one who approves of politicians having less opportunity to stick their noses into our business.
Speaking of politicians, I would love to have reporters conduct the same sort of exit polls after those in the House and Senate cast their votes for majority and minority leaders that they do during normal elections. For instance, I’d love to know why the Democrats keep re-electing Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. I mean, why would anyone wish to have his party represented by Reid, a guy Hollywood would typecast as a mortician? As for Mrs. Pelosi, she speaks like a backward teenager and has had so many facelifts, my friend Steve Maikoski fears that the day will come when her face will snap in front of the TV cameras and roll up like a window shade.
The Republicans are no better. Mitch McConnell and John Boehner may be nice guys, but they are equally boring to listen to and have the personal magnetism of a pair of sheep. I know that my more conservative readers don’t like them because of their middle of the road politics and their unnatural desire to compromise with liberals. Still, politics aside, wouldn’t you think that with 54 members in the new Senate and 246 members in the new House, they would come up with a couple of people easier on the eyes and ears than two fellows who should be bottled and sold as surefire cures for insomnia?
I’m not a Washington insider, so I have no way of knowing, but is there an unwritten law which states that to be a Congressional leader, you have to be able to pass for an attraction at the waxworks?
In the aftermath of the demonstrations over the recent incidents in Ferguson and Staten Island, there were so many statements by politicians, so-called race leaders, demonstrators and commentators, to refute and despise, I hardly know where to begin.
But as I have already covered the first two groups in previous articles, it’s time to rat out the latter two. Not since the Occupy Wall Street movement was in full swing have I seen so many self-righteous creeps out in full regalia. Show me a group of chanters and I’ll show you a pack of morons. And what could be more moronic than chanting “Hands up, don’t shoot” when Michael Brown, as the grand jury witnesses testified, not only never raised his hands, but decided it would be a good idea to rush a cop who had stopped firing his gun?
Then we have the commentators who kept telling us that those marching on behalf of Eric Garner were peacefully demonstrating while the cameras showed us the lunkheads tying up traffic on streets and bridges and preventing Christmas shoppers from entering Macy’s Department Store. What is peaceful about doing everything you can to frustrate innocent bystanders trying to get to work or home to their families, raising the blood pressure of thousands of people who are already mentally and physically frazzled by the holiday season?
And of course even those disseminating the peaceful protest propaganda had to eat their words when the thugs in Berkeley began hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails at the cops.
Chris Rock, the black comedian, summed up the case for the aggrieved by quoting W.E.B. Dubois: “A system cannot fail those it was never meant to protect.”
For me, the question Rock raises is just how stupid do you have to be before you think the real problem facing blacks in America isn’t lack of education and a nonexistent work ethic or men refusing to marry the mothers of their children; and it isn’t a generational reliance on welfare and thousands of blacks murdering and raping their fellow blacks. Instead, Chris Rock and his like-minded enablers in show business and the media would have us believe the problem boils down to a couple of white cops killing a pair of black scofflaws.
These days, if you hold the victims even partially to blame, it makes you a bigot. But inasmuch as it only takes speaking out against Obama, Al Sharpton or Eric Holder, to be branded a racist these days, the term for some of us has inevitably become a badge of honor.
©2014 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.