Friday, November 25, 2011

Bed Sore

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it's time to get down to the serious matter of cleaning up all the leftovers.

By which we don't mean turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie.

Rather, we're talking about all of the political "leftovers" from earlier in the year... and the year before that...and the year before that. Like the failure to control government spending, the failure to establish any realistic energy policies, the failure to make America's strength known to either her allies or enemies, and the abject failure to seriously address our nation's unemployment crisis.

The thing about leftovers is that they get less and less appealing the older they get... and the leftovers cited above are absolutely ancient.

Although Washington traditionally does even less than usual (as hard as that is to imagine) between Thanksgiving and the new year, we'd be delighted if the politicians actually decided to celebrate the fact that they're employed by doing their jobs for a change.

Because after awhile, leftovers really start to stink. Which is why when next November rolls around, we'll definitely be throwing some things out.



Angry Hoosier Dad said...

If we have learned anything about Washington D.C. over the years it's that everything turns rotten there, given enough time. The other thing we've learned is that Americans tend to be complacent and will vote to keep even lousy politicians for a myriad of reasons. This combination works to our national detriment and I continue to believe that term limits, built into the system, are our only means of cleaning house and sweeping the political dust bunnies from under the bed. I don't fear losing "good" politicians due to term limits. They are like Bigfoot; rare and elusive. I hold that a lifetime in politics is a life corrupted. You cannot convince me otherwise.

pryorguy said...

I feel for the folks in many places who WANT A JOB BUT CANNOT FIND ONE! I know I had a pleasant day yesterday but I'm sure many just did the best they could! I am thankful I do have a job, not gettin rich, just payin the bills and a bit more.AHD,I do believe we are in the majority because I feel as you do about our government and how it operates now.Things sure have changed in so many ways.But...I'm hopeful, for my and my fellow Americans' sake.

Angry Hoosier Dad said...

I, too, am generally hopeful, but I have given up any fantasy that our government will restrain itself. They have learned too well that they do not have to. They pay no penalty for their gluttony. We do.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Angry Hoosier Dad- I agree that the benefits of cleaning house regularly probably outweigh the loss of good and experienced people in government. That being said, one of the dangers associated with bringing in new politicians is that they can come to rely on "seasoned" staffers who are comfortable with the business as usual routine.

Per your second post, you point out that "they pay no penalty for their gluttony." I'd really like to see that changed.

@Pryorguy- In this time of "Hope and Change," it is a proud accomplishment to be "just payin' the bills and a bit more." I suppose if I had to think of something nice to say about this president, it's that his term in office has made many people more grateful for what they haven't lost yet.

Coon Tasty said...

Whenever I hear a politician described as "experienced", I automatically translate that as meaning "captured by the system". Especially if that politician is of a liberal bent.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Coon Tasty- I feel much the same way. It seems that anyone who stays in the system too long has either given up their ideals, or didn't have any to begin with.

Emmentaler Limburger said...

The framers of the constitution NEVER intended for what we see today: the career politician more focused on his reelection than in serving the "common good". Nor did they intend for the year 'round legislature we have now - that was a product of career politicians. They viewed serving in Congress as both an honor, and a sacrifice on the part of those serving. Where do you see the fat-cats sitting today sacrificing anything? The framers never intended the election cycle to be a contest to see who can raise - and spend - the most money. The framers never intended to have Congress write laws under which they, Congress, were exempt. The framers never intended for supreme court judges to "interpret" the law in creative ways, effectively creating new law through "precedence" as we see all the time today - in fact, Thomas Jefferson warns against just that when he wrote

"On every question of construction, let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed."

— Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823, The Complete Jefferson, p. 322.

Or, more succinctly:

"Our peculiar security is in the possession of a written Constitution. Let us not make it a blank paper by construction."

— Thomas Jefferson to W, Nicholas, 1803.

And the framers absolutely never intended for someone with Ă˜bama's view of the law to be able to blithely sidestep constitutional constraints while complacent legislative and judiciary branches sit idly by and watch him go.

It is disgusting, and the garbage clearly needs to be put out at the curb next November and every opportunity from here to then.

What disgusts me even more, though, is the assurance that certain, like Levin from Detroit, will be reelected or, where leaving, will be replaced with someone of a like mindset. As de Toqueville warned almost 200 years ago in his work Democracy In America:

The American Republic will endure until ... the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money

We've been there in spades since Roosevelt, and the deconstruction of our Republic is well under way.

John the Econ said...

Come Monday morning, expect well fed and rested lawmakers to return to DC re-energized to propose more "solutions" to the deteriorating economic situation. Most of these lawmakers are either ideologically or intellectually unable to realize that they are the problem, or are simply unable to restrain themselves from "acting important". The unemployed will continue to suffer.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Emmentaler- I'm sure Jefferson would be appalled today if he looked at the way the Constitution is considered to be as malleable as Play-doh, and an elected office is the equivalent of winning a lottery with a lifetime payout. As for de Toqueville's quote, it will fit nicely on our nation's tombstone - which is probably being carved even now (no doubt in China, like the Martin Luther King monument)

@John the Econ- To make a gross oversimplification, I think the best thing legislators could do for the unemployed is to just get government out of the way of the job creators for awhile. Which is, of course, the one thing those currently in power will never do.

John the Econ said...

@Stilton, or if they actually wanted to both do something & create jobs, they could approve the Keystone pipeline from Canada, or stop preventing ocean drilling. Hundreds of thousands of jobs and relatively inexpensive domestically produced energy would go a long way to help.

Nope. Won't do that.

Read last week that under the Obama Administration, Federal revenue from oil leases has gone from tens-of-billions of dollars a year to mere dozens-of-millions. Is there nothing this man cannot destroy?

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@John the Econ- Good point. As the Keystone pipeline project is private enterprise, it's a perfect example of the government's refusal to simply get out of the way and let job creation and prosperity happen. All they have to do is not stop it. But noooOOooo. And I also saw an article about the massive shutdown of oil leases. Apparently jobs and energy are being sidelined so Obama won't risk looking like a numbnuts again in case of another oil spill before the election.

John the Econ said...

@Stilton, it's worse than that. Obama isn't going to allow it for several reasons:

A) Doesn't want to piss off the eco-fringe, who's votes he disparately needs.

B) Still honestly believes his "green energy" social and economic agenda. Sooner or later those solar panels will pay off!

C) Is opposed to anything that will increase supply or lower cost of oil, no matter how many jobs it might create.

D) The more Americans continue to suffer, the more Progressives believe they will turn to the Federal government to solve all their problems, just like they think they did in the '30s.

Not only does this agenda misread history, it misreads the American people. Sometimes, smug Progressive intellectuals get so confident that they honestly forget that they are the fringe of American thought and values.

SC said...

Those “leftovers” do stink & are full of salmonella. If we are forced to digest them, we’ll all be sicker than we are already over the mess in DC. The left-overs and the lifetime politicians have to go.