Some time back we left “sublime” behind us, rolled past “ridiculous” without stopping, now we have “absurd” in the rear view mirror and we’re in uncharted territory, about to find out what comes next.
When I was a child, I devoured history and I tried to imagine myself in the times and places I was reading about. I had no doubt that in the abolitionist era, I would have been an abolitionist, in the reconstruction era I would have been harrassed by the nascent KKK, but the parts of history that always creeped me out the worst were the eras of proud ignorance. The nativist and know-nothing movements and the eras of overt bigotry and ethnic discrimination. “White Only” “No Irish Need Apply” “No Italians” “We Don’t Need Your Bohunk Money” “No Jews” — it’s a pretty long list — and I remember thinking as a child of eight, nine or ten that I was sure glad to live in the enlightened and intelligent 1970s, and thanked a god I didn’t believe in even back then that we would never have to go back to those dark, ignorant times.
I was so naive and cute back then, in my knee socks and jumper and saddle oxfords…blissfully unaware of what was coming down the pike.
Little did I know then that I would be forced to relive the societal ignorance and bigotry as an adult that I found so distasteful as a child, yet…here we are.
This morning I felt nothing so much as fear for the future when I watched the teabagger-controlled House of Representatives close up shop and literally walk away from a fight. When Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), who was presiding over the chamber at the time, moved to adjourn for the holidays, Rep. Steny Hoyer rose from his seat and asked for unanimous consent to bring the Senate’s bipartisan tax break extension to the floor for a vote, Fitzpatrick literally ran away, like Brave Sir Robin, and a whole bunch of republican congressmen followed him, like so many minstrels accompanying their brave knight.
Hoyer continued speaking, calling out the republican cowards for “walking away, just as so many Republicans have walked away from middle class taxpayers, the unemployed, and … those who will be seeking medical assistance from their doctors.”
When Hoyer finished speaking, he turned to Rep. Chris Van Hollen to continue the debate and the republican leadership on the floor demanded that C-SPAN turn off it’s cameras. The congress that came to power screaming about “transparency” doesn’t want the American people to see them at their venal, insipid, cowardly worst.
They know they’re wrong. They know they have lost this round. They know that there is no winning this one, and no spinning it to the American people. So they forge ahead, making sure that there is no video evidence of their crimes against the citizens of their country.
These cowards would be the same idiots who spent two hours behind closed doors last night…recounting their favorite scenes from ‘Braveheart’.
I wish I was making that up, but alas, I am not.
They really should watch the whole movie, though. And get some perspective.
For starters, they have the roles reversed — a common symptom of those suffering from projection. William Wallace led the overtaxed, put-upon peasants against the effete elite — the people the republicans now kowtow to and curry favor with by calling them “job creators” instead of the more apt “greedy pigs sucking the marrow from the bones of the working class.”
Oh, and I don’t think John Boehner really wants to “be their William Wallace” as one member of the tea-party caucus put it. William Wallace led his forces to ignominious defeat. It was a rout, a slaughter the likes of which the word “bloodbath” was coined to describe. And after his troops were chewed up and spit out on the battlefield, the lucky ones dead, the remainder maimed — he was captured, tried, convicted, and drawn and quartered. Boehner has probably been drunk enough to do some kinky S&M shit — but he probably draws the line and slurs the safe word far to the north of drawing and quartering.
As bad as I hate to give Dana Milbank any sort of props, he put their nonsense in perfect perspective when he wrote that republicans would “rather make a point than govern the country. And in this case, it’s not entirely clear what point they’re trying to make.”