No one likes a spoil sport, and it begins to look as though Washington, D.C. has become a town full of boys and girls who are just that. The playing field is empty. Everyone seems to have taken their ball and walked off the field to slouch around on the sideline, kicking stones and dirt and pointing fingers, calling names and trying to convince the helpless spectators (Us) that everyone else is at fault. But they? They are not to blame. Well, in a game this important, everyone not playing, everyone not willing to come out on the field and get it done, is in some part to blame.
What is really galling, though, are the attacks on the fans. You know what I mean?
The progress of events since this began is what I’m talking about: the barricades and closings of public spaces, even of the ocean, and the petty harassment of old and young is at once laughable and pitiful to witness, humiliating to live through, as if a close family member was a public drunkard, a child or dog beater. The venal attempts at humiliation of opponents, the snubbings and the kind of petulant silence masquerading as imperial, above the fray behavior on the part of the president haven’t been seen since Nixon, and surpass even his worst. To what good end are open spaces shut against men and women who have sacrificed much in service to the rest of us? What example does it set for our young people who most desperately need education and example in honesty, mutual respect, goodness and duty? Why are people offering services to hungry or tired travelers on federal roads prevented from doing so? Is it not just good for business? Does it not aid safety and could it nor be looked on as a work of charity? There’s Progress and Change that might bring real Hope to a bewildered and increasing frustrated and angry body politic..
But, the evidence so far suggests that no one inside the beltway really gives a tinker’s damn about anyone outside of it. It seems in some, or in all, of these cases that the “shut down” government has turned against the people whose government it is. It’s as if a kind of auto immune disease has infected us, or that DC is a tumor in our gut.
I am old enough to remember when we were shown the example of leaders such as Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln, the two Roosevelts, Wilson and Eisenhower (by God), and others, guys like Tip O’Neill, John Mc Cormack; men who pledged their lives and sacred honor to the life and honor of this once wonderful place.
Now what have we? We have a leaderless mob in government as out Chief Executive sits in his palace (when not somewhere playing golf) and refuses to come out to play…unless they use his ball. He refuses, even, to play unless he’s given a win before the game starts. Who plays like that? Caesars.
He is an intelligent man, I suppose, but he isn’t behaving as an intelligent man. His failure to “engage” with the other side on any level is more indicative of the behavior of a sulking child than an adult; a sulking child who wants his way in all things. One wonders if he actually indulges in infantile tantrums. It doesn’t take much to imagine him hurling White House china against a White House wall, kicking the dog, ripping up pictures of his political opponents. It probably hasn’t happened, but one doesn’t need much to imagine it.
Were he mine (my child that is) I would take the strap to him, and make him stand in the corner…or perhaps spend an hour or two in a bare closet. This is not an evil man, or a bad man. This is a spoiled and wicked child. I wonder, now, whether in years to come…when I will, God willing, be dead and finished with such stupidities as his (and everyone else’s in DC)…I wonder whether someone who saw him day in and day out will write about the dishes he broke, the furniture he tore up, the dogs he kicked during his childish and cruel snits. What a lamentably poor example he gives us of a “leader”.
Perhaps, and I have no way of knowing whether or not this is the case (and even less do I know if someone is smart enough to have thought of it), perhaps part of the Republican strategy included showing the venality and mean-spiritedness of the Obama Administration (and of the man himself). If so, they have done a masterful job of it. Open air war memorials, private business in or near public parks, the ocean(!!!???) closed or threatened to be closed. Religious services to the military forbidden and priests and ministers threatened with arrest. Tourists threatened with arrest for “trespassing” on public lands, among whom are elderly, frail and crippled veterans who may not live to get another chance to visit a place. Food stores on military bases closed. Sports shows to troops in combat stopped. These actions make Richard Nixon seem like someone’s kind and loving Grandpa, a seat of wisdom and cause for joy. It borders on totalitarianism.
Of course there is more than enough of stupidity on the other side of the dispute in this case, and more than enough arrogance. But no matter how one may wish it, that does not make it so that the Obama Administration, and ultimately the President himself, are not the ones responsible for such ill willed practices as I mentioned above, and for no reason it seems other than spite and a kind of vicious contempt. They are, and he, ultimately, is, no matter how cool and distant he appears to be, playing the hand dealt him by others he’d like us to see as slick gamblers and cheaters. That makes him a fool.
What does it advance to do those things? Who benefits? I’d rather a few golf courses be closed than food stores on military bases; a few lunch rooms in government buildings shuttered and cooks sidelined than houses of worship and their ministers threatened with jail, a few art museums locked than memorials to dead and living heroes blockaded. I suspect the majority of the people in the country would readily agree. This has become a worldwide embarrassment.
I am not on the other side of this thing. Neither Republican, Democrat, Liberal nor Tea party am I. I’m just one of the gob smacked millions wondering what the hell is going on down there, and not a little appalled by what we see. There ain’t nothing “masterful” about telling the truth. And truth is, Pilgrims, that truth is a commodity in short supply on the shores of the Potomac.
Oh, yes, and while this goes on, and the Chinese prepare to foreclose on our mortgage and dispossess all 350,000,000 of us, including illegals, Benghazi, where an invasion of US territory took place, and an Ambassador was murdered along with three brave men…remains forgotten.