Well was that an ominous sign of things to come, or what?! Remember when Nancy Pelosi’s term as House Speaker was up, and as part of congressional protocol, she handed over the gavel to incoming House Speaker, John Boehner? It was business as usual, except for that monstrous gavel John Boehner used for the ceremony: an over-sized, clown-like gavel specially made for him by someone from his hometown in Ohio. Well that “sledgehammer of a gavel” prophetically symbolized the House of Representatives as it is today – an outrageous, dysfunctional house of horrors.
At the time, people were a bit perplexed: Was Pelosi trying to tweak Boehner by presenting him with a gag gift? Or was the presenting of the “clown gavel” a prelude to the more serious pomp and circumstance exchange of power? So the press asked; Boehner explained; and viewers furrowed their brows and reacted, “WTF?!”
Today, congress is in recess and Round 1 of the Budget Deal is over. Thankfully, the debt ceiling was raised; and now it’s on to Round 2 when congress reconvenes.
Congress these days is a game with no rules. Anything goes in political warfare, and whoever riles up the masses with the most memorable tagline has the advantage. It is halftime right now, and no party can be declared a winner or loser at this point. Any party claiming “winning,” is pulling a Charlie Sheen.
So in the meantime, the media is attempting to be judicious by spreading the debt deal blame equally among the Democrats, Republicans and President Obama, and then taking weekly polls to report on who is currently winning and losing in the blame game. Polls are the perfect tool for creating news, filling time and stirring up ratings.
Also moving ahead, is the selection of the “Super Committee” Debt Panel, amidst the economy’s numerous shifts and changes. One example of an unexpected change was the downgrading of the U.S. credit rating, which threw everyone for a loop. For the first time, we – and the entire world – know exactly how much the U.S. is worth, thanks to the rantings of the Tea party Members of Congress. America has opened its books for the entire world to see, and along with the GOP bankruptcy strategy of “Cut, Cap and Balance,” we have convinced other nations and the S&P of our weakened status.
If only Congress could operate more like a sport – where cheaters, liars and troublemakers could be called out and expelled.
Unfortunately, Congress has no referees, so regardless of what’s being reported, opined and rumored, people need to trust that Democrats and President Obama are fighting as much as possible to protect citizens’ rights and entitlements. Or don’t – and see where that leads. Oh crap, not again!
Once congress reconvenes, observe what governs republican members – fear or greed. Initially, my speculation was for republicans to come out fighting tooth and nail against Democrats determined to close corporate tax loopholes. Now I’m not so sure. It will boil down to whether Republicans fear their constituents’ anger to do the right thing, or their personal greed to follow orders from the plutocrat masters.
Has anyone noticed House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor has wiped that silly grin off his face? A telling sign that things are not so grand in the Grand Old Party.
©August 11, 2011 Reiko Eoh