Well the politicians in Washington have finally done it! They've 'wore me out'... For hours this past weekend I sat glued to various TV sets waiting to see if there would be a government shutdown. By the time it was averted at literally the 11th hour I'd had enough -- and I'm a political junkie. The thing that is so dis-heartening is that everyone is gearing up to fight the same battles another day -- and that day is already upon us.
Now my politics are left of center -- but I am not here to proselytize. This was after all about last year's budget -- when the Democrats had control of both houses of Congress as well as the Presidency and they couldn't get it done. And I have to begrudgingly admire the way the Republicans showed how it can be done -- even if I hate what they are doing and planning to do next.
And I so wish that both sides would stop saying the words, "The American people want" -- as if they know or -- well I was going to write 'care' -- but I'll stop at that because probably most of them 'care' -- but honestly, I don't think most of them 'know'. And come on Eric Cantor are you serious? A Government Shutdown Prevention Act that would override the Senate's right to consider House legislation? You would think the number two Republican in the House would understand the dynamics of the Constitution better than that! Your ignorance, Sir, is not understandable.
Oh how I miss the days when the likes of LBJ and Sam Rayburn ruled the roost! The truth is the Democrats were able to operate far more effectively when led by 'dictators' in smoke filled rooms a la Tamany Hall than as 'democratic' organizations. The era of the political boss is over, but it sure hasn't been replaced. When I was first learning about politics, Connecticut Democratic politics were controlled by John Bailey. In those days he carefully balanced the candidates throughout the state with Irish, Italian and Polish candidates. At the time the state had a Congressman at Large -- always with a Polish last name. I worked for him when I was in College and he told me himself how he ended up being selected to win... He was sitting on the steps of either the Court House or Capitol Building in Hartford and eating a hot dog. I believe it was Bailey himself who approached him and asked for his last name -- Grabowski -- occupation -- lawyer. He was then informed that he was chosen to be the candiate for Congressman-at-large!
So now we are in the era of primaries and endless television advertising and I wonder, is it an improvement? Do people care any more than they did before? Before it was a few men in back rooms that chose, now we the people are more responsible for our choices than ever before and I wonder if the process is just as apathetic as ever it was.