Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Somewhere near the beginning c. 1993

Mr. Smith goes to Washington 1993

All over Washington minions are scurrying through the streets and tunnels. The former legislators have departed and the incoming wave of the newly elected are due in today. Lobbyists lounge in waiting while Aides, speech writers, clerks, secretaries, and the rest of the former staffs put the final touches on their resumes. Some of the more enterprising have made a pilgrimage to the airport and are gathered holding up the names of the newly elected. Their attaches brimming with neatly organized files on all of the incoming. Small skirmishes develop as they jockey for position. Lookouts scan the video terminals for new arrivals.

The scene at the gate might go something like: "Good Morning Mr. Smith, I am Paul Gramoldowitz, I was your predecessors special assistant. I know you are a little tired from your flight in but I wanted to welcome you and escort you to the suite we have set up for you. I already have aides combing the finest areas for housing. There is an abundance of prime real estate available. I have taken the liberty of setting up your reelection office and have arranged time for you to sit down with all of the people you need to talk to. Why don't you catch a quick nap. We have a busy day ahead. Every lobbyist in Washington has called, but a man in your position can't talk to just anyone. Stick with me, I'll get you through these shark infested waters. I know you probably have a million questions but I have to run. When we meet later I will lay out your strategy for you. Don't worry about a thing Mr. Smith I have everything under control. You're in my town now, anything you need you just let me know. Ah, here's your suite, bye now."
Mr. Smith manages a few buts to no avail, his mind is numb but he can feel it spinning. Yes, a nap would help. I can straighten out "what's his name" later. He lays down on the bed and drifts off, dreaming of saving the country from ruin.

The knocking may have been going on forever, was he awake or still dreaming? He stumbles to the door, opens it to find a well dressed man carrying a briefcase and a large manila envelope. With a quick "Good day Mr. Smith" the man is by him into the room. "I see Pauly is taking good care of you. This envelope contains our first installment for your reelection fund. It also contains a summary of upcoming legislation and how you are to vote. But I'm sure Pauly has already filled you in. I can see you are busy so I won't keep you. I'll see you at the club later."

The next hour is a blur as a constant stream of well dressed people come and go. By the end of the hour the junior congressman is a very rich, well connected man with a bright future. He has just been rewarded for all of the long years he toiled away in public service. "So this is what incumbents fight so dirty for. But wait a minute," he wonders aloud, "what about the senior citizens and kids and hard working people back in my district?" "No time for that" says Pauly, "we have to be at the club to meet the rest of your supporters. The limo is waiting."
Only in Hollywood? Maybe so but how do you explain the evaporation of freshness so quickly after the campaign? All of the Don Quixote candidates that were going to fight for us. They have been promising to rid our government of fat and waste for generations. Instead they leave office with a growing debt and more taxes, never to be heard from again. The fat, waste, redundancy, inefficiency, and arrogance remains. Everybody lining up for their piece of the pie, eating their fill and riding off into the sunset.

The public good? "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country." My country consists of a quarter billion people. Do I have to ask each of them what they need? What my Country can do for me is to open up the process. In the past when threatened, those now considered Heroes stepped forward to show the way. Now the crowd in denser and the heroes seem to be beaten down before they reach the light. We need less secrecy in Government and more common sense. In 1769 a Patriot calling himself Junius wrote, "There is a moment of difficulty and danger at which flattery and falsehood can no longer deceive, and simplicity itself can no longer be mislead". While great ideas languish in the shadows, mediocrity is being showcased. We see the private sector's responsibility growing in solving basic needs problems that the war on poverty was supposed to eliminate. While the American people continue to do more with less the government seems to do less with more. Plato wrote in The Republic, "When there is an income tax, the just will pay more and the unjust less on the same amount of income." We read and hear regularly about large companies closing plants and taking huge tax writeoffs. The greed that is consuming the wealth of our nation leaves the average citizen scratching their head.
"We hold these truths to be self evident; that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The "American Dream"? The veterans of World War II and Korea are waking to it now. People close to retirement and a pension are finding themselves out of work and out of luck. After spending their lives pursuing that pension, the company's bottom line and our screwed up tax laws make unemployment their reward. And there is no-one to blame. Corporate America and the Government have insulated themselves so well that no-one is accountable. The result is a country that has mortgaged it's future, with a shrinking manufacturing base, an arrogant rich and an equally arrogant poor. The middle class struggling, not to move up, but just to maintain what they have.

The Declaration of Independence said it best, " That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness". The coming years pose some major problems to be solved by my generation of "baby boomers". Those considered anarchists in the 60's must now shoulder the burden passed to them. To alter our form of government to meet the challenge of the future. To "clean out the barn", with an eye towards the next generation of anarchists, leaving hopefully a brighter future for all. So, towards that end I encourage all the new Mr. Smiths to steadfastly hold to the promises made, however daunting the task. To aid you, consider the words of James Madison; "I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations."

4 comments:

Unconventional Conventionist said...

I believe it starts with the leadership. The highest bird in the tree provides some cover for the lower birds.

For starters, I've challenged both Dem Prez candidates via email to their campaign managers to pledge that they will reorganize the Department of "Homeland" Security into more nimble functions, and rid us of that Nazi-resonant label in our government.

Rehctaw said...

That little ditty was really composed in 1993.

15 years later and the inbreeding has only gotten worse.

House, senate seats and even the oval office have been handed down. But far more insidious and damaging, the staffers' ranks have swollen unchecked.

One of my more radical proposals to remedy the situation is to move the Capitol back to Philadelphia. Back into Independence Hall. No office space, minimal staff, certainly no health club, dining rooms, or cloak rooms.

Starve the beast and it will start developing resistance to the parasites. Or at minimum, the lobbyists can foot the bill for amenities currently unwritten by our taxes.

Boxer rebel said...

First, I have to say that Blue gal sent me. She is amazing like that. Anyway, this is an amazing post and has my head spinning. I may be back to provide a more in-depth and intelligent comment than, this is amazing, but for now that is all that I can say.

larue said...

Yeah, me too, the Blue Gal. Sorry hoss. But she's GOOD at the networking thang. And it's Propuh! She gets MY kudo's for playin nice.

Anyhoots, hoss, welcome to the jungle.

Love the retro first 'Somewhere'.

I know much, much more will come.

Can't wait to read it, yer now in my 5, and we got LOTS to talk about . . . . . ;-)

(I say that to all my fav bloggers, cuz they deserve it)

I guess, regards yer first salvo reconstituted, I'd like to pose that 'kin scenerio to Pelosi, Reid, and a few dead turd committee leaders who never followed up on AGA's, Impeachment, or any of the REST of the horrific malfeasance committed by this admin.

Top to bottom, staffers in every department of our government from Liberty, Regent et al. And all that experienced and talented masses who worked FOR THE REPUBLIC and for WE THE PEOPLE tossed and wasted as traitors. Slimed.

The hands of The Machine have great grip strength. They lay upon one's throat QUICKLY after election, it seems.

Here's to better times.

Blog On With Yer Bad Ass Self Rawrahs. *G*