February 15, 2009

Bedtime Stories

Hush, little baby, don't say a word.
Papa's gonna buy you a mockingbird

-- Traditional American lullaby

The Senator stands before the fixed gaze of the CSPAN cameras in the always empty Senate chamber. His hands hold a stack of paper over a thousand pages thick. He observes, in a voice shaded with resignation and contempt, that no member of the Senate, himself included, has read the endless laundry list of fools’ gold nuggets that a majority are about to vote into law. Then, in what is less a gesture than a simple removal of his hands, he lets the pile drop to the floor where it lands with a sodden thump. The future of what was once a republic is smeared on the sheets of tumbled pile of paper on the Senate floor.

We do not know what this "future" holds within its pages. We know only that no one with the power to approve or disapprove this future that has now been decreed has read it. Like the future it represents the “bill” is obscure and unknowable. Like some czar’s whim it has simply been decreed by those who have made themselves master.

Indeed, to listen to the leadership of the party that has carried it in heavy piles from whatever agency collated and reproduced the thousand pages, there is no time to read it. All is huffing bustle, whirl and spin. Like the White Rabbit, the speaker of the House – after promising to post the bill for 48 hours so that ‘the people’ might read it, proclaims, “It’s late. It’s late. / For a very important date….” And then hustles back out of the chamber or out of camera range with her buttocks clenched and bobbing, her latest lie stuck to her shoe like some dubious strip of paper.

And besides, you wouldn’t really want to read the bill, even a section of it, unless sleep or coma is your most desperate need. The bill, on all it’s promulgated pages when you get a brief whiff of what lurks within it, is written in a blur of numbers and phrases and clichés and obfuscations so dense that the mere reading of a paragraph could drop a charging rhino at fifty yards.

And if that mockingbird won't sing,
Papa's gonna buy you a diamond ring

So we know only that, before passage, no elected representative of the Republic had read the bill mandating the future of the Republic. We also know that no citizen has been allowed to read the bill. Who then has?

Surely someone, some entity resembling a human, has read the bill. Is it possible that no one actually has? Is the bill just a collection of subsections pulled out of the commodious and infinite asses of members of the permanent government, the real one that exists like some immortal and gigantic toad beyond and above elections?

Did the bill of a trillion dollars simply assemble itself as sections were teleported in from lobbies and interest groups and the denizens deep in the Bureaus; sections dictated by the faceless, keyboarded by the faithful, and signed off on by no one? The pages do not, one assumes simply write themselves. Then again perhaps they do. One cannot know. One is not, it seems, allowed to know who is composing them for whom.

Does the bill also include paragraphs cobbled together from lines in the long, long list of all those owed by the Obama administration? Will we find the wishes and dreams of a thousand different parasites on the body politic burrowing within its pages? The short lists of line-items leaked out certainly make it seem that way. Everywhere one touches this thing there seems to be….

Something appealing,
Something appalling,
Something for everyone:
A comedy tonight!
Something convulsive,
Something repulsive,
Something for everyone:
A comedy tonight!
Tragedy tomorrow.
Comedy tonight!

Yes, some tasty splooge for everyone bobs in this malodorous muck. All of us. Each and every one. Many of the items cannot be gainsaid by those with good will. Many others are loathsome at the sight. But no matter what may be of benefit to this or that group, in aggregate the sums of money required to make it all come to pass are so beyond all reason that the only emotion one can muster is one of impending doom. This is not, in a country, an emotion likely to inspire confidence, resolve and recovery, only the impulse to take to one’s bed and seek a sleep unto death.

Hence the promise of the lullaby,

And if that diamond ring turns brass,
Papa's gonna buy you a looking glass

Yes, it doesn’t matter if this bill that none have read is not that crazy shining diamond that reflects and refracts light in the shadows and cures all ills, palliates all anxieties, gives houses away like business cards, and fills the gas tanks of the nation with pure Presidential effluvium. If this “diamond ring” of “stimulus” turns into a thin brass plating on a drifting iceberg of excrement, there will be another bill, this one a looking glass in which we can see our own emaciated reflection.

But should that reflection be too horrible to gaze at, should it, like the Gorgon, turn the citizen to stone....

... if that looking glass gets broke,
Papa's gonna buy you a billy goat

Yes, there will always be the great father in Washington ready to buy his serfs and wards farm animals for their amusement lest they find out that they, and not the goats, are the real beasts of burden in this Brave New World. Will they ever see, even then, that they are but property owned by the plantation? Doubtful. Do cattle see the skull hammer waiting at the end of the slaughterhouse chute?

The bill, and the one’s beyond it, will bring a finally perfected democracy into being. A pure democracy of need where the multiplying many are carried on the backs of the fading few, even those of the newly rich few who worked and donated that this new phase of “democracy” in the United States come to pass. Even they will come, in time, to understand with H. L. Mencken that “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” Even they, in time, will see who really is the goat.

But should they protest, they will find it is far too late. They are already in the harness that this unread bill fit them for and pull they will.

And if that billy goat won't pull,
Papa's gonna buy you a cart and bull

Much has been made of the supposed fact that little of this bill bears the marks of the current President; that it all has be jumbled together by a Congress fat with power and seeking to get all its champagne dreams of a quasi-socialist state rolling in one fell swoop. But what if that is only a partial reading of the truth just as all readings of this bill are partial and superficial?

What if, instead, this bill contains – since it is protean enough to contain almost anything – the actual items that outline the most deeply held beliefs of a man suckled at the breast of all the broken dreams that sent hundreds of millions of humans to the block in the last century? What if, as we root about in the endless paragraphs and pages, we do see the outlines, at last, of what this strange and obscure man actually believes and plans? What if nothing is accident and all is intent? And the intent is “darker than a hundred midnights down in a cypress swamp?”

Will we still hear the last lines of the lullaby as we slip into our own coma?

And if that cart and bull fall down,
You'll still be the sweetest little baby in town

Or will we hear instead that ear worm from Poe’s The Raven?

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
`Doubtless,' said I, `what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore -
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore
Of "Never-nevermore."'

Sweet dreams, perishing Republic.

Posted by Vanderleun at February 15, 2009 5:50 AM | TrackBack
Bookmark and Share

Comments:

HOME

"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Brilliant.

Could we not get an injunction against an Act that, by their own admission, the lawmakers have not read?

Posted by: ELC at February 15, 2009 6:13 AM

I worked as a lobbyist in Washington D.C. and handled many of the slime-coated blocks of paper Gerard describes so cuttingly. And my experience and belief is that a rational, informed, NEUTRAL expert has read, before passage, perhaps one percent of all laws ever passed by congress.

After passage, disruption, heartbreak and litigation ensure that all the words will be scrutinized very, very carefully. Always, the law of unintended consequences has its way.

Stimulus is a larger-than-ever outrage, but not in form or style a new one. Alas.

Posted by: AskMom at February 15, 2009 8:10 AM

Thank you, sir, for another unique blend of lyrical writing and sharp political insight. You are an internet treasure. One comment on your theses that no one person wrote this sorry tome. It certainly is the most logical explanation for what has happened. The obvious complaints of not enough time to read have not been accompanied by anything resembling a coherent defense based on "well, I have and its marvelous piece of social engineering for these reasons..." The lack of a convincing knowledgeable defender seems to imply no unified authorship. In other words, we really leaping blindfolded off a ledge which could be anywhere from 10 inches to 1,000 feet off the ground.

The consequences are unforeseeable. For example, what happens of several members of Congress come forward with a different document and say that this is the bill that they voted on? How is the authenticity of any one complete document established? This isn't to say the monstrosity can be derailed but it can be mocked and denigrated in a 1000 ways. For example, recreate Proximire's Golden Fleece awards as a kind of weekly internet TV event a la American Idol; crash read and pull apart the actual and unintended consequences, recruit a legal SWAT team, trigger court cases, and launch civil suits and Constitutional challenges (the ban on sectarian activities on university campuses, for example); and, as this campaign is gaining steam, launch recall petitions for major Democrat supporters of this stink bomb. These are just keyboard thoughts, but more intelligent people than I should already be having planning meetings. Somebody needs to get out in front on this or more of these will be railroaded through.

Posted by: boqueronman at February 15, 2009 8:11 AM

The Dems have sold us a bridge too far to nowhere.

With all that money down the toilet, they ought to rename it "defecate spending."


Posted by: Gagdad Bob at February 15, 2009 9:23 AM

Folks,

There are things called elections. We voted these clowns into power, and we are responsible for their acts or failures to act.

If you don't like what they've done (and I sure as Hell don't), then don't vote for them at the next election, due in November 2010, or maybe sooner for state and local offices.

Throw the bums out!

Hale Adams
Pikesville, People's Democratic Republic of Maryland
Official Motto of the state legislature: "State constitution? What state constitution? We don't need no steenking state constitution!"

P.S. As you can tell from my address, why yes, I am a masochist. But somebody's gotta reform the place......

Posted by: Hale Adams at February 15, 2009 9:32 AM

Awesome, Gerard. I feel like I'm on a moving sidewalk, being propelled through a Kafka novel.

Posted by: Velociman at February 15, 2009 9:54 AM

How many years will it take for Our Dear Leader and the Cannibal Party to destroy us all? One election cycle or less?

Posted by: Jewel at February 15, 2009 11:46 AM

What do you mean we voted him in, right collectively. No, Velociman, it's more like those rotating knives in that designer abbatoir in the Monty Python sketch. By the way, how'd the 'Bloody Ebsen' go.

Posted by: narciso at February 15, 2009 1:37 PM

Promise me you'll stop using the phrase "perishing republic" when you end your posts. I can't take it anymore! It's bad enough without your being so graphic. I mean, couldn't you just substitute the phrase "rearranging deck chairs on...."

Oh nevermind.

Posted by: Webutante at February 15, 2009 5:48 PM

I think Blake was more concise.

O Rose, thou art sick!
The invisible worm
That flies in the night,
In the howling storm,

Has found out thy bed
Of crimson joy:
And his dark secret love
Does thy life destroy.

Posted by: Raymond Barry at February 15, 2009 6:54 PM

Now we must take an accounting of all who created this legislation and any and all who recieve the money. When the great Republich falls, they shall all be the first to swing.

Decisions and actions have consequences. You took our money, destroyed our country and our children's future.

You deserve no mercy and will get none.

Posted by: Eman at February 16, 2009 7:45 AM

The socialists had eight long years to figure out what they were going to do once they took power. I am not an economist so I defer to a Harvard economist. One of their own so to speak. In case any readers haven't heard him:

Professor Robert Barro:

http://business.theatlantic.com/2009/02/an_interview_with_robert_barro.php">http://business.theatlantic.com/2009/02/an_interview_with_robert_barro.php">http://business.theatlantic.com/2009/02/an_interview_with_robert_barro.php

"This is probably the worst bill that has been put forward since the 1930s. I don't know what to say. I mean it's wasting a tremendous amount of money. It has some simplistic theory that I don't think will work, so I don't think the expenditure stuff is going to have the intended effect. I don't think it will expand the economy. And the tax cutting isn't really geared toward incentives. It's not really geared to lowering tax rates; it's more along the lines of throwing money at people. On both sides I think it's garbage. So in terms of balance between the two it doesn't really matter that much."

Those that question this capper have already been called unpatriotic. So will there be room for dissent in the coming years or are lists being assembled as I write this? Are they going to go after one segment of patriots at a time? If I write that I'll fight for our Constitution, does that place a so called black mark next to my IP address by whomever is watching? If I say the politicians in Washington DC should be fiscally conservative and suggest that taxes are a form of extortion, am I therefore considered unpatriotic?

See for yourselves what double-speak we are dealing with in case you've missed the video of Reid explaining our Voluntary Tax System:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7mRSI8yWwg

Are we actually living a sequel to Animal Farm with Reid playing Senator Ass Head?

Our Democrats want the Swedish Model. Even FDR knew that socialists like the Nazi's had to be dealt with. What did the Swedes do? "Ummm, we're neutral, oh, and here is some iron ore for your military, Herr Hitler".

I've lived in Europe. No thanks.

Posted by: at February 16, 2009 8:51 AM

I wonder who Hussein was visiting this past week end in Chicago.

Fitzgerald, Rezko, Ayers, Burris, Wright, Blago, ACORN friends.....

Something more important than signing HIS bill on Saturday.

Posted by: rab at February 16, 2009 9:41 AM

And folks, in case you thought total paranoia is setting in:

http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/140410p.pdf

A directive signed into being by the President on 1/23/09 (no time to waste here folks)

Department of Defense

DIRECTIVE

NUMBER 1404.10
23 January 2009

USD(P&R)

SUBJECT: DoD Civilian Expeditionary Workforce

References: See Enclosure 1


1. PURPOSE. This Directive:

a. Reissues DoD Directive (DoDD) 1404.10 (Reference (a)) under a new title to establish the
policy through which an appropriately sized subset of the DoD civilian workforce is pre-
identified to be organized, trained, and equipped in a manner that facilitates the use of their
capabilities for operational requirements. These requirements are typically away from the
normal work locations of DoD civilians, or in situations where other civilians may be evacuated
to assist military forces where the use of DoD civilians is appropriate. These employees shall be
collectively known as the DoD Civilian Expeditionary Workforce. Members of the DoD
Civilian Expeditionary Workforce shall be organized, trained, cleared, equipped, and ready to
deploy in support of combat operations by the military; contingencies; emergency operations;
humanitarian missions; disaster relief; restoration of order; drug interdiction; and stability
operations of the Department of Defense in accordance with DoDD 3000.05 (Reference (b)).

To whom will these civilians be loyal? Our military swear an oath of allegiance to our Constitution. Is this the change we've been told about? Did the Nazi SA and SS get their "marching orders" by some similar Directive in socialist 1930's Germany?

Posted by: JD at February 16, 2009 10:50 AM

All this wailing and gnashing of teeth after 8 years of idiot boy, aka "the MBA President."

You dittoheads crack me up.

Posted by: Ghost of Bill Hicks at February 18, 2009 1:54 PM

Just a normal human reaction to three weeks of moron man, aka the GIMME president.

Colonized minds crack me up.

Posted by: vanderleun at February 18, 2009 2:00 PM
Post a comment:

"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated to combat spam and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.










Remember personal info?