©01 The Media Desk
"Most Politicians are Lawyers. Think about that." -Dr. Leftover.
We all hate politicians. A vague sense of loathing and revulsion that comes from somewhere around the solar plexus and builds until you just have to spit and check your pockets for a breath mint. Kinda the same feeling you get when you walk into a freight elevator where Earl and Bubba were smoking cheap cigars yesterday while they were hauling out leaking trash cans.
It's not that we think all politicians are liars, crooks, and, even worse, lawyers. Most of us believe that individually, they may be fine, upstanding members of their communities. But in groups, they turn into buzzards feeding on the dead carcass of the public breeder sow.
We cuss the US Congress in general, but seldom call our own representative, whom we may have met in person at least once or twice, a scavenging hyena that should be castrated to prevent him from breeding and increasing his foul kind. We berate our State Legislature for blowing money on stupid projects that are doomed before the ink is dry on the contract, but when pressed for the names of the lead muggers, we can't come up with more than one or two high profile specifics.
Such is the nature of the job. That's why many government bodies have voice votes instead of roll calls. Even when there is a name by name vote, your rep may say they voted for it only so the line item that would provide shoes for orphans would go into effect. Even down as far as the City Council or Village Board, several of them may have advanced degrees, others are as logical as a Vulcan, full of calm wisdom and sage advice, all of them have the absolute best interests of their town at heart. Then you put them in a room for a closed door executive session and they come out with some of the most hair brained nonsense Man as a Species has ever set on paper.
The Desk has seen it happen. Several honored members of the community and a few not-so-honored but still respected citizens got together here locally and decided to test the waters for a project. The public spoke and said they wanted no part of said project. It went to referendum with the committee pushing hard to swing the voters spending buckets of money to get the message out. The public spoke again. The issue went down in the referendum by two to one. The committee promptly resigned and said they'd have to reconsider their project. The City Council then decided the voters didn't know what was good for them and they would see about doing the project anyway.
Congress is the same way. The polls say this, congress does the exact opposite. The Congressman goes and holds town meetings and listens to his people, then votes every other which way he can. A Senator holds hearings and gets the Wisdom of the People, then does what he dang well pleases anyway.
And then the politicians get on TV and wonder why more people trust used car salesmen and drug dealers more than they do their elected officials. Its why when somebody is talking about how fast a church youth group could eat a pizza they say, 'it disappeared faster than tax money in Washington'. Its why the comedians don't need to look further than the latest government press release about new regulations on the size of the holes in Swiss Cheese for material.
The politicians do it to themselves. They deserve everything they get. And then some. Who in their right mind calls lemon drops a drug? The Colorado School Board. Who actually thinks that requiring a waiting period to buy a keg of beer is going to solve the drunk driving problem? The State of Ohio. Oh, yeah. The Swiss Cheese Holes? The USDA, last year.
Do they really want to hold themselves up to be laughing stocks? Do politicians in Maryland really think having a toy gun buy back is going to stop future school shootings? Evidently. They proposed the law. Yes it is ridiculous, but they do it anyway. Maybe in some ways it almost makes sense. But then trying to apply it, to enforce it, to live with the results.
There is always the Devil's own firestorm every time the politicians vote themselves a raise. It is always several times the inflation rate, and nine times the raise the line employees got. The guy that fills the potholes with a shovel got a two percent raise that was just enough to cover the increase in his insurance premiums and union dues, the politician got more in a raise than the laborer gets in salary. All the politicians are outraged, yet they don't stop it. They say it will never happen again. Then guess what happens again in about two years? Yeah, and even though they smell like over-ripe fish guts that have been stewing in the August sun for too long, we vote for them to serve another term anyway. Then we hate ourselves for it.
The overall impression is one of group irresponsibility. Corporate stupidity. Collective incompetence. Ignorance and silliness, integrity that is absolutely squalid and morality more suited to big game poachers, become the primary character trait of the mass personality of the Government.
Lincoln, Honest Abe, had advice for lawyers that should be applied to their brothers in office today. "Resolve to be honest at all events; and if in your judgment you cannot be an honest lawyer, resolve to be honest without being a lawyer. Choose some other occupation, rather than one in the choosing of which you do, in advance, consent to be a knave."
People have asked the Desk why it hasn't thrown its cane into the ring and run for something.
The answer, "I'm not light enough to make the team."