Photo from sott.net
I was watching The Rachel Maddow show last night when she aired video of aides and maintenance people moving roll-away beds into the Senate chambers in Washington, expertly adding sheets to the bed and placing a blanket over the whole business. I didn’t see the pillows but I am sure they were available. Now I have never seen beds in the Senate before and I started to imagine what could be important enough to get Senators to have a sleepover in a public building.
If we were beginning a war, a particularly grim war, and our Senators were so concerned that they wanted to stay close and reassure the American people that they were totally involved in making sure that American troops knew that our government would be able to act at any moment if things started to look iffy, then this would seem so patriotic. Senators would be close at hand backing up the American President and could pass any law required to tip the balance of the war in America’s favor. Perhaps this is the first foreign war that has come onto American soil since the Alamo or perhaps it is a war with aliens from outer space. That might account for the camping out and the willingness of grown men to brave the discomfort of the roll-away.
Perhaps our Senators have decided to honor the one year anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings by holding a respectful vigil and holding in-depth conversations about a gun control policy that might limit the success of future shooters without necessarily gutting the Second Amendment. This would certainly be worthwhile and a very valuable contribution to 21stcentury America. It might make it somewhat more acceptable to see your fellow Senators in ways that you never wanted to see them, in their pjs.
Perhaps the Senators finally want to stay up all night to tackle tax reform, to close those loopholes that keep the dollars from falling on those who live in the bottom 99% of the American economy. We definitely do not want tax reforms that are passed piecemeal and in a hurry without very careful thought and intelligent crafting. However, sadly, as I understand it no one is planning to stay overnight in the Senate chamber until the tax code is shiny and new and fair.
So why are Senators planning to hold a sleep-in at their hallowed chambers. Well if you watch the news you know by now that this is not an act of dedication or an act of solidarity or an act that symbolizes great patriotism. These are the Republicans, who have decided that this will be their pouty response to the fact that the filibuster rule has been changed; that Harry Reid and the Democrats took that option, that is hyperbolically called “the nuclear option” (how insulting to trivialize such a horrible weapon of war). They plan to hold a talk-a-thon so that they don’t have to give Democrats time to approve Obama’s appointments, and we’re not even talking about his court appointments here. They are basically “going to the mattresses”, Godfather style as they continue their war on Obama and all things Democrat. Don’t even think about hiring massage therapists at the people’s expense to work out your kinks. I didn’t think I could be more embarrassed by my Congress, but now, I am.
Stop acting so wacky, Republicans, please. We will soon be the laughing stock of the world, which I suppose is better than making the whole world hate us. Is that your plan? Are you trying to turn American into the world’s newest source for slapstick humor in order to help world politics lighten up a bit? No, there is nothing altruistic about your antics. In the end, Americans cannot agree to make our federal government as small as the government you foresee. We cannot agree to do away with the entire social safety net. We are champing at the bit to stimulate the American economy, while you are forcing an austerity that is harming American progress. Send the beds back where you got them from, cut back on the theater, and help us chose a middle course that does not just steer us where you want to go regardless of what the rest of America wants. We know you think that you are saving us from ourselves, but we really, really don’t agree and being forced to go against our policy preferences is making this the most un-American period of American history. You are frustrating, infuriating and wrong. Quit stalling.