Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Once And For All

A long-ago girlfriend of mine used to tease people who said they were going to do something (organize their lives, sort their paper files, clean up their living space, etc.) "once and for all." She would say, with an impish gleam in her eye, "After you do that, then are you going to eat once and for all?"

Back in Newt Gingrich's heyday, many members of the GOP expressed an intent to gain and maintain control of the U.S. government on an ongoing, indefinite basis. They probably thought of themselves as having achieved at least a part of that goal during the Bush Junior years, with his Supreme Court appointments and that Court's rulings, and to the extent that Obama thinks like a Democrat (often not very much), having accomplished even more of that goal by stymieing almost all of that president's attempts at legislation since 2010 when the GOP took control of the House of Representatives. The GOPers held two of the four overtly established power centers of our government (we won't talk in this post about the undeclared power centers such as the No Such Agency and its ilk)... the House and the Supreme Court... and Democrats held two... the presidency (hence the entire Executive branch) and the Senate. Republicans were sitting pretty, for a party that had lost the presidency and the Senate.

This year, the GOP seems to have made its move: they decided to "eat once and for all." Their deciding to do that displays a fundamental lack of understanding of the diverse, multifaceted nature of the American body politic in its beliefs and voting habits: eating once and for all can have only one possible outcome, even if it's not clear yet just how or when that outcome manifests itself.

But I, having cleaned up after New Year's Eve parties in which people tried to "drink once and for all," really regret the necessity of whatever comes next. Like the post-drunken ralph and the post-party cleanup, the question is not "whether" but "when" and "how catastrophically." The outcome (upchuck?) will surely be bad for everyone concerned— Republicans, Democrats, people who think they're independent, and people who think they don't give a damn— all will have an absolute helluva mess to clean up. Welcome, Americans, willy-nilly, to the sorry world you now live in, thanks to Republican gluttony.

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