The Ukiah Daily Journal

The Congressio­nal freak show

- By John Arteaga

My God, is the recently seated new Congress a benchmark on our nation's road to utter failure as a first world society? I mean, today's Congress seems to have departed completely from any sense of decorum and rationalit­y and now looks something along the lines of the Star Wars bar; an absolute freak show!

I mean, when you have a spineless jellyfish like Kevin Mccarthy (R Fresno), who would sell his mother down the river for the opportunit­y to be House Majority Leader, appointing people like Marjorie Taylor Green, Paul Gosar and Lauren Bobert (you couldn't even make up names like the these in a work of fiction) to important committees, what is their first order of business? Removing the metal detectors that were installed at the doors of the house chambers! At the same time, many Republican House members, including world-class liar, George Santos (if that's his real name) came to work wearing little silver AR-15 pins on their jackets. Why? Because they are in favor of mindless mass slaughter, or is it just de rigueur these days for all Republican­s to pledge undying fealty to the NRA and the political funding stream that flows from its millions of single issue voters?

Let's look at a few of these bizarre characters who our president, whatever his limitation­s may be, who is actually trying to do good things for the vast majority of us, has to work; Ms Taylor Green, a blonde with that eyes-set-too-close-together look of a border collie, seems to have won her seat originally with a campaign ad showing her blasting away with an assault rifle at staged explosive signs reading various bogeyman of the right wing. I guess that really won over the yahoos in her cracker district. She was prominentl­y featured in last night's SOTU speech, jumping up like an agitated baboon in her white fur (baby seal?) Costume to cup her hands and bellow “liar” at the president. Such class. Both she and her comrade Lauren Bobert (or as I pronounce it, Bimbert) are both all-in adherents to the mental derangemen­t known as Q-anon.

If you're not familiar with this virulent strain of apparently contagious mental illness, it revolves around a belief that our government is dominated by a highly secret cabal of Democratic officehold­ers and their minions who not only steal children for internatio­nal sex traffickin­g, but then kill them and drink their blood. Oh yeah, and there's something about lizard people. These are supposedly educated adult people who believe this nonsense! Of course the former president gives his full throated support to these nuts. Why not?! They support him! It's just transactio­nal, as is every relationsh­ip the emotionall­y stunted comb-over has ever had.

Then you have Ms. Bobert, who seldom manages to cobble together something that sounds like a rational sentence. How she managed to attain national high office is a study in how utterly our political system has been sold off to the highest bidders; since so many districts have been either gerrymande­red into a configurat­ion that manages to completely subvert the will of the majority of the people, or has, in the name of `secure elections' succeeded in disenfranc­hising enough of those who might, statistica­lly, vote the `wrong way', elections have become, not an actual guage of the will of the people, but a disgusting mud wrestling display for the most politicall­y committed, that is, those most wound up by the right wing bs served up daily by multimilli­onaire propagandi­sts like Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson. Thus our political leaders are selected way early on in the political process by a tiny minority of eligible voters who get out there and vote in their primaries, in their heavily gerrymande­red districts.

The case of George Santos is both instructiv­e and amusing; after fabricatin­g a whole cloth fiction about his and his family's lives, including his parents escape from Nazi death camps (they didn't), family members dying in the 9/11 attacks, graduating from various prestigiou­s colleges that he never attended and working for top level Wall Street companies who never employed him, as well as being a gay man even though he is married to a woman, it may be that he has recently taken a bridge too far when it turns out that he performed as a drag queen down in Brazil where he is from. All the other prevaricat­ions being mere peccadillo­es in today's Republican Party, the drag queen thing may just be his downfall in the Republican Party, who at this point would confirm a bologna sandwich as a representa­tive as long as it had a R before the name, given its razor thin majority.

Let's face it, the Republican Party of today is no longer a good faith political actor; they have no program for political leadership, and their sole mandatory creed is simply to cut any spending involved in doing anything for the American people in order to fund ever greater tax giveaways to the ul

tra-wealthy and giant corporatio­ns.

For decades, ever since Reagan began cutting taxes for the wealthy, I have often wondered at what point would they be happy; as every election cycle provides more deductions and loopholes and while the IRS has been steadily starved of the resources it needs to enforce tax laws on the wealthiest, with their phalanxes of lawyers, I'm reminded of a quote from the great Michael Parenti, “there's only one thing that the rich have ever wanted, and that is everything!”

With taxation of the rich almost to the point where it is voluntary (the chance of the well-heeled sophistica­ted filer being audited is now infinitesi­mal), sure enough, the next thing on the Republican agenda is to `privatize' Social Security and Medicare so they can get their greedy hands on that enormous tranche of our money.

No amount of yelling “liar!” at the president can change the facts.

Find this and other columns at: https://inarationa­lworld2.blogspot. com/2023/02/star-warsbar.html

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