The noisy display of dead ducks
Those aren’t lame ducks in session on Capitol Hill. They’re dead ducks, but like chickens that can still take a few steps once their necks are wrung, these dead ducks are flailing and flapping across the barnyard, leaving a trail of blood and gore.
The Democrats of the 111th Congress, which can’t die soon enough, still can’t wrap their minds around the November election returns. They can’t figure out how humiliating repudiation could have happened to such wise and wonderful folk. The decks of the Titanic she helped steer into the iceberg are awash in icy water, and Nancy Pelosi is desperately ringing Room Service to demand her morning coffee.
President Obama, who finally may recognize his own parlous condition, begs for Democratic votes for the tax compromise, pleading that if he can’t get them, his presidency will be finished. Joe Biden, the dotty vice president in the attic, snarls at Republicans to “get out of the way” so the Democrats can get on with the work of destroying themselves.
Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts rails at the “bigots” who stand in the way of the girlie men deter- mined to paint the Army’s tanks and Navy’s warships in soothing shades of lavender.
The descent of Congress in the respect and esteem of the American public is a rare phenomenon not just of politics but of physics. Logic and reason say everything should have a bottom, but the descent into public contempt doesn’t. Congressional approval, as measured by all the pollsters, continues to fall, and where it stops nobody knows. This is a phenomenon that defies the natural law that governs the rest of the universe.
The Gallup Poll finds that just 13 percent of Americans think Congress is performing the job those 535 slackers were elected to perform. Rasmussen finds that just 23 percent of Americans think the nation is “moving in the right direction.”
Even President Obama, fond as he is of redistributing the income of other people, is trying to dampen the dying fire in the potbellies of the congressional loser class. Losers they might be, but they’re deter- mined to inflict as much damage as they can to give us something to forget them by. Nancy Pelosi, the gift that just keeps on giving, is the leader of the Democrats who revel in their ignorance of how things work. A reporter for CNSNews.com asked her, ever so respectfully, “Where does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?” Mzz Pelosi, momentarily flustered and bereft of talking points written out by her staff, was stumped.
“Are you serious?” she asked. “Are you serious?” Yes, the reporter replied, he was. Mzz Pelosi shook her head, clearly puzzled by the premise of the question, and turned to take a softball from another reporter. She later sent out her press spokesman to reaffirm the notion that asking her where and how the Constitution authorizes Congress to mandate that individual taxpayers buy insurance was certainly not a serious question. “You can put this on the record,” the spokesman said. “That is not a seri- ous question.” He repeated the answer, disbelieving he was saying something so silly. “That is not a serious question.” But the law, with the mandate, is on track to the appeals court, and the Supreme Court is likely to decide whether the question is a serious one.
Mzz Pelosi, untutored in constitutional law, continued to argue the “not serious” question with press releases, arguing that if Congress says it’s so, it must be so.
But not just the speaker. Those pushing repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” continued the strategy of calling names that once worked so well for Barack Obama. Those who argue that repeal will severely damage military preparedness — including the commandant of the Marine Corps — are dismissed by Barney Frank as purveyors of hate and venom. Barney, giddy over the House vote to repeal, is in a mood to celebrate. “It’s bigoted nonsense that the presence of someone like me will [. . . ] destabilize our brave young men and women.” The prospect of Barney loose in the barracks should frighten everyone.
Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times.