The noisy dis­play of dead ducks

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - Opin­ion by Wes­ley Pruden

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 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.

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