In the Clown Car


The Weak In Review

Blog From
August 3rd, 2014

Clown_Comic_Insert_v3Almost every week, we are reminded of a terrible weakness in our current national leadership. The occupants of the House, the Senate and the Oval Office are small-minded, tireless self-promoters who polarize their respective bases to maintain power. They have no business being anywhere near Washington D.C. Here’s a glimpse of what happened this week.


The True Meaning of Bipartisanship


Nancy Pelosi did more than reach across the aisle this week. She walked across it to challenge Representative Tom Marino, R-Pa, whom she denounced as an insignificant person.


Marino had just remarked for the record that Democrats are only interested in immigration as a vehicle to rack up political mileage. Otherwise, they would have passed a reform bill of their choosing in 2009 or 2010 when they were an unstoppable force.


It’s difficult to argue successfully against Marino’s logic. After the confrontation, a Pelosi spokesperson tried to dull his point by claiming that Democrats stand for bipartisanship.


What a novel definition that is. The Dems wanted to avoid partisanship so they waited until after the 2010 elections when the GOP retook control of the House. How swell of them to hold off until they had the other side to compromise with, except there’s been no such attempt since then.


Pelosi’s foray onto the Republican half of the room was a major protocol goof, as the former Speaker surely knew. Maybe the diminutive, 74-year-old House veteran believes she can physically intimidate junior members of the opposition.


Even so, she needs to do it on neutral ground.


Plumbing The Depths of Foreign Relations


Our weakness on the world stage leads to all kinds of bizarre episodes. This week, Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Dmitry Rogozin, tweeted a Photoshopped image with the caption, “We have different values and allies.” The image showed President Putin holding a leopard cub next to a photo of President Obama with a small, fluffy dog in his arms.


The tweet answers the age-old twin questions of how far foreign relations can sink and how juvenile they can get on the way down.


Although, come to think of it, the Hillary Clinton “reset button” fiasco wasn’t the height of international intercourse, either. But, it was merely cheesy. And very embarrassing.


For his part, Putin has a penchant for contrived photo ops that feature him in macho athletic poses, too often shirtless. At least in Rogozin’s tweet, which has been retweeted more than one thousand times, the Russian President is fully clothed.


One Good Turn


The Senate has been investigating CIA interrogation techniques during the Bush administration. In turn, the CIA has been snooping through the computer files of Senators involved in the investigation.


The Agency’s inspector general reported that five employees were involved in the search, three of whom had shown a “lack of candor” when interviewed. Sometimes, it would be nice if official reports actually called big, fat lies big, fat lies.


The CIA Director at first denied the hacking claim and then apologized when it came to light this week. Senators were livid. No ox is gored quite as badly as your own. The outrage included claims of separation of powers violations.


These claims are wrong, of course. The snooping is a criminal violation, not a powers violation. It would have been just as wrong if committed by a Senate staffer.


The criminality notwithstanding, there is something vaguely satisfying about someone, anyone, handing it to the Senate.

Posted in In the Clown Car