Friday, February 17, 2012

Does the U.S. Senate Suck?

We, the people, occasionally get fed-up with the high and mighty; and the U.S. Senate is a great candidate for our indignation!
by Charlie Leck

The U.S. Senate has often been referred to as a “good ol’ boys’ club!” It is, I suppose, an exclusive and distinguished club and one can take a certain amount of pride (again, I suppose) in being a member. Well, let’s be honest about this whole thing, folks. Here’s the truth…

The United States Senate sucks!
The Senate is nothing but a 100 member club of big bags of wind who think they are extraordinarily important and brilliant (with just a few exceptions). In fact, they are neither – important or brilliant, that is. Senators are among the laziest critters on God’s good earth. In addition, a good many of them are mighty dumb; but they like to act as if they “know it all!”

Like many very exclusive clubs, the U.S. Senate has created a set of impressively ignorant rules that bind up the process of execution and production so badly that a laxative of some kind ought to be created for this faux-august body. Each Senator ought to be forced to take a dose of said laxative each morning and then get to hell to work.

The latest evidence of the Senate’s brainlessness (and it is only the latest) is seen in the tradition that one (1) and ONLY one Senator is holding up an important piece of legislation because of his enormous constipation and ego. Any Senator who wants to put a “hold” on a proposed bill can do so and, therefore, delay the enactment of law for weeks and weeks. Those who serve in the U.S. Senate have generally regarded the rule (by tradition) as quaint. It was (is) rarely used – until recently that is. In these times the legislative procedures of the nation’s capitol have become more and more nuanced by stupidity, stubbornness and obstinacy.

Case in point!
The most recent case in point comes at the hand of rookie U.S. Senator Rand Paul. Paul, let me remind you, considers himself a libertarian. You are most likely more familiar with Senator Paul’s father, Congressman Ron Paul, a libertarian who is running (sort of) for the Republican endorsement as the party’s presidential candidate. On libertarian grounds, Congressman Paul favors the legalization of marijuana; and, therefore, he has a strong following of young people. (I’ll likely taking a bashing for this statement.)

Now the young, whipper-snapper, Senator Rand Paul, a medical doctor by training, has decided to put a hold on a bill that is co-sponsored by a distinguished Republican Senator (Chuck Grassely, Iowa) and a hard-working and creative Senator from Minnesota (Amy Klobuchar). The bill would outlaw certain dangerous, synthetic, recreational drugs. These drugs are often marketed under the guise of herbal products such as bath salts and incense.

Senator Paul’s constituents, who thought they were electing a conservative, are now seeing their state’s U.S. Senator in a different light; for he is really a wolf in sheep’s clothing. (I didn’t just now make up that analogy!)

The defining characteristic of a libertarian is stubbornness and obstinacy (pigheadedness).

Here’s a message to voters in Kentucky!
You’re stuck with this guy for another four (4) years, but get rid of the bum when he comes up for reelection and, please, vote in a real conservative!

And those of you who are supporting his father’s candidacy for President, and sending in money to support him, better make sure you understand just what a libertarian is and how bad they can sometimes stink!

For now, Kentucky, put pressure on this Senator of yours to pull his “hold” and get this legislation before the entire Senate for a vote.

If there are real and substantive objections to this legislation
they can be heard on the Senate floor during real debate just prior to a vote. Then, the U.S. Senate can vote the bill up or down. The bill will most likely pass easily. It has bipartisan sponsorship and wide bipartisan support. Senator Rand Paul said he believes it is a local matter and should be decided by thousands and thousands of local governments (or, at least, by 50 state governments). This, however, would take its enforcement out of the hands of our only really effective drug protection organization – that run by the federal government.

Our U.S. Senator took particular interest in this piece of legislation because it is generally held that that a synthetic party-drug took the life of a young man here in Minnesota in 2011.

If Senator Paul does have more substantive objections to the law, he should state them in a floor debate about the legislation before a vote is taken on it. That’s the manly thing to do!

This strange U.S. Senate tradition allows a particular Senator great power when he can thrust himself into the fight as one (1) against the 99. It’s only one of the crazy rules of this tradition bound institution that can easily be hijacked by minorities (see, for instance, the filibuster rule).

Don’t you big-bags-of-wind up there on the hill understand that the nation is falling-down laughing at you?

An extraneous note about exclusive clubs…
I was a member of an exclusive club once. Really! The club took itself very seriously and did much to protect its very elite nature. How the hell I ever got in is a mystery (it’s not really, but that’s all too complicated to go into now). Well, we had a club room in Manhattan, looking out on to Central Park and Fifth Avenue, and our meetings were white-tie. We sat around a big table and grunted and mumbled a lot and occasionally laughed at a member’s particular mumblings (even when they were ridiculous or nasty). There was a lot of gossipy talk about those who could never (ever) be a member; and there was wondering about why they ever lobbied for such. One night, there in the clubroom in Manhattan, in about my fifth or sixth year of membership, I looked around the table and the silliness of it all smacked me in the face. It was one of those exclusively men’s clubs and a couple of women I admired had been just spoken about disrespectfully. My eyes roamed over the gathered gentlemen – some of whom I admired enormously – and I sadly proclaimed my displeasure at the tone of the conversation; and I definitively resigned. I left the room and headed out to Fifth Avenue. I walked the couple of blocks back to the Plaza. It was chilly and raining slightly, but the air seemed incredibly clean and it was enormously refreshing.

As I walked along the Avenue, next to the beautiful park, I think my old man looked down at me from far above and I’m sure I heard him laughing.

“We ain’t gentlemen of that sort, are we Pop?”

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