Suck it up…

The time has come for someone to show some guts.  Too many congressmen are so busy looking over their shoulders that they haven’t the time to remember why we sent them to that once venerable institution.

They’ve forgotten that their job is to analyze what’s being presented, decide whether it is good for the people they represent and then vote.  Instead, they spend most of their time looking at constituent e-mails and answering irate phone calls.  They forget that most of those contacts are coming from the fringe.  Not the crazy fringe.  It’s simply people who have the time and inclination to yell at their elected representatives…like me.

The Democrats were put in charge of the crazy house almost two years ago because we didn’t like what the other inmates were doing to us.  We expected great things to happen but have, for the most part, been disappointed.

A golden opportunity exists to show the country who’s in charge.  First, Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank should quit telling the Republicans to round up their stray cats.  If the Republicans are too frightened of what Joe Sixpack will say if the bailout doesn’t make sense to him then so be it.  Nobody much trusts them anyway.

Nancy and Barney should ask their fellow Democrats to get in line and suck it up.  Tell them that this is an opportunity to show some real leadership.  After all, that’s the problem in a nutshell…no leadership.  Bush is done.  McCain, after his failed parachute drop into Washington, is afraid to come out of the bunker.  And Obama is doing…well, maybe something.  Nancy should tell John Boehner that she intends to get her Democrats to vote for the next bill regardless of what his Republicans do.  If they want to sit it out, let ’em.

In case you think it’s a good idea to cast our lot with the Republicans, let me quote a few comments from the Sydney Morning Herald.  That’s right, we even look crazy to the Australians who are not generally praised for level headed thinking.

“I don’t know that we know the path forward at this point,” said a broken House minority leader, John Boehner. After the vote the Republican Virginia Foxx declared: “The market may be down, but the constitution is up.”

Another proud author of the defeat, the Georgian Republican Paul Broun, had an earthy perspective on the bill. “Madam Speaker, this is a huge cow patty with a piece of marshmallow stuck in the middle of it,” he declared. “I’m not going to eat that cow patty.”

A fellow Republican, Thaddeus McCotter, another opponent, found a precedent in Russian literature. “The choice is stark and it was put forth in the book by Dostoyevsky, in The Brothers Karamazov,” he said.

The Republican Todd Akin was a one-man crash of colliding metaphors as he invoked animal imagery (“the horns of a dilemma … two sharp, shiny points we could impale ourselves on”), meteorological imagery (“the sky was going to fall”) and weapons imagery (“it’s nice to take a bullet for the team”).

Supporters of the legislation, by contrast, had trouble mustering the same passion, although the Republican Dan Lungren did find a precedent for the bail-out in his long-ago job as a lifeguard.
His Wisconsin colleague Paul Ryan became entangled in logic as he argued: “This bill offends my principles, but I’m going to vote for this bill to preserve my principles.”
If we had a leader who would yell “damn the torpedoes” we’d all probably fall in line behind him or her.  We’re fed up with not understanding the bailout bill.  We’re scared about the market gyrations.  We’re waiting to find out that the FDIC has run out of money just before our bank failed.  We’re already cancelling trips, putting off buying new underwear, and actually changing the oil in our car before the engine falls out.  We’re ripe for a takeover by anyone who has the guts to actually get up there and say “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.”

So please, someone get up there and take me.  I’m yours.

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