Little Rock Congress has left for a 5-week summer vacation, and this time whether they have earned it or not, they probably need the rest. Perhaps in some kind of rehab clinic or re-education camp in fact, because one vote after another in the House of Representatives in recent weeks could be clinically classified as crazy.
Ok, yeah, adding an amendment to the Department of Defense budget to de-fund ACORN and what House Republicans call “all of its affiliates” for the third straight year, since the leadership of the US-organization dissolved the outfit November 5, 2010, does strike me as absurd, and, yes, I take it personally. But, since the list of the so-called “affiliates” also still includes totally independent operations like the Service Employees International Union, progressive DC-based think tanks, and random other progressive organizations, which never had any direct familial relationship to the ACORN group of organizations, that does strike me as crazy. Maybe crazy like a fox, but still crazy!
And, how about the fact the House has now voted 40 times, but, hey, who’s counting, to repeal the Affordable Care Act or what they call, Obamacare, even knowing that they can’t get by the Senate or the President with that one. Don’t they have real jobs over there in the House or what?
Maybe they are simply trying to send a message to the poor to hurry up and die and be done with it? The fact that the majority also voted to cut the food stamp budget in half leads to the conclusion that besides trying to keep the poor from healthcare they have already picked their preferred method of death for the poor: starvation.
Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman points out that besides being crazy, they seem to be just plain chicken. He points out the fact that they embrace their big cuts and then run away when presented budgets by the Department of Transportation for example and see the impact of their draconian policies. Gee, did they really think no one would be hurt back home? And, yes, that’s crazy!
Max Brantley blogging for the Arkansas Times commented on a call for a protest in Little Rock at the airport to greet a couple of elected representatives flying home for the recess to ask them what the heck they were doing up there, said it reminded him of the old days:
The occasion took me back in memory to the Wade Rathke days at ACORN. Reba Whipple, Elena Hanggi and other stalwarts from ACORN would turn up in a bank board room or other rarified place noisily asking for consideration of the interests of working class people. Over time, their protests had incremental positive impact, even as it made the organization a dirty word with the comforted class and stirred some sympathetic backlash for the fatcats who were embarrassed.
Brantley might have a good idea there. While House Republicans are in rest and rehab in coming weeks, maybe the rest of us need to dust off our old picket signs and get our old ACORN t-shirts washed up again to remind them that whatever the structure, the spirit of protest and simple sanity in dealing with the poor, working people, and the rest of our citizens has to be the real standard of government.