Article I. Worse than Rotten

“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” — Marcellus

With Congressional approval ratings hovering in the mid teens, you have to look pretty hard to find Americans who think that Congress properly represents our personal interests, or the collective interests of our nation.  We live at a time when too many U.S. citizens feel cheated by the repeated failures of those cast as representatives and leaders on the national stage to get their act together.  If Shakespeare were alive to put words into the mouth of a modern day Marcellus, it is doubtful that he’d choose to characterize the state of the U.S. Congressional leadership as merely rotten.  Rotten is a far too generous understatement.

Yet, every two years we spend billions of dollars to elect and re-elect officials who, once in office, fail to work together to serve common national interests — all the while spinning fantastic yarns about what good work they’ve done.  Daily, scores of thousands of lobbyists can be seen pouring over Capitol Hill like dung beetles at a manure farm; scheming to acquire favor from public officials at public expense.  Our elected officials use metastasizing foreign terrorist threats — some completely fabricated — to excuse their failure to adequately protect us from domestic assaults on our justice system, our national economy, our national ideals, and our constitutional rights.  Our elected representatives enable other public officials to launch undeclared, if not illegal, wars based on woefully inadequate intelligence without anything resembling serious public deliberations — and, then, allow them to rage on longer than any declared war in history despite diminished public support and unaffordable claims on national treasure.  Our elected representatives respond to economic catastrophe by stealing from unrepresented future generations of Americans in order to bailout the undeserving sharks who colluded in crafting and executing the failed policies that produced the catastrophe in the first place.  Our elected representatives banish national oil independence to the backwaters of national policy for four decades — only to trot it out at a time when it conveniently serves to cover their cowardly retreat from the enormous challenges presented by the global climate crisis.  And modern political discourse has become so polluted by an orgy of jabberwocky and gibberish emanating from self-serving politicians, self-styled pundits, and special interest oligarchs — abetted, all the while, by handsomely paid, meticulously groomed, slick carnival barkers in the commercial news media — that the prospect of the public intelligently contributing to national policy deliberations anytime soon can be measured with a very small eyedropper.

I could go on.  Our national situation is dire, and we seem ill-equipped to effectively confront the many complex challenges we face.  As Madison warned in Federalist 10, the long retreat of elected and appointed public officials into entrenched, partisan cabals has led to a total collapse of their ability to govern effectively.

So, can it get any worse?  Stay tuned.

– iGregor

[Note:  Comments are solicited at the conclusion of Article X.]

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Published in: on October 27, 2010 at 15:00  Comments Off on Article I. Worse than Rotten