We stop, look, at one another short of breath, walking proudly in our winter coats, wearing smells from laboratories, facing a dying nation. A moving paper fantasy.
You have to hand it to Mitch McConnell. He's definitely a man of his word.
When McConnell, the senator from Kentucky who serves as that body's minority leader, said he would do anything in his power to keep Barack Obama from returning to the White House for a second term, he wasn't kidding. As Democrats have tried to push through legislation that would create jobs and give the struggling U.S. economy a boost, ol' Mitchie's been there leading the charge to make sure it doesn't happen.
A bill that would create 50,000 jobs and improve infrastructure in crumbling municipalities? No way. That might convince someone to vote for Obama.
Of course, while McConnell -- and such inconsequential do-nothings as Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman -- is keeping his promise of political jihad against the president, there's this little thing about the oath he took to serve the people of his state and this nation. By turning each vote in the Senate into part of his misguided political strategy, frequently at his constituents' expense, isn't McConnell and the other partisan lemmings who fall obediently in line breaking that oath?
(Makes you wonder how someone this despicable, someone who has plenty of money so he's not really worried about a continued recession or unemployment, keeps getting re-elected. ... He probably does well with the in-bred demographic in the Kentucky hill country.)
The flip side of McConnell's sleaze, however, is a Democratic Party whose tactics are even sleazier than the GOP stalwart's and his cohorts'. Majority leader Harry Reid and many of his minions start screaming and crying about Republicans' tactics and how they're "dragging down the economy" almost before the gavel has sounded and the death notice made on each piece of Democratic-led legislation.
"Their goal is to ... do anything they can to focus attention negatively on the president of the United States in hopes that (they) can get my job, perhaps, and that President Obama will be defeated," Reid said after Republicans used the ridiculous filibuster tactic to defeat a $60 billion infrastructure bill last week.
That sounds real good, Harry, but while you're whining and moaning, you might want to go back in time a couple of years to when Democrats had enough votes in the Senate to ward off such asinine tactics. You and your party did not have the courage at that time to push across legislation that you're now saying is essential to give the country a much-needed economic boost.
In fact, Obama was so sure of his powers of persuasion after the election that he naively left the matter of fine-tuning his legislative agenda to Legislators while he basked in the glow of the mandate he was presented. He forgot, however, that that mandate was the product of his promise to make sweeping changes.
Democratic leaders did not have the good sense or the fortitude to move some of the bold initiatives Obama had promised forward, so they meekly gave in to hollow GOP threats time and again and accomplished very little. Their inactivity sparked a bloodletting in the midterm elections, bringing about the political stalemate that has created the quagmire that exists today.
Complaints such as those registered by Reid ring hollow because Democrats' timidity -- their refusal to bring about that change they and their leader promised -- seems now like a fall-back strategy that they use to point fingers at the GOP.
And because voters are either (a) not informed, (b) too apathetic to care or (c) not very bright (see above), they queue up behind one group or another of these spineless jackals without bothering to notice that the wealthy weasels in the Legislature are not the ones bearing the brunt of their own inactivity. It's the poor, to some degree, but mostly the middle class who are paying the toll.
I marvel when I watch all the fair and balanced talking heads who call themselves journalists -- who claim to have all the answers -- as they point their fingers at this group or that party and try to lay the blame for our economic freefall on one or the other. How ridiculous. There's enough blame here for all involved to get their share.
Whether it's intentional dereliction of duty for political gain or sheer cowardice, there are no innocents in our Legislature. And if they had a shred of decency, all would be ashamed. And if we who are paying for their ineptitude had an ounce of good sense, we'd vote them all out of office and start over again.
Email Carlton Fletcher at carlton.fletcheralbanyherald.com