Monday, August 31, 2009

Letting Sleeping Dogs Lie

I thought: if Congress can take a vacation for the month of August, I can too. Except, as I hope you noticed, I came in on Mondays.

This August there were five Mondays. On some of them, it was almost too steamy to get hot under the collar about anything. Almost.

Spinoza’s dictum that “Nature abhors a vacuum” wasn’t an invitation to Rush to fill the void. When Nietzsche postulated, “Man is something to be surpassed,” he meant without DeLay, two-step or goosestep notwithstanding.

In the pulpits, we have men of God who preach hatred of God’s people, but hate only some of them. God isn’t omniscient, it's a homophobic Arizona pastor who fulminates about gays in the ministry and advocates death to the President of the United States who is—and can cite 30 verses in the Bible why God hates everybody.

In communities throughout the country, the golden rule is the Second Amendment and proper schooling is aiming and firing a rifle. These schools are never out for recess.

And in the Capital, we have a majority party that always seems to be in retreat—even when its members are away on vacation—and a minority party for whom a national conversation is “No.”

Rank-and-file members of the current House and Senate pay themselves $174,000 annually. That’s $14,500 a month, including the month of August, when they don’t have to show up for work at all! Leadership receives $193,400 annually and the Speaker of the House, $223,500. (All are entitled to an annual cost-of-living-adjustment.) I don’t want to begin to tell you what kind of month I’ve had. But this being the last dog day of August, I’m letting sleeping dogs lie and laying low.


  1. Will saner minds come with the cooler fall weather? Don't bet on it.

  2. Ah, dog day afternoons, indeed. And while the weather has cooled, I am not certain that shall apply to the minds of Washington.

    I'll take one small exception, Ray, to your note: the recess for Congress-critters is not technically a vacation. A number often work in their local state/district offices, which is something we ought commend them for. I'd be far more worried about representatives who spent ALL of their time in D.C. and never visited districts.

    On the other hand, this summer was also tougher than most, given the lovely reception many received at incendiary town halls from hotheads and paid anti-health care reform agitators, who crowded forward with their guns and spittle, waving knock-offs the Constitution and proclaiming--God save us all!--their undying love for America.


  3. You'd think (and hope) that after 8 years of Bush, the majority party would now take such advantage of it that they'd forego their vacation, even! I would love that, myself. Would instill new faith, for sure!

    But I also think we all (secretly) love the effects of Global Warming, whether we want to fight it or not... Nice days we're having. Too nice!

  4. Whew! What an exhausting summer... Now I can enjoy some nice, relaxing work!