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By DOUG THOMPSON
Here we are, nearly a month and 10 days into the Democratic reign of error on Capitol Hill, well past the vaunted “100 hours” of legislative activism, and the legislative branch of the federal government is, as usual, mired in gridlock.
We still don’t have a resolution, one way or the other, on the immoral and illegal debacle called President George W. Bush’s failed Iraq war. The Senate, which laughingly calls itself “the greatest deliberative body in the world,” can’t even reach a conclusion on whether or not to debate a resolution that is nonbinding and useless. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is better at using his office to fatten his bank accounts through shady real estate deals than he is at running a gathering of goons on Capitol Hill.
In the House, the imperialism of Speaker Nancy Pelosi is mired in a controversy over her desire to jet home and back on luxury military planes just like the buffoon who preceded her, Dennis Hastert.
The debate over “Pelosi One,” as Republicans have dubbed it, has reached such ludicrous proportions that John “I didn’t take a bribe but I leave my options open” Murtha threatens to hold up military funding if Nancy doesn’t get her plane perk.
Bush’s White House, which believes royal treatment is a right not a privilege, weighs in on Pelosi’s side on this one, putting them at odds with National Republican Committee Chairman Tom Cole, who is cranking out sound bites like “with a ticket on Pelosi One Airlines costing taxpayers thousands of dollars per hour, it’s no wonder the Democrats are so eager to raise taxes.”
This is, of course, the same National Republican Congressional Committee that issued press releases supporting their Speaker of the House when he started using military transport to to back and forth to Illinois after the attacks of September 11, 2001.
And he Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s strident defense of Pelosi’s request is a direct contradition of the criticism they hurled at Hastert’s use of military planes in 2005.
So much for change in Washington, so much for a breath of fresh air and so much for ethics and responsibility. Like Republicans before them, Democrats prove they aren’t capable of managing a Taco Bell, much less the affairs of a nation.
If you buy into the excuse that either Hastert or Pelosi needed the “protection” of military transport, then you also have to buy into Bush’s use of far of terrorism to justify his rights-robbing USA Patriot Act and other abuses of the Constitution. You can’t have it both ways.
There was no earthly reason why Denny Hastert shouldn’t have had to wait in line, take off his shoes and then squeeze his fat butt into a coach seat of a regularly scheduled United Airlines flight between Washington and his home in Illinois.
And there’s no justification for giving Pelosi use of a gussied up Boeing 757 military jet just so her shapelier, but equally pompous, ass can ride in the lap of luxury nonstop between DC and San Francisco. Both are supposed to be representatives of the people, not royalty or overpaid celebrities.
Pelosi, as Speaker, has the authority to decide how she travels. She is not required to follow anyone’s advice and the Sargeant at Arms of the House is not going to request military transportation unless she asks for it. The Sargeant at Arms reports to the Speaker and doesn’t make such request without her approval.
Like so many before her, Pelosi has already let the trappings of power go to her pretty little head and she and her Democratic compatriots are so wrapped up with the lust of being in charge that they forget why the voters gave them the keys to the place.
Same thing happened to Hastert and his rabid, rogue Republicans. The party that once stood for limited government and personal responsibility allowed the madman of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to turn government into a bloated, rights-robbing, deficit building, all-powerful monster. Hastert, whose girth expanded with his power, became a demanding demagogue.
Nancy Pelosi established herself as a snotty, acid-tongued, bitchy despot when she was just an unknown Congresswoman from San Francisco. Now, with the power of the Speakership, she is the diva of the Democrats, demanding every perk of office she can suck into her corner of the Capitol and we, as taxpayers, aren’t even getting kissed first.
This is not the way our government should be run. Our leaders should not be debating whether or not to debate while our troops die at record rates. They should not demand to be treated like kings or queens while our nation’s debt spirals out of control and a crippled auto industry sends hundreds of thousands to the unemployment line.
This nation deserves better than George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid.
Each violates the oath they swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States. Each forfeit any right to respect and all prove themselves unworthy of the office.
Like too many other Republicans and Democrats, and the clueless partisans who follow them, they forget their first loyalty is the nation they serve, not themselves, and the oath they took was to that nation and not to any personal or political agenda.