No, really, we can do this.
Well, for one, there is already a sound track. Even a Russian illegal can read the bumper sticker. And the number is magic. It raises the heart rate. Breathing becomes heavier. The imagery is mythic and heroic…of citizen-soldiers, men and women, standing twenty abreast, fifteen deep, forbidding the ancient powers of the Deep to pass; royals and aristocrats, socialists and totalitarians, thugs and barbarians, men who would rule other men’s lives, all arrayed in battle formation and full body armor, prepared to finally take down the last citadel of human freedom.
Sounds corny, huh?
Still, chew on it. 300 can actually do what 220 can’t, and 250 won’t, and that is return the American government to sanity quickly, within 6 years tops.
Oh, did you think I was talking about 300 congressmen and women, with a new “contract with America” on the tips of their tongues? No, I was thinking the other way around. America’s Contract with its Congress.
And I thank Dan Benishek. Dr Dan is the Republican candidate for the People’s-Seat-formerly-called-Bart’s in Michigan’s 1st District. He published a piece on RedState last week, in which he kindly mentioned a post I had written here. I reread that over the weekend (trying to see if a halo had been attached by any chance) and noticed something very different in what Dr Benishek was saying than what you normally read from candidates. Read it yourself. It wasn’t about me-me-me. It was about “us-us-us” and the district. The People.
You see, that has always been the problem about sending a fellow off to Congress. He stands before the people, offers a pledge, or contract, if you prefer, some of it inspirational…truth, fealty (no Honey, I promise not to look at other women at the convention in Las Vegas), and responsibility (constitutional duties) and, if possible, to bring home a few goodies for the district, more specifically, a few goodies for some of his biggest backers in the district. After all, that’s where his money came from to get elected in the first place.
If you stop to think about it, this is an iffy start for any congressional career, because he’s already in debt up to his neck, and by debt, I mean the debt-of-expectations, that can weigh around him like a milestone. And it always seems to have a “due date” that comes at the most awkward of times.
Over the years, we (the people of every district) have become cynical because of how these marriages work out. Those pledges, they sound like marriage vows all right, only it’s both party’s fourth, fifth hitch. She expects you to cheat. Just bring candy, flowers and a diamond from time to time. Even the wettest-behind-the-ears newlywed Congressman, they all know it won’t take long. They know, even as he will stick rigidly to the three or four promises he made in his Victory Speech, he will still have to compromise along the way.
And that compromise will always be about money. The people’s money, for it’s understood that if our district is to get anything, a bridge, a new court house, we have to in-turn be willing to give some congressman in Oregon a tit-for-tat. Earmarks. Seniority helps. Being on the party leader’s good side also helps. So it’s office politics, no matter where you go. Nobody likes a maverick, well…
“There’s a big pie out there, make sure we get out slice.” Only people are already beginning to do the math on their own. They’re not just getting philosophical, they’re getting analytical, which if you’ve noticed, is way past the pay grade of anyone employed by the White House these days. What began a century ago as ordinary horse-trading, with an accounting that even Miss Ritchie’s 10th Grade accounting class could manage, an indefinable wrinkle had been inserted so that by now, hell, we’re paying more in order to swap with Oregon than if we’d built that bridge all by ourselves with local tax dollars. Nobody has the political will to find, then untangle that wrinkle, or then, the courage to turn off the spigot. And we also know, just as home schoolers find out quickly, even if we say “no” to federal money, we’re still taxed to death, only getting none of the benefits. One lone district, one lone state can’t change that. Probably not even 220.
Most of you know about the Apostles’ Creed. Most Christian Churches have a variant of it. Even Methodists. Constitutional conservatives have a similar creed, with the Mt Vernon Statement. EE is one of its signatories. But did you know the Democrat Party and Democrat-controlled congressional districts have one as well?. All vary a little a little, but they always begin with “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme” and end with “Take, Take, Take” and in the middle, which joins them at the hip with the Socialist Left, you will find terms like “Command and Regulate”.
I suggest all the districts come up with a creed of their own. And I’ll wager, if not this year, by 2012, you will find 300 that are so similar as to be the same, just as the Apostles’ Creed. My only suggestions is keep the language “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme” and “Take, Take, Take” out of it. Then, when you elect Dan Benishek and send him off to Washington, hand it to him, and tell him, “The first time you send back flowers, you’re outta here.” (I think Dan’s in on this way of thinking anyway.)
Tell them you understand the need to govern, write laws, hold hearings, even go to events and parties. Just stay out of the hot tubs, Charlie. You’re biggest job is turn off the spigot. No new money and when you can de-fund or under-fund, do it. Start with DOE, then watch how millions of tax dollars will filter back to the home district, so quietly almost no one will notice. Watch the ripple effect.
When your Creed puts 300 in the pass, you’ll not only turn the tap off, you’ll turn it off for a very long time, so that the rest of the government-funding problems will almost take care of themselves. With no new money, regulators and bureaucrats will almost fire themselves..mostly by looking at porn sites on state time…because there’s nothing else to do. A few will take to the streets, but it will be too late. Even more will take to drink, just like Russia, only there won’t be any new money for the clinics they’ll need for rehab. So, most will move on and look of work in the private sector….only to find, after a little lag time, that, by God, those new jobs are there. The right side of the ledger sheet is growing again, as if by magic.
Now I sense a lot of nay-sayers. This is a complex subject and I’m treating it lightly. No, I am just treating it “citizenly” and common sensically. People just know that when you dry up a watering hole all the animals who ordinarily drink there have to move on…and the best wildlife specialist in the world can’t know which way they’ll go. (On this, I’m a specialist on the human species.) There is a ripple effect. Once done, I also know there are some pretty clever experts, or our side and theirs, who will draw up a more finely-tuned diagram as to how a shut-off might work in the intestines and bowels of government (we’re already familiar with the stomach and teats, thank you), and I believe you will find a dynamism quite unlike anything you thought possible. Like I said, I know this to be so.
People quit believing in their congressman a long time ago…unless there was a carrot in it. But they will and can believe in it themselves if they have the support of 69% of the people in other districts. Then they will know that their elected representative will stay true to his creed and this contract…because they wrote it…and they have the power of the whip.
Oh, it will all try to turn to be dribblin’ poop in another thirty years, don’t worry. The Left (we can’t hang them all), the bureaucrats, the special interests, all just like George Michael, will be in their pulling for their own interests by trying to corrupt ours. Only, like Lady Disdain’s testicle lock-box, the districts will all have their lock-boxes, too. And this time, they will pass down to their children the magic of this box, and will be less likely to let it go. If they hold on this next time, the American Experiment will resume, refreshed and renewed…and we few, we precious few, will be remember-ed, for our role in making it happen.
OK, 275, that’s my final offer, but 300 still sounds better.