Archive for May, 2011

Seems to me, in no other area of our lives are regular exhibitions of hypocrisy and mindless self-promotion so prevalent as in our common political structure. In the last week, we’ve seen two beauties on the national stage. No, not that New York real estate windbag. The other self-promoting hypocrites.

One was in that Great State of Texas, where the governor maintains his electoral nutbase by regularly talking about secession from the rest of us – going it alone in typical Texas B.S. Yep, ol’ Guv. Rick Perry likes to talk about withdrawing his state from the Union without any mention of the fact that, occasionally, the rest of us would like to see it happen.

Now, you and I know that would mean dividing all the state’s bills among the residents therein which would create staggering taxes, even for Texans. Immediate and permanent loss of all federal dollars, the amount of which has to be in the hundreds of billions each year. No reliance on the nation’s armed services for protection. The new Nation of Texas would have nothing but its own resources to pay for all the things the rest of us take for granted. Oh, what a miserable existence. That’s what electing guys square-earthers like Perry can lead to.

So we’ve been listening to the Guv rant and rave for a couple of years. But, all of a sudden, he’s got an entirely different tune. At the top of his fringy lungs.

Now, NOW to be exact, he wants the federal government – and all of us who live under its protection – to pony up millions if not billions of dollars to bail out homeowners, landowners and cattle folks who’ve had some losses from all those wildfires. NOW! He’s repeatedly condemned the president for inaction and not putting all our resources at his disposal. NOW! We haven’t moved quickly enough!

Seems he’s forgotten about all that video tape out there that contains his previous messages; the ones …oh, the many, many ones … that accuse the rest of us of interfering with the affairs of his little flat corner of the world. The ones showing him groveling for votes by saying, if he gets much madder about that interference, he’ll lead all the other malcontents out the statehood exit. Oh, the irony.

The second “I-have-no-shame-at-all” message of recent days comes from Sen. Richard Shelby, the Alabama Republican fella who’s used the floor of the U.S. Senate for two years to call Pres. Obama everything but human. Just one for instance: you may recall, when the president went to Europe to sign the START treaty, Shelby called in the media and made his own uninvited trip to Paris – at taxpayer expense – to charge we were being sold out to the Russians. Or somebody. He bashed the president, got his 20 minutes on camera, had a couple of good French meals, then announced “mission accomplished” and flew home.

Ah, but this week, when Pres. Obama made his trip to Tuscaloosa to see the tornado damage and personally extend the nation’s sympathies to those who had lost so much, there – in the front row behind the president where all the TV cameras could find him – there stood a grim-faced Sen. Shelby. He wasn’t off to the side so as not to be too closely associated with the man he’s denounced about everything for so long. No, he got himself right there in the back, just off center a bit, so the cameras could find him. Snuggling up to the president. Doing his duty. Talk about “off center.”

From time to time, all of us have done something or said something that could have earned us the title of “hypocrite for a day.” I sure have. Just part of the life process. But it’s doubtful you and I’ve ever taken to a stage, a platform, a television studio, the floor of a legislative assembly or the United States Senate to establish our hypocritic credentials. Not so Gov. Perry and Sen. Shelby.

It’s been said “consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.” Maybe. But such repeated verbal double-speak seems to portend even smaller craniums. There’s no reason – in any debate or in any political arena – to act the fool as these two have. Often. Both offer persuasive evidence of why we have the political messes we do today. Rather than seek compromise or offer counsel, these two – and a lot of their fringy friends – compound those problems with such ignorant rants.

I’d like to think there was hope these two would learn something from their former statements and actions; that they’d reorder their speech and their conduct to reflect a more rationed view of the world and their respective places in it. That they’d absorb the outright hypocrisy and give the rest of us a break.

Don’t hold your breath.