Republicans used their second day in charge of the House to read the Constitution to each other. This is good. Holding the majority of one chamber of Congress will require both political parties to decide who they are. Are Democrats really interested in unemployment, health care, banking regulation and the long-term health of the planet? Are Republicans still just angry that a non-citizen and practicing Muslim got elected president so he could send death panels around to enslave us in the chains of Mexican Marxists?
Nobody looks on the marathon health-care debate and the latest stimulus bill as a noble chapter in political science. No legislator is going to have a hospital or school named for him in honor of his heroic work. (Maybe a parking ramp.) Meanwhile, one-sixth of our population is without health insurance, and over ten percent are unemployed while the wealth gap gross and the middle class disappears.
If our nation is to learn anything from the shooting rampage that took place at a gathering for political dialogue in Arizona this weekend, both parties will have to wake up and realize that running on anger is not such a great idea. For one thing, it's hard to sustain. Government does not change when you yell at it. The world doesn't run on slogans and ideology, it runs on compromise and paperwork. Government can not be run on Blue or Red ideals alone, there being so many purple people occupying flyover country. One has to wonder if our Congressmen realize that our Constitution was written in order to form a more perfect UNION and not simply a cluster of warring ideologues. The remarkable thing about great Statesmen are not their high ideals, that at some point differences and ego are set aside for the greater good.
My heart was gladdened by an official-looking sign in the Bush airport when I went to pick up Alex the other day. Just beyond the TSA checkpoint, hanging over where you put your shoes and coat back on and stuff your laptop back in the case: The sign said, "Recombobulation Area." The English language gains a new word. Recombobulate, America. Pull yourself together, tie your shoelaces, and check your over sized ego before boarding.