Monday, September 30, 2013

The Open Bar in the House.

Now I don't want anybody to get me wrong here. I am NOT a teetotaler and see nothing wrong with a drink now and then.  I happen to own more than a few bottles of one kind of alcoholic stuff or another, including some rather not-cheap bottles of good Scotch.  I like Scotch.  I like a beer every now and then and like a good wine with a meal occasionally.  I even have a glass of wine with the Cyber-wife very so often, too!

But if there is one thing I have learned in my life, it is that there is a time and a place for everything, and if there is one place and one time which is most certainly NOT meant for drinking, it is on the floor of the US House of Representatives during a gaveled in session considering a bill to keep the government open past the end of the current Fiscal year!

Yes, you heard me right.  Last Saturday night, while considering the Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the government open into the 2014 fiscal year, Republican members of the House were on the floor, DRINKING.  It was so bad, members of the press in the gallery above the floor could smell it wafting to their level, and journalists outside the doors could smell it on the House members as they went in and out the doors.  One lady tweeted that she'd run into at least two of them in the liquor store!

The allegations by the press who witnessed this include the fact that it was Republican members who were guilty of this disgraceful behavior.

Now, in the last few years, we've seen and heard some awful things from the mouths of these people, and they've done some terrible things legislatively to some particular parts of the American people, especially gays and women.  But one can always claim that those are true differences of opinion based on differing political ideals.

Not this.  This kind of behavior betrays a contempt for the office they hold, for the Chamber of the Congress they belong to, for the government of which they are an integral part, and for the American people they have been elected to represent.  There just aren't sufficient words in the English language to express my utter contempt, disgust, loathing, outrage and simple abhorrence for not only the actions of these people, but for the men themselves who would dare to dishonor the sacred halls of our democracy and the traditions of this great country by such juvenile and contemptuous behavior in the very heart of where the laws of this land are created.

It shows their utter contempt for the democratic traditions of the process they are a part of and their complete lack of care for the people whose lives and well being they hold in their hands.  It shows the shameful lack of control which the leaders of the Republican party either inadvertently displayed or purposefully exercised on that occasion.  I tend to think it is an utter failure of leadership, whether purposeful or not.

This is outrageous behavior.  This is inexcusable under almost any conceivable circumstance.  I cannot possibly imagine what other countries must think of the United States after this display of complete and unbridled lack of not just decorum, but civilized behavior.

There was a time when, as an American citizen, I could hold my head up high, knowing that I was a citizen of the greatest and most honorable democracy the world had ever seen.  Knowing that our country was a shining light of what humans could endeavor to build in the way of governance and upholding human rights.

No longer.  After last Saturday night, this country has been demonstrated to be no better than a third world banana republic, unable to even maintain a minimum of civil behavior within the halls of its lawmaking body.

Today, I am ashamed to be an American.  Thanks, Republicans.  Thanks, a bunch.

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