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As Kevin McCarthy, Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz make pilgrimages down to Mar-a-Lago to meet with their Don, they apparently are required to deposit what’s left of their common sense at the door, engage in the intricate secret handshake and resume their recently interrupted journey into the Twilight Zone. Also known as, American Politics.
While the lack of personal integrity and the ever-present need for higher ethical standards can be viewed as the culprit behind recent lapses in Washington, I think in all fairness to those residing there, some blame for their tendency toward the ridiculous, rests squarely on the shoulders of the DuPont Chemical Company. The company who inadvertently created the chemical in 1938, that would later greatly influence the lives and political ambitions of those in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere.
Like many others before it, the chemical in question, later called Teflon, was the result of an accident in DuPont’s Jackson laboratory. Used first for World War Two's Manhattan Project, it would later go on to greater fame when applied to pots and pans.
This material would eventually enter the political vernacular, and come to be used to describe people who demonstrate the rather unique quality of never having anything unsavory stick to them.
Like prior broken promises or former expressions of shock and dismay, later characterized as a slip of the tongue or the active misrepresentations of the Liberal Press.
A recent example by the Senator from Texas, proves the near endless uses that this material can be applied to. During a crisis that can only be compared to something biblical or an event ripped from the pages of the Hurricane Katrina Playbook, much of the state was locked down. Not by the Coronavirus, but by a raging Mother Nature.
Who periodically seems compelled to vent her frustration at not being listened to, by whacking a state, country or continent upside the head with a deft hand. In this case, bringing sub-zero temperatures down into the sunbelt, bursting water pipes and creating shortages like never before. While an equally bewildered in-state electrical grid system, stuttered and stumbled its way to massive black-outs that left major metropolitan cities literally and figuratively in the dark.
And while his constituents froze in damp houses – he took flight to Cancun. Not because he was trying to negotiate the bolstering of his state’s grid, through astute purchases from our neighbors to the south – but to honor a commitment to his daughters and bring “them” the much-needed Covid-related relief of a weeklong vacation.
And when Twitter, CNN and other bastions of the liberal press took aim at his lack of political empathy – he turned to the mic and with the well-practiced grace of a political Nureyev – blamed it all on his daughters.
Brilliant. We could almost see the angst and shame at his abrupt exit, slide off his countenance and land neatly in a pile at his feet. Ah, the magic of Teflon.
And while Sen. Cruz did the Texas Two-step, there and back, House Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, was still fielding questions about his visit to former president Trump. Having already characterized his visit to Mar-a-Lago as, essentially an opportunity for two people to get in touch with one another’s thoughts and feelings.
“I can talk to anyone,” McCarthy said, “just as I can go talk to Joe Biden if President Biden wants to talk.”
“One of the problems we have in America today is people aren't talking to each other enough,” McCarthy went on, adding “and I don't quite grasp why we're now challenging people that they can't talk to one another.” (Forbes.com)
Who knew that the resolution of so many pressing national issues could be resolved with a little one on one, in a comfortable setting, with a bucket of KFC's finest?
Why this newly found interest in communication didn’t swing across the aisle and apply equally to writing and passing the latest Covid Relief Act before Feb 27, has not been revealed. Perhaps it had something to do with the aforementioned secret handshake, and the Democrats inability to master the seven-step process.
Why the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and Trickle-Down Economics
No one has actually seen the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus for some time, and yet, countless billions are spent in their name every year. So much so, that the mere mention of them not being real, is beaten down and soundly disputed by corporations, business people and politicians across the globe. No one wants to be the one to admit that Santa and the Tooth Fairy are not real, and actively serving mankind each and every day. They will fight for their place in our hearts and minds because for many years they have acted as intellectual placeholders for other myths that frequently find a home in places like Washington, D.C.
Mail-in ballots, as an example, have for decades been as predictable as Old St. Nick and his midnight ride with Rudolf and the gang and yet, for some unknown reason, they recently fell into disrepute, when millions of allegedly fraudulent ballots found their way into the counting boxes and again, just like St. Nick, found their way out again, before anyone had a chance to take a photograph or sign an affidavit.
And yet, there is Ted Cruz, Kevin McCarthy and Lindsey Graham, looking straight into the camera and with the vocal dexterity of a Jeff Dunham, telling a nation that their system of government is both safe and sound, while also being vulnerable to the vagaries of electronic voting machines and the inherent dishonesty of, they-who-must-not-be-named.
If you can't convince them, confuse them. Harry S Truman
Ah, the power of graphs and maps in the hands of a seasoned actor. President Ronald Reagan convinced a generation of well-intentioned politicians and citizens that corporations, left to their own devices, would wisely spend the billions not taken away in taxes and that this spending, this redistribution of said billions would inevitably trickle down to Main Street America and into the pockets of the average person.
Only, during his administration, it didn’t happen exactly as predicted. Some money inevitably went to the average American, but much more went to corporations, their stockholders and the wealthy 1%.
Trickle is not a technical term, nor an Economics one. It’s what happens when you tap a maple tree for its syrup. It moves slowly from one position to another. Invariably where you direct it.
This same theory, only with more modern graphics, was used to promote the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, as a way to get some of the Old Reagan magic back into play. With a proposed tax cut of $1.5 Trillion give or take, that was supposed to do a lot of trickling, it in fact, created a future deficit of about $1 Trillion - according to a 2017 report by the Joint Committee on Taxation. Got to love their math.
While some corporations did invest in infrastructure and research with their tax savings, a rather high amount, somewhere in the neighborhood of $600 Billion, was invested in stock buybacks throughout 2018. (Washington Post, December 2018)
“With stock buybacks, aka share buybacks, the company can purchase the stock on the open market or from its shareholders directly. In recent decades, share buybacks have overtaken dividends as a preferred way to return cash to shareholders. . . . In the public market, a buyback will always increase the stock’s value to the benefit of shareholders.” (Investopedia)
While current GOP members rarely discuss the likes of Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy while standing near a live mic, they apparently still have a great fondness for what these mythical creatures represent. The inherent flexibility of the average person’s mind in believing what they are told, regardless of what the facts might otherwise suggest.
While over 80 million Americans directly voted for President Joe Biden and the Electoral College willingly certified 306 votes for him, there are still GOP members who insist that the election results are far from conclusive and that further investigations are warranted.
Understandable, since reports are still rolling in that the Tooth Fairy and Old St. Nick have recently been placed on the Nation’s No-Fly List, simply as a precaution.
Facts, alternative and otherwise, must at some point actually represent reality. A horse is not a cow, not simply because the two words are dissimilar, but because the creatures are as well.
Votes counted, verified, recounted, and reverified must eventually be accepted if there is no rational reason for them not to be. Using the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus defense, won’t work, because they are actually mythical creatures. Just like Trump in many cases, but that’s a separate article.
Pilgrimages are generally assigned to religious endeavors and missions of faith. Neither of which applies to Mar-a-Lago. These are simply acts of self-indulgence. Adults, well beyond the age of consent, having a tantrum because they lost. Not because of actual cheating or a rules violation, but because the “referees” refused to give them 10 free throws at the end of regulation time.
So, instead of accepting defeat and shaking the other team’s hands, they are huddled on the sideline, planning to hide the whistles, deflate the balls and keep the other team from playing any professionals. Just to make things even.
Yep, politics as usual.