If I could reach back in time to consult with Elizabeth Barrett Browning for proper wording of this column, I have no doubt what she would say about Congress and the President, "How are you disingenuous? Let me count the ways!"
My inclination is to use somewhat stronger language to describe the prevaricating, inept, and/or grifter approach our elected leaders utilize to fill our heads with their confusion of political excrement, but I will, at least in this case, defer to the kinder, gentler expertise of Ms. Browning for my descriptions.
In the wee morning hours of New Year's Day, the U.S. Senate caved to most of the president's socialist demands and voted to raise taxes an ineffective amount, promote class warfare, reduce federal spending not a whit, and insure that NASCAR has enough money next season to afford that expensive fuel for those undoubtedly green vehicles they drive in a circle.
Perhaps next they will vote to do away with the words "In God We Trust" on our money and replace it with the more recognizable mantra, "Turn Left! Turn Left!" Wow! That's certainly an unexpected but excellent double entendre! Good for me!
Only a few hours later, after much prancing and threatening and bloviating to impress their constituents, the House followed suit, thereby becoming a “tax and spend” body just like the president and Senate. “We'll do the right thing and fix it later,” they say. Yeah, right!
Back to Ms. Browning and her gentle question of disingenuousness. Congress voted for this “fiscal cliff” nonsense months ago, purportedly as a penalty so terrifying and so severe to be inflicted on the American people that it would force the revered House and Senate (revered, at least, in their own minds) to do their jobs.
I think that qualifies for the 'I' word, Ms. Browning. Congress refuses to do the job for which it is paid, so it legislates severe penalties on American citizens. Isn't that a little like me refusing to mow my lawn, then demanding that the police throw my neighbors in jail until I do?
Media talking heads have done their very best to frighten us into believing this 'fiscal cliff' is a crisis that will devastate us, and that there is no way around it if Congress doesn't act.
But wait! Didn't the president demand on Dec. 31, even though the Senate had already agreed to his tax increase, that they also should turn off the mandatory sequester? Turn off?
Doesn't that imply that maybe this whole fiscal cliff nonsense isn't so critical after all — that it is not really a crisis, that it is only one of many, many flim-flams with which the government has cheated the public in recent years? Doesn't it imply that, if they wanted to, Congress could have simply turned off the entire fiscal cliff issue and started all over with the new Congress?
By extension, could that possibly give rights to the American citizens to turn off the results of the last election and start all over. Maybe we could elect a group that is not so… disingenuous!
Now that our solons have passed tax increases (don't forget, middle class, that they raised the SS tax and capital gains tax for all of us) while doing nothing to curb wildly excessive spending, we get to watch them bluster and rant about "We'll get serious about spending cuts in a few weeks when we get into the debt limit debate."
Give us a break, guys!
Could it be you are just manufacturing yet another crisis to keep CNN's ratings up and guarantee greater sales of blood pressure meds to your constituency? Isn't it true that you plan to argue and puff your chests out until the very last instant (that sounds alarmingly familiar) and then cave once more to the tax-and-spend-us-into-oblivion crew?
Disingenuous? That certainly is a mild word, Liz, to describe what our elected so-called representatives are doing to “we the people.” We did elect them, however, and by default entrusted them to do what is best for us. I am reminded of the time in history when an Army scout said to George Armstrong Custer, "No, Colonel, there ain't no Indians over that hill."
Sometimes trust is grossly misplaced. If Christian virtue and political correctness require us to use the mild adjectives of a Victorian era poet, perhaps we can add one more word to the descriptor, and feel much better about it. Criminally Disingenuous! It won't help balance your checkbook, but it makes for a much more accurate description of the confidence men who currently occupy the nation's capital.
Steven Abernathy is a resident of Destin and author of the recently published novel “Noah.” He also co-authored the political thrillers “Nikita’s War” and “A Question of Character.” All are available through Amazon.com.