Tuesday, November 2, 2010

This Congress We Will Have Tomorrow

I was bartending a week ago when a partially sloshed, completely abrasive woman grabbed my hand and without consent, starting studying its contours. She looked me in the eyes and with unyielding certainty, told me that A) the relationship I was in at the moment was not working, B) I had recently given up on a very successful career and was now bartending while I searched for my future vocation, and C) I was so sick and tired of people questioning my sexual orientation that for the first time in my life, I was considering changing it.

She said this with the type of unflappable conviction that can only come from someone that is completely and utterly full of shit. So I looked at her, smiled warmly and then told her that I had not had a girlfriend for over three years. And that even though I have always been a fairly good writer and actor, I was an abject failure at it when gauged by monetary measuring sticks and despite this, had no desire to abandon it in search of something else. Furthermore, I told her pointedly that the only time in my life that I had to defend my sexual orientation was when I was in rehab and a cokewhore insisted that I was gay because I wouldn’t fuck her on a ping-pong table with two Russian alcoholics watching us.

There is a point to this story, I promise you. This knucklehead knew not my past so she could not make sense of my present and surely could not forecast my future. This being said, she would probably have even more difficulty foretelling what will happen if the Republicans gain control of one or maybe even both houses of Congress.

But allow me to prognosticate if I may. And I don’t need The Secret, The Power or the wisdom of the ancients to guide me on my quest. I don’t need bat wing broth, eye of newt or lizards tongue to remember the past. Nor will reading Bill O’Reily’s on-air EKG or Todd Palin’s snowmobiling resume allow me to see the future. 

It was originally my intent to mourn the impending doom of the Republican Tea Party Apocolypse that is drawing nigh but I decided that such negativity would be futile. It was also my intent to cite what Republican-heavy Congresses of the past hath wrought and then attempt to predict what one might do in the future. But this turned out to be a lot more work than I anticipated. And besides, much like my bar patron, I cannot predict the future based on the past. I can only speculate as to what might happen if the Republicans pull off the coup d’ etat grand on Election Day and my conclusions may surprise you, especially if you are a democrat.

Yes some bad things may happen. But maybe some good things will as well.

Exhibit A, Nancy Pelosi will be muzzled and silenced. The world will rejoice, erupting in unified jubilation, especially the Democrats. 

Another potentially good side affect is that the Republican legislation paradigm, which, for the last two years, has been to simply wipe their asses with any piece of paper that comes from the other side of the aisle, will have to change. If in power of one of both houses, they will have no choice but to actually come up with some ideas of their own. Hopefully these ideas will be more creative than cutting taxes even if we can’t afford to and to stop spending money on everything including the construction of a wall that will prevent our economy from plummeting into the Grand Canyon. Playing the role of obstructionist party-pooper will not suffice if they have any aspirations of taking back the White House in 2012. Or if that fails, there’s always Bristol Palin in 2044.

And with the election behind them, the Democrats that actually managed to keep their jobs can stop formulating legislative agendas based on electoral demographics. I’m talking to you Harry Reid. Furthermore, they can start writing and voting for legislation that will create jobs, not merely preserve their own.

Admittedly, I always thought that a filibuster-proof supermajority was the only way to actually achieve any significant legislative victories. This proved true in Health Care Reform and the Financial Reform Bill where Dems needed every inch of their majority to get them passed.

And yes, part of me is petrified that a Republican Congress will successfully slaughter the Health Care Bill, legitimately legalize water-boarding, resurrect Bush’s tax cuts for the rich and start a war with Iceland.

But…perhaps a Congress that is fairly evenly divided might actually be a good thing.

I am probably being helplessly optimistic here but maybe bipartisanship can only be achieved by forcing our elected officials into a position where they have no choice but to work together to save their country, the future of their parties and most importantly, THEIR JOBS!

This round of political cagefighting has crescendoed and will dissipate into nothingness by morning. And if the noxious air left behind is not filtered out of Capital Hill, any bills pertaining to economic growth, climate change and ending both wars will choke to death before they even hit the bottom of the “hopper.”

And this country cannot afford to continue trailing the rest of the world on education, clean energy technology and efforts to curb the effects of global warming which, I assure you, IS ACTUALLY FUCKING HAPPENING!!!

It is time for Congress to govern. Once the last verbal mud-pie has been slung and the last campaign ad featuring dead fetuses has aired and the last vote has been cast, it will be time for politicians and their politicking ways to take a back seat to action.

Congress, no matter how it is stacked, needs to cut the bullshit and get to work.

Fiscal hawks and tax-and-spend gorgers will have to create jobs together. The inaugural Tea Party class and uber-gay, bleeding hearts like Barnie Frank will just have to hate each other on their own time, while working together to get our troops out of that goddamn Middle Eastern desert. 

I watched the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear and after the substandard jokes and sing-alongs, Jon Stewart gave what I though was a very poignant speech. He did not vilify the right as I thought he might, nor did he lambaste the left. He simply made a gentle plea to the roughly quarter-million attendees to “Stop the insanity.” “If you amplify everything, you hear nothing.” He said to great affect.

Well spoken Jon. When too many things get amplified, distortion usually follows. And while it is difficult to intelligently communicate amidst all this distortion, it is impossible to govern.

So…with the campaign circus leaving town, off to wallow in the same limbo where all campaigns go to spend their afterlives, can we now focus on improving our future?

Maybe America is just like me. Maybe, like me and my imaginary girlfriend from Niagara Falls, Congress is also in a troubled relationship. And maybe they can mend what has long-since frayed.

Maybe the left versus right vitriol is a side effect of my own confused sexuality that is teetering on the brink of a systematic overhaul.

Perhaps what was most amusing about my encounter with my apple-martini-guzzling seer was that she gave me her phone number with a wink, a smile and an eye-fuck as if she already knew that I would call her before she even reached the exit.

When she did leave, I immediately began asking questions. Because, remember this, it is always important to ask questions. It is the process during which we illuminate life and self. So if she was a psychic…and she can see the future…why did she give me her phone number if she already knew that the moment she left my bar, I was going to light it on fire?

There are lessons to be learned in this blog. Can you hear them? Can you understand them? If not, they are as follows.

1)    Drinking massive amounts of vodka and Apple Pucker does not instill a person with clairvoyance, it just gives them heartburn and makes them annoying.
2)    Beer muscles have, for the first time, manifested in the form of an inaccurate perception of one’s psychic skills.
3)    Congress is a dysfunctional wasteland where difficult bills go to retire and die, much like northeastern Jews who have relocated to Boca Raton.
4)    I have had a great deal of fun fornicating with women and only women for most of my adult life.

But maybe, just maybe…all of this will change tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow our leaders will actually lead with their hearts and not with the wallets of the hemorrhoids that financed their campaigns.

Maybe tomorrow Jaegermeister will instill mankind with the power to levitate and predict natural disasters. 

Maybe tomorrow the turbulent crosswinds circling Capital Hill will die down just a bit and the very concept of bipartisanship will graduate from ‘fantastical optimism’ to ‘political reality.’

Maybe tomorrow we will draft legislation that creates jobs, improves education and erects an energy philosophy devoid of oil and coal.

Maybe tomorrow, I will wake up spooning a slim, oiled-up man named Sven. With Streisand serenading us, we will giggle about all they years I wasted penetrating vaginas with my misguided member. We will dream of a world where laws get passed that allow us to get married before we openly join the military together. With Sven wrapped around my torso in a camouflaged baby bjorn, I will feed him MREs and we will giggle some more. We will dream of a world where the best people, through the democratic process, come up with the best ideas…and then those ideas become the laws that insure that every citizen of this country will get their slice of that mirage that is the American Dream.

Mmmmm, what a tomorrow that would be.

But whatever unfolds tomorrow, I hope you vote today.

Article first published as This Congress We Shall Have Tomorrow... on Technorati.