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Geoff Metcalf
March 3, 2003

Republicans currently control the Oval Office AND both houses of Congress.

Why then do petty, mean spirited, obstructionist in Democratic Party still control the agenda?

Linda Chavez touched on the seminal cancer in a recent Washington Times piece, “Republicans play by gentlemen's rules. Democrats play to win.”  And there ARE consequences.  “Republican sportsmanlike conduct has cost them dearly over the years. Republican diffidence helped doom Robert Bork's Supreme Court nomination, almost derailed Clarence Thomas' confirmation to the high court, and is likely to defeat Miguel Estrada's appellate court bid as well.” Chavez writes.  I don’t agree with Linda that Estrada is doomed, but he certainly is in jeopardy.

Liberal democrats are not in control…but they never got the memo. It is almost as if by ignoring the reality it will go away.  And it has.   Regrettably, the GOP lacks the insight, reason or ‘stones’ to impress upon their recalcitrant opposition the Golden Rule:  “The guy with the gold makes the rules.” Sounds cold, and thuggish, but hey, if ANYone should understand the complexities of legislative thuggery it ought to be liberal democrats.

The Demoncrat fatwa over judicial appointments and threat of filibuster is merely a symptom of a far more toxic cacogenic. Idealalogs, sycophants, and partisan ‘faithful’ (in both parties) are so wrapped up in the “us” versus “them’ sophomoric skirmishes they have long since become incapable of recognizing or legislating WHAT is right rather than (in their myopic view) WHO is right.

The nexus of the toxicity may well be the system and process in which “legislators” are required to be “politicians”.  Lawmaking and campaigning are in many seminal ways mutually exclusive. However, in order to get into congress

  • You have to get elected
  • In order to get elected you have to campaign
  • In order to campaign you need MONEY.

The unintended consequence of the process is that raising money and campaigning may get someone elected but THEN it’s like a narcotic.

·        To STAY in congress you need to get reelected

·        Which means you have to raise MORE money…..

·        And the beat goes on…..

The Bill Clinton machine is perhaps the best personification of the perpetual campaign mode. The perpetual campaign mode opens the door to corruption and/or at the absolute least (even in the most well intended) the perception of impropriety.

We elect ‘representatives’ to participate (in our behalf and interest) in a representative constitutional republic. However, inevitably, the ‘perception’ is that they represent their own careerism and the special interest groups that fuel their campaign money addiction.

The Washington Times rant over legislative obstructionism is spot on…but it is only half the story.  “It's time Republicans learned to play hardball.” Chavez wrote.  She observed, “the Republicans haven't been willing to call the Democrats' bluff.” Duh!?!? Gosh-oh-gee-golly!?!? A Republican stand on principle is as arcane a concept as gun grabbers acknowledging facts that contradict their agenda.

I have been preaching for decades “there are consequences to the things we do and don’t do”.  It is a matter of physics:  action/reaction stuff. And it holds true everywhere EXCEPT in that 87-square mile NeverNeverLand of our nations capitol.

Apparently I wasn’t the only one disappointed to learn that John Travolta’s character Gabriel in ‘Swordfish’ was speaking pure fiction when he told another character in the film, “Thomas Jefferson once shot a man on the White House lawn for treason.” It never happened in history…but the concept sounds cool.

A chronic frustration (at least personally) is that elected officials put their hand on a bible and swear a sacred oath to “Preserve and protect the Constitution of the United States against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic…” and then immediately proceed to demonstrate by word and deed actions designed to impede, undermine or abrogate that very Constitution. Anyone and everyone who does that is guilty of at least perjury and fraud, and probably treason. However, there are no consequences for their crimes. Rather, we the people, reward their treachery by reelecting the same disingenuous, duplicity scum. Go figure.

Meanwhile, since there doesn’t seem to be any immediate cure for the corrupted broken ‘process’, the GOP (which remains marginally the lesser of available evils) needs to use some of the legislative muscle they have and deal with the opposition using classic rewards and punishment.  “Okay you jackass….here’s the carrot…and here’s the stick. Now pay attention!”

© 2003 Geoff Metcalf - All Rights Reserved

Geoff is a veteran media performer. He has had an eclectic professional background covering a wide spectrum of radio, television, magazine, and newspapers.  A former Green Beret and retired Army officer he is in great demand as a speaker. Metcalf has hosted his radio talk show on the ABC/Disney owned and operated KSFO and in worldwide syndication.