Huffpost Homepage
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Bill Mann Headshot

The Parliament of Whores: Sen. Specter's Beloved Home

Posted: Updated:

Sen. Arlen "The In" Specter, after casting a vote against Pres Obama's budget, made this anything-but-startling statement an interview yesterday:

"I'm interested in staying in the Senate, for good reason," Specter said.

For good reason, all right. These guys (and gals) in the Senate are so deeply in love with themselves, their perks, their sycophants (lobbying and otherwise), their courtesans, and their self-proclaimed role as a "deliberative body" (OPEC is also a deliberative body, as were Tony Soprano's pals at the Ba Da Bing) that you usually have to carry them out of the Senate chamber feet first.

Even a Parliament of Whores, to use P.J. O'Rourke's memorable description, has a hierarchy, and the U.S. Senate is our House of Whorelords.

Look at soon-officially-to-be ex-Senator Norm "Bituminous" Coleman, as one example. The guy would give up anything to claw back the Senate seat he snatched from atop the late Sen. Paul Wellstone's grave.

We've made a major change in the Executive branch of government. Why stop there?

Here's a good example of how the current Senate works:

A Cabinet appointee shows up to be confirmed by Specter and/or his deeply deliberative cronies, um, Honorable Colleagues.

First and foremost, you tell the Esteemed Senators how important and how wise they are. You basically spend two or three days kissing their butts, repeating to them How Very Special they are, paying homage and tribute, telling them how much you value their learned opinions.

Only then, they may -- or may not -- deign to confirm you. Even one of their recent graduates, Secretary of State nominee Hillary Clinton, had to play the fealty game not long ago.

Don't believe it? Watch a Senate confirmation hearing on C-SPAN some time. The script here never varies: Kiss butt. Kiss more butt. Tell these self-important artifacts how truly special they are. If you disagree with their crackpot views, put any differences on "Mute." I've seen stand-up comedians who are less needy than U.S. Senators. Render unto Caesar what is Sid Caesar's.

As we know, it's not so easy to get rid of most Senators, a disproportionate number of whom are from less populated, red "Deliverance" states -- thanks to the founding Fathers who Knew Best. Some are carried out feet first.

The Senators love it atop what they assume to be Olympus. Specter may be the saddest/best example.

And when they're pushed off, they never quite get over their pathetic, lingering delusions of grandeur.

Then, they start working the street, where they feel quite comfortable.