Can you imagine a world in which there were no consequences for your actions? Or, better yet, one in which you were rewarded for doing nothing?
Imagine if, like Peter Gibbons -- the main character in Mike Judge's 9-5 classic Office Space -- you could simply decide not to work anymore and, suddenly, instead of getting worse, your life gets better?
Well, say hello to the U.S. Congress.
Right under our collective noses, the worst body of representatives in the history of the United States prepares to -- once again -- play chicken with each other, on our dime, with absolutely zero consequences if they should succeed in failing. And, as of the writing of this article, it looks like they have.
In fact, not only will there be no dire consequences, but, as is astutely pointed out by Washington Post columnist Petula Dvorak, all will most likely be forgotten about by next Tuesday. And, she's absolutely right.
Meanwhile, a vacationing Capitol Hill will continue to enjoy the perks of being America's version of "Kings and Queens"; chauffeur-driven limos, lunches at swank Potomac eateries, and the best part of all -- an uninterrupted paycheck.
And, while Dvorak's scathing article encourages readers to post their best ideas on how to best punish these sorry excuses for leaders for the latest in a series of utter failures to do the job they were put there to do (everything from a firing squad, to an infant's 'time-out,' to my personal favorite -- shut down C-span), it's all just wishful thinking.
The truth is, as much as we'd like to see thousands marching in the streets around noon tomorrow, finally demanding -- with voice stentorian -- that our elected officials be held, once and for all, to the same standards as the rest of us, Dvorak is correct when she points out our collective memory these days lasts about as long as a stick of gum.
No matter it's going to be on every news channel, on every search engine, all over social media sites and blogs round-the-clock. On top of the fact that we've lived through so many governmental disasters in recent memory, e.g.
-Lying to create war,
-Financial criminals running amok and unpunished,
-Eavesdropping on our private conversations,
to name just a few, in two to three days, some moron in Tallahassee will walk into a Walmart and open fire, thereby stealing the desensitized spotlight.
Regardless of whatever headline takes up our 30-minute news cycle these days, one thing is clear:
These clowns on Capitol Hill can do whatever they want and come out unscathed.
After all, this is the same bunch of magicians who, when, just months ago, public outcry forced them to repeal their legal right to commit insider trading, they struck down the bill after about a day and reinstated the congressional 'gravy train.'
In reality, what will happen at this point, no doubt, is more days -- if not weeks -- of incessant bickering by the political version of the Hatfields and the McCoys, while the rest of us go about our days talking about it at the office cooler and wishing things were different.
So, the question is: How much more of this crap can we actually take?
When you're at the point where you can almost count the days between mass shootings, doesn't that tell you something?
What kind of insane system of government have we convinced ourselves to shrug our shoulders and ultimately accept?
Case in point; who else but Americans would allow themselves to be governed by representatives who have us paying for them to receive the best health care money can buy, while, in return, they drag us through the mud every chance they get and create a system so enigmatic it will be decades before an average citizen can walk into a hospital without fear of going broke.
These kinds of problems cannot be fixed by "another election."
No matter who we put in office next time around, it really won't do much to alter the course we are on with regards to an "above the law" Congress. It will just put another few hundred schmucks in their place.
But, don't look to me for an answer. I, too, sit and shrug my shoulders wondering how the heck to get out of this mess.
I often wonder if men like Jefferson, Franklin, and Washington were around now, how much more of this would they take before they took it upon themselves to overthrow the palace guard?