Three grumpy old white men form a triumvirate of virtually everything that is wrong with the political system of abject dysfunction that currently is preventing anything positive or hopeful for the American people. Dick Cheney, Bill O'Reilly, and Rudy Giuliani represent a modern day version of the Three Stooges, take your pick who is who but for my money Cheney is Moe, O'Reilly is Larry, and Giuliani is Curly. But their antics, while reflective of the foolishness of their namesakes, have consequences that are all too real and destructive. And the dysfunction they encourage has a very strong grip on a system that has drifted into paralysis. The accompanying cynicism is only reinforced by the viciousness of their attacks upon reason, common sense and respect for the system they purport to "love".
Cheney is the architect of the nation's most deadly blunder (Iraq) in history, O'Reilly is a boisterous bloviator of disinformation that personifies the politics of personal destruction and ideological purity, and Giuliani is a circus clown disguised as a political hack so desperate for attention that he is willing to act like a spoiled and foolish adolescent. Together they form what passes for the heart of the lunatic fringe of the current Republican Party. Together they are far less than the sum of their parts. Together they do more to discourage patriotic fervor than promote it. But make no mistake, there actions are dangerous.
Together they will spearhead another in a long string of calamitous mishaps when it comes to electing the next leader of the free world. So to some perverse extent right-thinking, conscientious, and truly patriotic individuals ought to derive some degree of satisfaction knowing that the party of Lincoln will once again suffer from its own internal disintegration. But as a country are we not better than that? Cheney should be in jail, O'Reilly should be out of a job, and Giuliani should be in a home in Florida.
Aside from the practical effects of their collective and individual treachery, however, it is increasingly worrisome to those who have grown weary of the rancorous partisanship that has brought our governmental and political systems to a standstill. These modern-day Stooges continue to contribute to the gross cynicism that drives participation in our electoral system down except in national elections. In a sense they are a traveling carnival of snake oil salesmen promoting de facto voter suppression which is the political elixir they peddle. They are little more than purveyors of pessimism hiding behind a veil of patriotism.
Where is the outrage in the Grand Old Party that should be more appropriately labeled the Grand Obstructionist Party? Far from decrying the self-destructive activities of some of its elder statesmen, the Speaker is busy orchestrating an ill-advised and petty display of gotcha by staging a blatantly political event designed to embarrass the President. That this too will most likely further damage the GOP brand makes the maneuver all that more asinine. People are simply tired of such sinister hucksterism.
Together these amateurish and vindictive gambits do more to hurt the institution of the Presidency than the President. That our political leaders are engaged in such nonsense does more to shed light on their own self-deluded notions of patriotism than anything that the opposition could do or say. That these actions drive a further wedge in the real and perceived level of political dysfunction witnessed by the general populace is both sad and dangerous.
At some point the protective wall of gerrymandered congressional redistricting will fall and the exposure will wipe out many of the pompous idiots that occupy positions of responsibility and power in our representative democratic system. But until that day we as a nation will continue to languish in the toxic cesspool of politics that currently poisons our democratic well. Grow up and do the people's work and for God's sake will somebody please put a muzzle on the Three Stooges, it is neither funny nor productive.