Thursday, January 19, 2012

Political Waffling

Spent the time today to call the local congresscritter's office (Jaime Herrera-Beutler, the name after the hyphen snuck in after she got elected) to tell her that the SOPA law was a pile of grunt.

The phone was answered by a very nice, very sincere young woman who labored long and hard to leave every bit of wiggle room possible in her answers.  "CongressCritter Herrera is monitoring the bill as it moves through committee", "Congresswoman Herrera has concerns with the bill", and "we have had a lot of calls expressing concern" were the most concrete answers I was able to get out of the staffer.

But she was a nice young woman, brought to mind a passage out of Neal Stephenson's "Snow Crash".

“They say that in D.C., all the museums and the monuments have been concessioned out and turned into a tourist park that now generates about 10 percent of the Government's revenue.

The Feds could run the concession themselves and probably keep more of the gross, but that's not the point. It's a philosophical thing. A back-to-basics thing. Government should govern. It's not in the entertainment industry, is it? Leave entertaining to Industry weirdos -- people who majored in tap dancing. Feds aren't like that. Feds are serious people. Poli-sci majors. Student council presidents. Debate club chairpersons. The kinds of people who have the grit to wear a dark wool suit and a tightly buttoned collar even when the temperature has greenhoused up to a hundred and ten degrees and the humidity is thick enough to stall a jumbo jet. The kinds of people who feel most at home on the dark side of a one-way mirror.”
Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash

Again Stephenson is my muse, and he writes descriptions of things that touch the quick of things.

That is why I miss our old congresscritter Brian Baird.  Brian was a child psychologist before going off the deep end and running for federal office.  I really think that he was moved by the idea that he was going to try and make the world better.  I had the pleasure of knowing him in college down in Utah long ago and far away and he was just a damn fine guy there too.

I think in the end, he got sick of it and tossed it all away because, at  heart, he was a good and decent man.  The shenanigans probably just got the better of him.  

I don't get the idea that CC Herrera has that same makeup.  I see her fighting to the last nail to hold onto her privileges and power.  It appears that it is what drives her.

So much the loss


Craig Cavanaugh said...

Sadly it is the rare person who dives into the federal cesspool for purely honorable reasons. These days it is a cash cow and club for petty tyrants. Getting to be that way on the local level too (has been for a long time here in Corpitos...) No really good person could stand that snake pit for long. No sane person...

russell1200 said...

I sent e-mauls to my congress critters. Monitoring seems to be the action word for those caught on the wrong side.