Watching what occurs in Washington is so funny it hurts

There’s only one thing left to do. When it comes time to take a look at what’s going on in Washington, all we can do is laugh. It hurts too much any more if one tries to take it seriously.

Really, how could anyone take that bunch of yahoos seriously anyway? Any of them? From the president on down to those 87 mischievous freshmen Republican House members who are wagging the dog, as well as all the puffed-up stuffed shirts in between who can’t keep their troops in line.

They’re all nothing more than low-hanging fruit for late-night comedians and pop-stand newspaper columnists. Who am I to waste a fat pitch?

Let’s start with what had to be the most hilarious headline to come out of the thousands of stories about the debt ceiling debacle. It was from the New York Times: “Lawmakers in Both Parties Fear That New Budget Panel Will Erode Authority.”

Really? They can’t be serious. These are the guys who got us into this mess and who just passed what they collectively think is a solution to the problem and they’re bellyaching about what they just did.

I don’t know about you, but I find that humorous. That is, when I don’t find it disturbing. Do you really want these guys and gals to have more authority? It’s generally not a good idea to give more responsibility and more decision-making authority to someone with a proven track-record of juvenile behavior.

What they’re worried about is the Super Duper Special Bluer than Blue Ribbon Committee that’s going to get together and have a very nice lunch and decide how to go about fixing this whole overspending problem. When the committee figures everything out, Congress is supposed to rubber stamp the recommendation and that’ll be that. That will occur about Christmas Eve.

But, just in case, say, they have bad service at lunch, or somebody on the committee chokes on a raw oyster or something, and they don’t get their work done, then the budget automatically gets cut. Somebody in the hospital on Medicare that day is only going to have half his appendix taken out, for example, and a soldier on his way home from Afghanistan is going to get dropped off in London and told that’s as far as Uncle Sam’s going to take him. (That’s not so bad when you think about it — getting dropped in London, I mean, not getting half a surgery.)

I don’t know if these guys are really worried about the committee taking over their authority or if they’re just angry they’re going to miss the really good free lunch.

Speaking of juvenile behavior, the 100 good (I use the term loosely) men and women in the Senate, after voting on the debt ceiling, blew out of the beltway without resolving a Federal Aviation Administration labor problem that would have left about 4,000 FAA construction inspectors and thousands more civilian contractors without a way to get paid or reimbursed for expenses. Here’s what the senators said to these hard-working Americans: Use your personal funds for expenses and we’ll catch up with you after we get back from the beach. Now that’s leadership.

Fortunately, a temporary arrangement to keep FAA fully operational until September was approved later in the week.

And then there’s Colorado’s own 3rd District congressman, the painted-pot salesman from Cortez who can’t remember what he said two days ago, much less the import of what he’s doing in the nation’s capital.

Scott Tipton opined to The Daily Sentinel a couple days before the history-making debt-ceiling vote that failure of the United States to make good on its debts would be devastating to the economy and the country.

So I guess that’s why he voted against the compromise that prevented default. Secretly he must want all manner of calamity to befall the U.S. of A.

Or maybe there’s a cynical reason. These are our country’s leaders we’re talking about here. They’re about as well-regarded as … well, newspaper people. Snake oil salesmen aren’t around anymore or they’d be at the bottom of the list of respected professions. Probably.

Maybe Tipton voted no to get himself some political cover. Just think about it. He voted “No,” so if this whole deal doesn’t work — and let’s face it, Congress is involved, so there’s a good chance it won’t — then he can say he was against it.

Re-election is easier that way. That’s what it’s all about, after all.

Denny Herzog is the retired executive editor of The Daily Sentinel. E-mail him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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