Corruption, Scandal & Paybacks … business as usual

Brylcreem!  “A little dab’ll do ya!”  Illinois ‘ Governor Milorad Blagojevich, replicating the JFK coiffure to maximum effect while behaving as the antithesis of Alabama ‘s former Governor George Wallace, presents himself as one refreshing politician.  Like it or not, dis-allowing Roland Burris admittance to the U. S. Senate Chambers conjures images of innocent school girls barred from advancing civil rights in their attempts to integrate our public school system decades ago.  Clever move, Governor “Rod”.  To paraphrase Gertrude Stein, “Racism is racism is racism.”  Not to mention, another old cliche’ has proven quite credible: Democrats do indeed actually form circles and shoot at themselves.

Why do we register shock and awe when politicians auction off favors, reward supporters, hide on golf-courses, enjoy tax-supported “field trips” or send their children to pricey private schools?  Occasionally, these same politicos pause for a moment to drop a phrase or to pontificate ’bout pledging conservatism with our hard-won tax dollars, immediately prior to boarding a jet or easing behind a steering wheel of a “company car” or waving at the public from a scooting golf cart.

These tumultuous final January days, brimming with economic tribulations, Mid-East conflicts between the “chosen” people and those living in tents on a land mass the size of a strip-mall, Pakistanis and Indians verging upon nuclear warfare, hold forth the promise of a predictably extravagant inaugural celebration–and nearly half a million dollars worth of ceremonial china plates purchased by Laura Bush and bequeathed to Michelle Obama.

Some entitled citizens, such as Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, effortlessly assume power and prestige via a possible Senatorial appointment by New York’s Governor David Paterson while another legitimately dubbed by the Chicago Machine endures ridicule and censure due to an association with a “typical ” politician who happened, however, to be caught on tape. Where might a voter find some consistency in all of these machinations?  Would that all office-holders could be caught broadcasting their actual agendas. As humorist Will Rogers warned, “Never say anything aloud which your family parrot might over-hear and repeat” or words to that effect.

Tsk, tsk…times are tough, and our elected national, state and local officials atop their self-considered lofty, albeit temporary, perches assure us they actually give a darn.  Huh-uh.  This concern does not convince those of us everyday Joes who, for instance, open utility bills to find “storm water” charges itemized alongside electricity, sewage, and fire-protection.  Are not God and Mother Nature responsible for rain, snow and drizzle and its trickling or gushing toward the nearest available drains?  Why doesn’t our local student council, whoops, city government forego this “minimal” charge, multiplied by every local household over a twelve-month period each and every year, as well as the resultant “perks” for themselves that such a tabulation/calculation provides? 

Enough is enough.  Marie Antoinette foolishly lost her head there for a second when she blew off the starving peasantry of France with the line, “Let ’em eat cake!”  Whether from the top down or the bottom up, true reform seems to be in order.  This oppressive manipulation of the citizenry, by those fortunate and crafty enough to have weaseled their way into power, has assumed frightening proportions.  Enjoy the inaugural festivities on January 20th, but ask yourself how long before some top dog somewhere suggests, “Let  ’em pay through the nose for…storm water!”   Actually happened in a small town in Indiana ; I am holding the bill in my hot little hand.

Perhaps Englishman John Milton’s revolutionary yet poetic 17th century assessment of the struggle between the rulers and the ruled sums up the argument:  “They also serve who only stand and wait.”

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