By Tony Farkas
It’s always a banner day when I can link wonderful lyrics by The Who to the current mess that we have in Washington, D.C.
Those words come from the song “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” which was an anthem for a generation that was fighting the establishment.
If you’ve been following the news, then you’ve seen the donnybrook going on to appoint a successor to Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House.
Kevin McCarthy, a rare bird of a Republican congressman from California, bent arms, horse-traded and cajoled his way after what might be a record number of votes — 15 — into the third most powerful position in the United States government.
(I say third since the succession of power goes from president to vice president to speaker.)
In order to secure this lofty position, he made beaucoup promises, including investigations of China, changing the makeup of the Rules Committee and even creating a rule that allows one member — one — to call for a vote to remove a sitting speaker, something akin to votes of no confidence in British Parliament.
The concession came from some of the Republican Party hardliners who were less than enthusiastic about McCarthy’s leadership, which was evident by the number of votes it took. So essentially, radicalists in the GOP are pulling the strings and forcing the hand of the leaders, much like the extremist Democrats were making Pelosi dance their dance.
So, there’s the connection.
There was a lot of talk about spending caps and limiting the power of the House leadership, which sets the tempo, makes committee appointments and decides what bills get preference or even introduced. Not once, though, was there discussion on the various and long-standing problems facing this country, all of which could lead to disaster and even collapse.
For instance, there’s still a $20 trillion debt that the country is making interest-only payments on; there’s a free-for-all on the southern border that is straining state coffers in order to take care of millions of immigrants; a Social Security system that mostly is paper IOUs; thousands of homeless people; veterans not being taken care of as promised; inflation that is straining families and their ability to provide; overregulation by unelected officials that puts just about every American citizen in violation of the law whether they know it or not; and so much more.
Yet instead, we focused on the immediate, caring more about the social climate than the law.
My feeling is that this was more about power than about good government, which is scary. I’ve always heard, and fully believe, that power corrupts, and anyone who seeks out power is probably the one that really shouldn’t have it.
I’ll make a prediction here: the mess that Washington is will really not change, only the player pieces.
Lyrics from another great band, Rush, are appropriate here: “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose,” which means “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”