From what I’ve read, it really started in the 1930’s, the habit of deference to our employees. I mean the politicians, of course. The ‘Most Exclusive Club’ members of the Senate, and the Representatives in the House. Have you ever listened to the way these clowns address each other? "The Honorable Gentleman/Gentlewoman from", "My Esteemed Colleague" and so on. Which, if that garbage stayed in the chambers, I wouldn’t mind so much; if you want to vocally kiss the ass of people who despise you, in some cases hate and want to destroy you, go ahead. It’s the ass-kissing they get in public that ticks me off.
So many people are in the habit now of deferring to some suited jackass because his job title is Senator or Representative. And they love it, far too many of them. They love it when people give them things, speak far more respectfully of them than they deserve(people remind us to write "The Honorable" before the name of the politician we’re writing to; must properly bend the knee to them, you know). They love the chance to make insider deals and then demand it not be noticed. Sen. Countrywide Dodd insisting that just anybody could call the owner of the company and get a special deal; Rep. Rangel shouldn’t be prosecuted for violating the tax laws he helped write because "He’s a simple man, and didn’t understand them"; Feinstein and Boxer and Schumer have the kind of concealed carry permit the average citizen has no chance of getting but hey, they’re wealthy and powerful politicians, so they shouldn’t be held to the same restrictions as us peasants. And let us not forget that the last three spend half their time speaking of how firearms are evil and nasty and ought to be banned; from everyone except them and those like them. And when they get caught? Remember Rep. Jefferson having fits because the FBI dared to search his office? How many other politicians of both parties had the same fit? Their office is FAR more sacred than our homes, and even a search warrant shouldn’t allow the servants to disturb them.
And the staffs reinforce it. Some are flat enablers who don’t want anyone who won’t stroke the ego of their master through to speak to them, try to keep anyone who’ll ask uncomfortable questions from speaking and so forth. They only want their masters to speak in places where they’ll be applauded, not places where they’ll be held to account. Some because they worship at the altar of Party and Their Candidate, some simply becuase of the prestige and perks that fall their way as a Servant of the Senator or Rep.
And far too often we cannot count on law enforcement. Agencies like the FBI and ATF have proven that the bureaucrats running them are very sensitive to politics; crap they would throw you or I into jail for, the politicians aren’t even investigated for, or it’s a show to pretend they actually did something.
You know, it really wouldn’t take much to change this crap we’re dealing with. If enough people started treating these clowns as what they are, hired help, and stopped acting like that job title made them royalty. Ask them hard questions and demand answers, none of this taking around the question and wanting to move on: "Senator, that was a nice round of nonsense, but I WANT AN ANSWER. And I’m not stopping until I get one." Refusing to let the bastards get around it.
What started my distrust and dislike of politicians in general, and career ones in particular, was a man named George Nigh. Several times governor of this state, lifelong politician. I was 17 at the time, he was a guest speaker at a summer thing called Cadet Lawman; you spent a week in a scaled-down version of the Highway Patrol academy, and he was the graduation speaker. He finished what amounted to a comedy routine(so-so) and asked for questions, and I asked his opinion on gun control. And then listened in amazement for a couple of minutes. That man managed to use more words while actually saying less than anyone I’d ever heard before. Then, at the very end, threw in- very quickly- "I think you should have to have a license" and immediately "Next question!". I sat down in amazement at the technique: throw around a whole lot of words fast and throw the actual answer in so late, and so fast, he could move on hopefully before you realized what he’d actually said, or at least before you could follow on with asking for more information.
That actually started me listening to what a lot of these people say, and what they actually mean, and over time that brought me to despise about 90% of them. They’ll lie to get into office, they’ll lie to stay there, far too many of them who start out fairly honest become corrupt once they’re there. And they’ll do ANYTHING to stay there. And when they do get around to leaving? Why, they have a pension waiting for them. Paid for out of our pockets, one last chance for them to loot us.
Personal thoughts? First, stop treating these parasites(which all too many of them are) like royalty, treat them like people we hired when we voted. DEMAND answers, real ones. And when they do something unethical or illegal, hold them fully to account.
No pension. It was never intended that people spend their whole damn life in the House or Senate or Mayors or Governor’s office; you want to do that, no retirement package. And if we find you making shady deals to set yourself up when you leave, we put you in jail.
A Constitutional Amendment would be nice, two terms in the Senate, three in the House. Period.
And stop calling someone who used to be in that office by the job title. I didn’t call Reagan ‘President’ after he left office, because he no longer held that job; why the hell should I call someone else who left- or was thrown out of- office by the job title?
Yeah, I’m dreaming. I am so very sick of these people I just have to consider what might do something about them. What started me on this particular track? Insty linked to this article, on why so many of the ‘upper-class’ types seem to despise or flat-out hate McCain and Palin while Ayers and Dohrn and Obama are wonderful people. A couple of bits:
And what about Sarah Palin? Here, the upper-middle-class deficit gets worse. Throckmorton-Zakaria's husband, Fareed Zakaria, uses a rare one-word sentence to make his entire argument against her: "Palin Is Ready? Please." She notoriously strikes the wrong class note on a thousand media keyboards with what Andrew Sullivan calls gallantly "Sarah Palin's cocktail waitress act." But the problem is not that the governor can't conform to upper-middle-class norms. It's that she won't.
If only Palin were really as trashy as Sullivan thinks she is. Sadly she is quite the opposite--one of nature's noblewomen. She rose by refusing to accept the limitations of her proper station in life; she is despised for continuing to do so. If Palin wants to pal around with the Throck-morton-Zakarias, she is wasting her time memorizing classic 19th-century Supreme Court decisions (Katie Couric isn't going to give her a mulligan). Instead, she should learn from watching herself as she ought to be.
Scheiber's attempt to understand Sarah Palin, detailed in the New Republic, took him all the way to Wasilla, as strange to him as Ethiopia to Evelyn Waugh. Scheiber spoke to various people from Palin's past, all of whom have two things in common: Every one of them is smarter than Palin and none of them has been heard of since their encounter with her. Scheiber's pet specimen among what he calls "the more urbane members of the community" is a Dartmouth graduate who reads Civil War histories, self-published a book, and not only does but "savors" the New York Times crossword puzzle. This sort of résumé wouldn't get your niece an unpaid internship on L Street--but for a Rhodes Scholar lost in Alaska, the Dartmouth degree, the Civil War buffery, the Times crossword puzzle all take on huge significance. Unable to comprehend how Palin could have outpaced the Wasilla gentry, poor Scheiber clings for dear life to these sad fragments of class dignity.
The Republicans, alas, are stuck with this election's true and unrepentant revolutionaries. McCain and Palin have each refused, by sheer cussedness, to fulfill the social expectations of others. This may make them poison to undecideds who suffer, more than most, from class anxiety. But do not despise the undecideds. Even conservatives can contract Scheiber Syndrome. Think of David Brooks, Christopher Buckley, David Frum, Peggy Noonan, and George Will. The symptoms? Curiously amplified, obsessively repeated, sometimes elaborately stage-whispered doubts about the Republican ticket.
Note: ‘do not despise’ them? Too late, I already do. More so ‘conservatives’ who think this way.
The influential section of our upper-middle class, which lives in media centers, does, of course, have an understanding of the ethic of service, and a special familiarity with men in uniforms decorated with epaulets. Paula Throckmorton-Zakaria finds the spirit of service right at home in Manhattan:
We may not have a ''servant'' class in the strict Victorian sense, but a "service" class we have indeed, and it is serving us. How do we square our egalitarian self-conceit with a liveried doorman? Not easily. For non-New Yorkers, doormen are the guys who carry the bags, organize the packages and tell you who stopped by to see your 15-year-old while you were out. They also open the door.
Receiving all those services in exchange for a partially deductible maintenance fee and a Christmas tip, we don't much miss the small matter of McCain's authentic service to his country. I, my children, and perhaps the Sulzberger and Couric children spent years passing through doors opened by uniformed, epauletted men on the way to private schools that were proud to teach an ethic of service. The experience didn't equip us to recognize the real thing.
Yeah, to all too many of the ‘upper classes’, a uniform means a menial, a servant, someone to look down on. Remember, early in the war, the intellectuals who had kids who joined the military? All the other ‘intellectuals’ asking them what went wrong? Because, obviously, someone of their class wouldn’t join the Army or Navy or Marines or Air Force unless they couldn’t hack it in school. Or had a mental problem. Wanting to serve and protect the United States? Obviously the act of someone with a mental defect, who can’t do any better.
It’s just amazing, isn’t it? Someone who actually puts their life on the line, someone who takes on their own party to clean up a mess? Plebeians to be despised. Someone who consorts with terrorists and wants to tear the country down? A bloody natural wonder, they are. And the terrorists are considered 'rehabilitated'; they're of the proper class and have very PC ideas, so they're just wonderful people.
And the clowns who believe these things think they deserve to run our lives.