When she was angry, my mother used to say she was “so mad I can’t see straight…”
What she wouldn’t say was, “We’re in a hell of a mess.”
But that’s the case in Washington as right-wing Republicans and left-wing Democrats have succeeded in shutting down about 20 percent of the nation’s government because they can’t agree on a new budget or anything else.
Each is blaming the other, and we regular folks should blame both of them. President Barack Obama can take the time to call the new president of Iran but not call House Speaker John Boehner.
Boehner can’t lead his Republican caucus because he’s afraid of the Tea Party coalition that might vote him out of his cushy Capitol Hill office the next time they elect a speaker.
The demagogues and hypocrites are in charge. Yesterday I saw on the news where a group of veterans had flown to Washington to visit the World War II Memorial. Of course, with the government shutdown, it was closed. Then some Congressional right-wingers, led by none other than Michelle Bachman, rushed down to remove the barriers and get on national television as heroes – despite the fact it was their votes that closed the national parks to begin with.
Look, I don’t think I like Obamacare, but I do know this: It’s the law of the land, passed by Congress, signed by the president and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. I say “I don’t think” because I don’t really know how it will affect us.
It couldn’t be much worse than what we’ve just been through here at the office. Some insurance company gave our local agent what was obviously a “low ball” quote on our hospitalization insurance in an effort to move it away from Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Then, after we had signed up, they had a “whoops” moment and significantly raised their prices. How deceptive can you be? My coworkers are now paying more than they expected to pay with the new company.
Each morning I watch a show on MSNBC called “Morning Joe” featuring former GOP Congressman Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, who is an obvious Democrat. The show is pretty balanced and they have excellent guests, but Scarborough says that Republicans are frittering away their chance to be the majority party and win the White House again.
When you see the sneering right-winger Ted Cruz taking up 21 hours speaking against the Affordable Health Care Act, then throwing Republican House members under the bus if they don’t agree to everything he says, it just makes you shake your head about what is happening to the Grand Old Party of Dwight D. Eisenhower, George Bush and Ronald Reagan.
The Tea Party influence has every House member running scared. If our Congressional representatives, Kay Granger and Mac Thornberry, don’t toe the right-wing line and snub Democrats in the House cafeteria line, they will get an opponent. In fact, it’s already happened to Thornberry.
Texas races aren’t much better. My friend Charlie Geren, one of Tarrant County’s most effective state legislators, regularly draws a right-wing opponent who disagrees with Charlie’s style of working with Democrats to actually get something done for the people of Texas.
Wise County Elections Administrator Lannie Noble told me the other day that when I go to vote in the Constitutional Amendment election I’m going to have to sign some kind of paper that swears I am who I am. The reason – my driver’s license says Roy Jefferson Eaton and my voter ID card says Roy J. Eaton.
That’s all thanks to a group in the state capitol (including our own Phil King and Craig Estes) that decided there was massive voter fraud in Texas that needed to be stopped. Many say it wasn’t much of a problem to begin with, but I sure don’t mind showing an ID when I vote. I had to show one this week when I got my car repaired at Karl Klement Ford.
But this “hell of a mess” situation is just as prevalent right here in Wise County as it is in Austin and Washington. Here we have an elected official who has admitted stealing from the taxpayers, but we still can’t get the guy out of office. In the meantime, he’s got more than $90,000 in pay waiting for him if he’s able to convince a judge or jury he deserves to remain on the public dole. And he can run for re-election.
If this seems like a familiar song in Wise County, you’re right. When it comes to a lack of ethics in public office. This ain’t our first rodeo.
So Mom – forgive me for using a cuss word to describe our situation, but just like you said many years ago when I would misbehave – I’m so mad I can’t see straight.
Roy Eaton is publisher of the Wise County Messenger.