Vicious, Snarling Gnus

Back in the 1960s, the alleged music-comedy team of The Smothers Brothers created a bit that was pretty funny. It was a piece of complete nonsense about “vicious, snarling gnus,” in which one brother rambled on and on about such preposterous animals and having to be one’s defense when encountering such a herd of African animals on the street in California. The Smothers Brothers had their moment of fame and then imploded into irrelevance and joyless self-parody when they assumed the persona of American Youth Outraged at the Vietnam War (and doing anything to avoid serving).

I was reminded of this bit as I watched broadcasts of the US Senate stumbling and bumbling its way through the past several weeks. I couldn’t help but conclude that an Official Congressional Non-binding Resolution is like throwing-up in your mouth: it accomplishes nothing, makes you gag, and leaves behind only a foul taste. Harry Reid was in his patented High Dudgeon this evening as he did his best impression of an angry gnu, glared into the TV cameras, and declared that the Evil Republicans were thwarting The Will of the People by refusing to allow to come to a vote the Democrats’ demand that the country tell its soldiers to, uh, go impregnate themselves (“but we still support you”) by demanding that the president send no more troops to fight in Iraq, thus surrendering to the people that killed 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001.

I was then struck by how quickly the Democrats’ molecule-thick “victory” of last November has unraveled (not that the Republicans deserved to keep Congress, either, they of the party that in twelve short years had disintegrated into a bickering boardroom of self-interest and short-sightedness).

The Senate was designed to be Congress’ sea anchor. Indeed, Washington called for the Senate to be Congress’ “saucer” to “cool the hot tea” of debate boiling out of the House. When the Democrats were in the Senate minority, every unhinged left-wing news outlet from The Boston Globe to ABC News heaped praise upon the Senate Dems for their “courage” in using the 60 vote rule to keep the evil Republicans from killing the elderly and turning them into granola bars a la “Soylent Green.” They cheered the Democrats’ patriotism in opposing the Republicans’ threat to the endangered Alaskan Orange Tree Fungus by (ugh!) actually drilling for oil in 0.0001% of the Alaskan wilderness, a part that is in darkness nine months a year, boasts an average wind chill of -80 degrees F, and is so horrific that even animal life finds it unlivable. How the Dems and liberals high-fived! one another when they drove their $80,000 Toyota Hindenburg hydrogen-tree sap hybrid cars into their local green filling stations in Seattle, WA, and Cambridge, MA. How they chortled when yet again the Senate minority refused to allow to come to a vote extending the Bush tax cuts and their unspeakable result in letting working families keep more of their own money rather than require it be spent on paying for Mexican criminals to be flown to the US to testify against border agents who had violated their “civil rights.” Ah, the good old days of congressional minority! All tantrum and no responsibility!

What a difference several months make. Harry Reid scowling into the cameras, foiled again by those damn Republicans and the minority rights in the Senate. Hillary Clinton telling her audience that she was actually against the war before she voted money for it before she was against it before she was for disarming Saddam before she was against actually using force to accomplish it after she tried to join the US Marines instead of going to law school after she joined Young Campus Republicans before she defended Black Panther thugs after she – through sheer force of will -- bent the space-time continuum to actually be the first captain of the starship Enterprise and defeat the Klingons nearly single-handedly. Jimmy Carter, America’s first Palestinian President, sadly having to remind the world that all its problems are the fault of the International Zionist Conspiracy (even though 93% of American Jews will, zombie-like, again pull the Dem lever in 2008). Barack Obama doing a near-perfect Peter Sellers imitation of Chance the Gardner in “Being There” (‘I like to watch’). Nancy Pelosi, riding her Hundred Hours (which passed almost nothing into law and vanished faster than Bill Clinton hitting on a campaign worker) while privately demanding that the USAF serve as her private chauffer (reasoning,no doubt, that Queen Elizabeth II enjoys a similar indulgence in England from the RAF and the Elizabeth doesn’t even have as many pants suits).

Events have taken control of American politics. The Democrats -- singularly incapable of dealing with any crisis -- managed to grab the reins of the wild gnus. I hope they enjoy the ride.

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