“We’re not going to be disrespected, We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is.”
— Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN), quoted by the Washington Examiner, on the government shutdown.
Republicans cannot follow their own advice. Their current poster boy, Senator R. Ted Cruz demonstrates the problem in spades. The central theme of his harangue to Congress was that Washington politicians need to listen to the American people. And then he proceeded to talk for twenty-one hours straight.
Logical thinkers tend to dismiss such behavior as hypocrisy, but I’m inclined to think that’s unfair, because I don’t think their failure to follow through is intentional. They simply can’t translate into action what they say.
It’s not a new problem. I’m reminded of the story of John Alden, whom Priscilla Mullins had to advise “speak for yourself John,” else they would not have been one of the first Pilgrim couples to be married.
No doubt, it would be better, if Ted Cruz were not only to speak for himself, but to take his own advice.
To listen to Republicans is to listen to people who are seemingly at war with themselves, as if their subconscious were out to do them in. How else to explain a sentence such as this one from the mouth of R. Ted Cruz?
When we look at the unemployment rate of African-American teens of 38.2 percent, the fast food industry has been such a great avenue for advancement for minority teenagers.
That’s right up there with Barbara Bush opining that citizens being stuffed into the Super Dome after hurrican Katrina blew through New Orleans was an improvement for the already “disadvantaged.”
One has to wonder not “do they think before they speak,” but do they even hear themselves speak? Or is it all just a recitation of what they’ve heard others say? Even more to the point, do they need leaders, like some people need a GPS, because they simply can’t follow their own directions?
When people can’t do something, that’s a disability. And a disability requires us to cut them some slack; even provide support. Expecting them to do the impossible is not nice. Failure may be their familiar, but we should not set them up for it. Capitol Hill is not a dumping ground. The citizens of Texas, and any other state that sends people to Washington to watch them fail, should be ashamed.
I am not in my argument boots, and I will confess I do feel pretty embarrassed by that. I am pretty sure, since we are on the Senate floor and C-SPAN is covering it, that this may not be covered by the priest-penitent privilege, but I do feel it is a question of sorts.