This is the year of the save! In Congress, the rancor is well intentioned; everybody is saving something. The last civil meeting of an American legislature was in Richmond during the birth of the Confederacy (“we are passing through one of the greatest revolutions in the annals of the world”) and its decorum lasted all of a week. South Carolina actually refused to elect its number one fire eater, the father of Secession, Robert Barnwell Rhett, because the people felt he would be too boisterious and extreme.
Earlier in the US House in 1856, having took umbarge about remarks regarding his cousin in the Senate (suggesting slavery was his “harlot”), a SC House member walked to the Senate chamber carrying a metal tipped cane used to discipline dogs and viciously caned a MA member, salvagely striking his head, nearlly killing him, leaving blood on the Senate floor. But his life was saved. It took the gentleman a year to recover from his injuries. The SC House member avoided censure and won re-election.
The US Congress’ own exaggeration doing the healthcare repeal was more poisonous than a blow fish and just as colorful with its calls to save the republic from saving children, the unemployed, the uninsured, the adult unemployed uninsured children, and the elderly. The vote ended up saving them from a panel that, in the name of costs and crushing jobs, wanted to vote away a better option for saving lives and securing wellness. Funny how those national panels are only concerned with costs and crushing jobs rather than saving lives; sounds like somewhere we have visited before. It is silently obscene that my state ranks 47th in life expectancy and its representatives of a particular ilk (ain’t calling no names!) voted revocation after transparently debating for two days and offering no substitutes to assure those who wanted and voted for better. Instead, we came to the brink of getting worse.
What Congress lacked the web more than made up for. To paraphrase early Bogart (1949, “Knock On Any Door”), go to any social media site. What doesn’t make you blush will bring tears to your eyes.