Saturday, June 19, 2010

Shakedown and a Comedown

Come on guys, give the man a break! If you suddenly found your pocket had been picked or that the girl at the checkout counter had siphoned off a few bucks of your change to her boyfriend standing nearby, you would certainly not be able to stop yourself from letting out an involuntary yelp of protest. And that was just what Rep. Joe Barton did when he found out the feds were hitting up British Petroleum for $20B and thus possibly siphoning away some of the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars that such companies donate to his campaign each election cycle. Of course he was outraged. And I can understand. I mean last week while going over my pay stub I found that my employer had shafted me out of 3 hours of overtime. Without even realizing it, I let out a more than audible whisper to the effect "The dirty m...". I couldn't have helped it if I knew the Pope and three of his sister disciples were standing next to me. Now although I raised a few eyebrows I wasn't denounced by the thousand, excoriated through every facet of the media. In fact when I explained to the startled guy sitting next to me on the train the reason for my outburst he said"Man, don't let them m... get away with your money; how else you gonna eat?".
So come on give the guy a break. Of course he blurted out something no rational person would dare. His "good" had come under attack. And as we all know being a is just about as good as it gets. You get paid well, the work is not strenuous, you don't have to be smart or even good looking. Naturally he will try anything within reason to keep from being ousted, whether that means kissing an ugly baby, shaking a thousand sweaty palms or placing an inept equestrian judge at the head of a vital government agency; but to commit political suicide? Howl out in rage in defense of a grossly inept foreign corporation that has caused the greatest environmental catastrophe ever to strike The Land of The Free and Brave? Well, J.B Bryan be damned! That smacks of pure instinct, the same as will be observed in a growling dog if you stray too close to his food bowl. What we are dealing with here is a momentary triumph of the instinct over the higher order rationalism (and worse, etiquette). Yes, it was the instinct of survival that prompted Messer Boltan to label Pres. Obama's holding BP's feet to the fire "a shakedown". Pure, animal instinct.
And so that is why I plead for a bit of understanding for Signor Barton. Really, what else could we expect? I mean think for a moment. You wouldn't expect more from a dog; why would you expect it from a politician?