The Key That Winds The Spring
It's heartening to be reminded of the grotesquerie of human nature. Poor Old Tom has announced he won't be running for the Republican leadership position in the House. Abramoff has agreed to spill his guts. Many a Republican is threatened.
This sort of thing is what comes of one-party rule, of course. And this is what we can depend upon, and this is why I am so comforted.
I worry sometimes that one day someone will rise to power who is not subject to hubris. Someone who will go far, but never quite too far. It could happen. In some sense it has happened with the Bush Administration, but only because the American public has decided not to pay too much attention yet. If it doesn't happen before History gets its mitts on Bush, it will certainly happen soon enough: Bush will be seen as the most damaging President this country has ever endured.
But when the Democrats get control of all three branches of government again, which they will someday, we will likely see this sad tale repeated. I say that as a loyal and registered Democrat. I say that as someone who believes that if Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed or any of the rest of them came back, they would register as Democrats.
What we can rely on is the element of human nature which persuades us that we are, each of us, somehow better than the rules everybody else has to follow. It's really that that guarantees us two-party rule in this country. And it's two-party rule that guarantees the Constitution will somehow survive.
I know it is fashionable not to believe that once Abramoff-and-Delay-like behavior gets too egregious on one side of the aisle, power will flip to the other side. I know there are all sorts of predictions to be made about the End of America At The Hands of Republicans. It's true they have done some real damage to our country, but we have sustained worse in our history. The time of the Democrats will come again and when it does I'd like to see them govern with wisdom and humility. I dearly hope they will comport themselves with grace and aplomb.
But they won't. And the pendulum will swing on.
Which is by no means an excuse for not ripping the Republicans a new one right now. On the contrary, repeatedly ripping offenders new ones is the key that winds the spring of America's clockwork.
So rip away, America. It is your patriotic duty.