"Hell is other people"

Exceptionally Unexceptional Sausage Making

Social Media and the 24/7 Infotainment Media Complex Non-Stop Outrage Machine have destroyed the political process

I gave up on the political team sport/horseracing aspect of politics years ago. Which party takes the House or Senate doesn’t seem to matter much. Congress has abdicated so much of their responsibilities to the imperial president and the permanent bureaucracy. Which gang takes the White House still matters somewhat, although the Trump presidency revealed how determined Establishmentarians and malefactors in government agencies can hobble a president who refuses to get with the Establishment program.

We are Stuck

Both the red team and the blue team suffer from a cartoonish, bugaboo-spooked view of the other, and of our nation.

MSNBC progressives still shiver and shudder in the shadow of The Trumpening, wiping away tears of fear and outrage, and cringing from every rightwinger, a potential abuser. The bolder lefties continue screaming about toxic masculinity cis-gender rightwingchristian domestic terrorism.

Rightwingers still dream the impossible dream of “taking it all back,” “draining the swamp,” and exacting revenge. They think Trump can get elected again, and even worse, they think he will be able to conduct a stable, effective presidency, Part Deux.

The Good Old Days

Does the political process need to go backwards to go forward?

Dennis Prager made an observation that all religions have some aspects that seem downright weird to outside observers, but that make absolute sense when understood in context. Nothing survives close scrutiny, and political lawmaking and oversight is no different.

Maybe what DC needs is the good old-fashioned Sam Rayburn, cash in a desk drawer, Lyndon B. Johnson buttonholing recalcitrant lawmakers, threats, cajoling, bribery, and imposing fall-in-line discipline.

Nancy Pelosi–despite her horrible ideology–is a masterful modern-day politician. We deride and scorn politicians, but legislating is a skill requiring both science and art. Not everybody’s got it. Marjory Taylor Greene and Alexandria Cortez suck at legislating. They are good at playing to the peanut gallery, but not much else.

Maybe the sausage making needs to get back to the smoke-filled room, outside the glaring eye of the 24/7 outrage cameras. Let them do their deals in their dank, fetid lairs, hidden from the glare of cleansing sunshine. Let the party leaders impose discipline:

“If you’re here to become an instagram star and snark-off on Twitter, we will shut you out completely. Shut your mouth and let’s get down to brass tacks. What goes on in the cloak room stays in the cloakroom. Violate that, and we will punish you.”

As an open government advocate, I see no harm in this. All votes, committee oversight, etc are open and in the public record, transparent. Maybe some real progress could happen.

What say you?

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