Events in Washington yesterday and last week strongly resembled a dangerously hapless, self-serving group of clowns. In Congress they debated and debated about whether to shut down the entire US Government. Imagine that. National parks closed — with all those special events abruptly cancelled. Washington DC closed to tourists. The US Post Office going dark. Everyday workers living paycheck to paycheck, suddenly not getting one. No pay for our troops, those people who work 24/7/365 to keep the nation — you, me, our friends and famiies — safe. How many of them, do you suppose, have enough in savings to miss a paycheck or two or more? The Washington clowns, however, are exempt from that; the Constitution says they keep getting their paychecks.
At the eleventh hour, some sort of compromise was reached and a stopgap measure was put in place. It postponed the shutdown for 45 days (tick, tick), but does not extend our aid to Ukraine for that period. I guess they think it would be better to send our unpaid troops when Putin overruns Ukraine and keeps going into Romania, Poland, and beyond. Can you say “World War III”?
But are they busy in Washington working out a compromise before the end of the 45 days? Hell, no. Yesterday they spent their time kicking out House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. And they won’t do anything about replacing him until next Tuesday. Meantime, no Speaker means no government business being conducted, no action on the budget, the looming (again) shutdown, etc.
I’m reminded of a verse from Judy Collins’ song “Send in the Clowns”:
Don’t you love farce?
My fault, I fear
I thought that you’d want what I want
Sorry, my dear!
But where are the clowns
Send in the clowns
Don’t bother, they’re here