Welcome to the thunderdome

So, I’m a big “The West Wing” fan. I’m currently working my way through the show and
just finished watching the last episode of the second season. I’m not going to spoil it for you,
because you should watch it, but let’s just say that the season finale has one of the best
monologues I’ve ever seen/read/heard.

The president of the United States, played by Martin Sheen, is contemplating some real
heavy-type stuff and starts yelling at God. It’s marvelous stuff, and I might cast my 2016 ballot
for Martin Sheen just because he plays such a convincingly good president.

The reason I’m writing this article is because of the whole debt sequester mess. By the time
you read this, billions of dollars will be cut and revenues will go up in an intentionally stupid,
asinine manner. In fact, it was meant to be so ungodly stupid that neither major party would
be able to stomach the cuts to both sides’ favorite programs–social benefits for the left and
defense spending for the right.

No one has ever gone broke underestimating the stupidity of the American public, the saying
goes, and now that saying can extend to politicians.

I’m not going to place blame at the feet of either party, because they’re both pretty bad.
Actually, wait a minute, I’m going to blame the Republicans, because their party has been
hijacked by people who are probably very nice and friendly and caring and generous. Oh, and
most of them signed a pledge to never raise taxes, ever, because some creepy dwarf that was
named after a “Sesame Street” character told them to. Grover Norquist is now so important to
the Republican Party that sitting United States senators are getting primaried out because they
show some type of inclination towards even rarely raising taxes. It’s straight ludicrous.

I’m also going to blame the Democrats, because they really haven’t been very effective at
winning elections. Well, they have, but the Republicans have been more effective at actual
governance–gerrymandering districts and blocking non-members of their party from voting.
Did you know that Democratic candidates in house races received more votes total than
Republican candidates? Because of the glorious power of redistricting, though, the Republicans
have the majority. There is a ton of talk about what our founding fathers would want these days
with respect to guns and taxes, but where is the uproar about improper representation?
Wasn’t that kind of a big reason for that big war we had to start this country?

I mean really, the Democrats couldn’t even beat the laughable Scott DesJarlais, who
represents Tennessee’s 4th Congressional District, a district that includes part of Roane
County, where I’m from. DesJarlais, who is on the record as being pro-“family values” and anti-
abortion, paid a patient whom he was having an affair with to have an abortion. In a formerly
strong Democratic district. And he still won re-election by 12 percent!

At this point, forget Martin Sheen. Why can’t we even have Bill Pullman from “Independence
Day”? Or Harrison Ford from “Air Force One”? Where is Morgan Freeman? Do we need to
have an asteroid heading for Earth for him to take a job in politics? What about the one that
happened in Russia?

Point being, this debt sequester mess has gotten me pretty down on politics, although to be
fair I was pretty down on politics to begin with.
Though I’m for cutting spending on defense, I’m for replacing it with similarly priced
investment in infrastructure and education and research. Gambling that Republicans wouldn’t

accept a hack job to their favorite state-sponsored socialism was apparently an idiotic move,
because they are misguided enough to think that austerity will help us out of the economic

It won’t. The only way out is to elect Martin Sheen. Heck, maybe we could settle for Charlie.
He’s saner than what we have now.

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