In France the authorities are currently hunting down a couple of mad dogs. Here in the states at least one freshman congressman found out what it is like when you pander to the ultra right in order to get elected, then don't do exactly what they want.
In this morning's The Oklahoman, Chris Casteel reports it didn't take long for Steve Russell, the state's new fifth district congressman from Oklahoma City, to figure out just how nuts some of his constituency is. Casteel writes Russell's Facebook page was inundated with outraged messages after he voted to keep John Boehner as speaker of the house.
Yes, it would seem Mr. Boehner is, to the surprise of many of us, a sort of closet liberal. His ultimate crime isn't that he agrees with, or supports Barack Obama, but every now and then he is willing to compromise with the president. For that offense many living on the fringe believe he is a traitor to the cause--a fiendish apostate undermining the will of those who are awash in the true faith. The Oklahoman's Washington Bureau chief quoted one woman as telling Russell, "As a Christian we thought you would stand against evil, but with the first vote you have proven to be weak and one who is going to continue to cave to political pressure." Casteel says the woman also told the representative she was sorry her family had put one of his campaign signs in their yard.
According to the story, Russell was surprised by not only the number of messages, but the "uncivil" nature of some of the posts. Oh really, congressman? Exactly what type of wankers did you think were showing up at your rallies this past fall? They certainly weren't members of the Colin Powell fan club.
Just to prove he might be nearly as bats as the people he pissed off, Russell responded on Facebook with a rambling metaphor involving the old testament story of Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar.
It is safe to say the other three Oklahoma members of the house who voted for Boehner received the same sort of responses Russell did. Casteel says republican Tom Cole, who represents the fourth district, was in particular, the target of wild hysteria. After the vote on Tuesday he had called the opposition to Boehner, by members of the GOP," unprofessional."
In all, 25 house republicans, including Tulsa's Jim Bridenstine saved themselves some online grief by voting against the speaker. Being tea party hacks, none of them had a clue when it came to who they thought should actually be in charge of the lower chamber. All any of them knew was they didn't want it to be the old pinko appeaser, John Boehner. In the aftermath that particular posse can count on being stuck in the outback by Boehner who happens to be in charge of handing out committee assignments. Bridenstine, himself, is most likely a candidate for the House Select Sub-Committee studying the energy potential of dung beetle farts.
Meanwhile the president has dusted off the veto stamp because he understands the GOP's idea of bi-partisanship is him doing everything they want, no matter how outlandish. He also knows the chances of a veto being overridden are next to nil.
So look for gridlock to continue. The only difference from this point until the next election cycle is the republicans will be blaming President Obama and democrats for the dysfunction, rather than the other way around.
In the middle of it all you can look for Steve Russell to kow tow to the tea party mob with an occasional histrionic address on the floor of the house, or possibly a vote along the lines of deporting everyone whose last name ends in a vowel. After all, you can cross those people only so many times before they find someone even crazier than you--then try to get him, or her elected to your seat.
sic vita est