Yesterday, I was mesmerized by the food fight between the democrats and republicans as they spent eleven hours slinging mud at each other. They were there ostensibly to determine what happened in Bengazi, but it seemed more like looking for someone to blame rather than finding a solution to the problem. But of course the inquisition began with reassurances by the head hog at the trough that they were not there to blame Clinton, and then proceeded to question her as to how and why she had screwed up so badly and caused the death of four people. Of course the democrat members of the committee were there to defend her and to point out what bad guys her interrogators were. What a wonderful opportunity for the both sides to be on national TV and show the folks back home how tough they were. To purchase that much time on TV would have cost enough to bankrupt even the most plush super- pack. This must have surely been a factor in deciding to broadcast the debate in its entirety for many legislators have admitted that they spend more time raising money for their campaigns than they do legislating. Although they complain, they oppose campaign finance reform once in office since incumbents are in a much better position to attract the big donors. I guess a bird in the hand is worth one in the bush.
The committee in all fairness did allot equal time to each member; although one went over his time by four minutes which resulted in a lengthy debate about his breaking of the rule. I was determined to watch this thing through in spite of my revulsion, but gave up after only eight or so hours. I had to give Hillary points for endurance as I was exhausted just watching my tax dollars at work. But then I was amazed to turn on the TV this morning to see her giving a speech to some women’s group only a few hours after her eleven hour trial by ordeal. The procedure reminded me of the one described in the cop novels to which I am addicted called “sweating the perp”. Since the use of the rubber hose is frowned upon these days, this technique involves two or more interrogators who take turns asking the same intimidating questions over and over for hours until he gives up and confesses. After about seven hours, I was ready for Hillary to confess and get it over with, but she pretended to be unaffected. I was amazed that she did not take the bait and say what she must have been thinking.
Pundits report that the political parties in Washington hate each other, and the exchanges I witnessed yesterday tend to confirm that impression. There was a feeble attempt to maintain the traditional courtesies and decorum of the institution by addressing each other by their titles, but it was not long until the vitriol rolled out of the mouths of our esteemed representatives. Questions were interspersed with accusations, and the democratic members responded in kind with their own dissertations about the republican’s alleged diabolical plan to derail Mrs. Clintons bid for the presidency. As this charade dragged on the nastiness increased, and when it was over both sides agreed that nothing had been accomplished. It is little wonder that nearly 90 percent of Americans disapprove of our congress.
The experience of watching this thing left me wondering: what ever happened to statesmanship and “where is the love”?.