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Taking It Back…

So the Tea Party got what it wanted last night: control of the House and the constant presence of the George Hamilton-esque John Boehner, he of the crocodile tears. You do know the story of the crocodile’s tears, don’t you? The crocodile pretends to sigh and be sad, thus attracting his prey close enough to gobble it up–still crying. Or, as the ancient phrasing goes, “thei eten hem wepynge.”

Rand Paul was on TV last night, standing in front of someone in a truly hideous argyle sweater vest, claiming that voting him into office means only one thing: “The people are taking our government back!”  Riotous applause greeted his comment; Kentuckians seem delighted that Rand and his argyled followers are taking governement back…

But of course the obvious question is: back where?

Back to the 1950s, those halcyon days of yore, when blacks and women knew their places: in the back of the bus and on their backs, respectively?  Or back to the 19th century, when Kentucky’s economic engine chugged merrily along on the backs of slaves?

Or back to, like, Macy’s, as if government is some kind of misfitting shoe? No thanks, these wing-tips pinch a bit, think I’ll get something a little more conservative, perhaps an oxblood loafer?

I mean, when Rand says “the people,” don’t we have to ask ourselves which people? Blacks, browns, wimmins, gays and lesbians? What does “taking back” mean for us?  I think it means that Congress is going to get busy taking back all those hard-earned civil liberties that are so pesky when it comes time for Big Biz to make a profit–all those silly little laws about health codes, workers’ rights, parental leave, food safety–kiss ’em good-bye, all you people who are taking back your government. And don’t come crying to me when your kid gets a burger laced with e. coli; or when your factory lays off 40% of its workforce in order to be more “efficient; or when your uncle, who was one of the first responders at 9/11 and now has respiratory problems, can’t get insurance.  You took the government back, so now it’s all yours.

Remember: be careful what you wish for. You just might get it…or you might get devoured by a weeping crocodile.

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One Response to Taking It Back…

  1. Ann November 4, 2010 at 9:38 am #

    Right on, Deb! This is exactly what I’ve been wondering. When precisely was this golden age of yore when government knew its place? As Jill LePore wrote in the New Yorker (I guess quoting the New Yorker marks me immediately as a pointy-headed liberal, but there you go) the Tea Party is to history as astrology is to astronomy. But let the little darlings have their turn — they won’t get anything done and their constituents will be as pissed off at them as they are now at the Dems. At least we’ll be spared the sight of Sharon Angle as a U.S. Senator . . .

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