With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. – “Moby Dick,” by Herman Melville
It can be challenging for pragmatists who hold to high-minded principles like equal justice under the law and all for one and one for all. It’s that “all” thing. Crazy. All as in it’s about everybody, not just me.
Just me is so Republican. The world revolves around my stuff, otherwise gravitational equilibrium gets out of whack thereby distorting light rays and the solar system’s centrifugal forces like when taxes are used for something not directly benefiting me.
Trust me. That’s not fake news or alternative fact. It’s the fourth law of thermodynamics. Look it up in Wikipedia, you know, the ultimate trusted source. Credible as the scholarly work of soon-to-be Justice Neil Gorsuch.
So, count me out as a Republican because I do crazy things like loving my neighbors, who happen to be very cool, which totally helps, and not bothering to ask the Lord, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” It’s kind of nice to spare the Lord, who has a universe or two to run, of having to sit me down and saying with a sigh, “Son, it’s time we had a little chat.”
I’m a Dem, albeit not a very proud one at times. Sometimes you need to own and be pals with some otherwise nice guys who range from squishy get-alongers to fulminating, pompous blowhards whom you and everybody else except them know they’re not there by merit but because they’re fulminating pompous blowhards or squishy, get-alongers who believe you can reason with it’s-totally-all-about-me Republicans.
Being a Democrat requires wearing big-boy pants 24/7 and turning the other cheeks, both facial and posterior. Getting spanked on one side necessitates turning the other for another swat or two. But that’s not for me. I haven’t been spanked since sixth grade when Mr. Sherman lit into me with Big George.
Let’s face it, the Republicans spanked the Democrats hard on their left butt cheek over the Merrick Garland nomination. You might recall Garland, the brilliant, deliberate jurist who would’ve been confirmed had he been nominated by any other president. President Obama nominated him to replace Dick Cheney’s pal Antonin Scalia, whose gluttonous taste for fine wine and food was for him the Founders’ original intent.
Yep, the Dems got spanked and are feeling it now on their right butt cheek because they, except for Senator Michael Bennet and a few red-state Dems paranoid about re-election, chose to drop their big-boy trousers and moon Mitch McConnell, who speaks as fast as a caterpillar shedding its cocoon. He talks m…i…g…h…t…y s…l…o…w…l…y, but he knows how to whoop Dems, kind of like how Roger does in Piggy in “Lord of the Flies.” You remember Piggy? He’s the kid with thick specs that’s the voice of reason and is mercilessly tormented by the angelic choir boys.
Ol’ Mitch did the Donald Trump thing before Trump could: Hit the nuclear button. Not one to be outdone, one wonders if Trump might want to trump Mitch and blow up the world. Check your tweets.
Yep, Mitch went nuclear, blew up the Senate, and now blames the Dems.
“They made me do it!” he exclaims, but not that fast, of course. Sad thing is Mitch and the boys will get away with it because no one expects Republicans to wear big-boy pants.
So, with the fall-out from the blast spewing and scattering, a once-noble institution lies in ruin. Like Piggy.
Pragmatic get-alongism v. philosophical principle. Did the Dems do right? Well, there are two ways to die.
As white men carried out their pogrom against Native Americans, the Indians faced two paths. Some dropped their breechclouts and pulled on big-boy white-boy pants to be herded onto reservations to die. Not Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull. They fought, got captured, and were assassinated while in captivity.
Nobility at death. Like the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae holding off the Persians and Cato falling on his sword to protest imminent Caesarism and death of the Roman Republic.
The price of nobility.
Here’s to the filibustering Dems, the ones in Teddy Roosevelt’s arena “marred by dust and sweat and blood.” In good company, don’t you think?