Attempts to silence a private citizen of influence great or small, no matter how silly or ill-considered, have naught but political purpose, offensive to and prohibited by the Constitution.

The Manky Numpties of Congress

"Manky numpties" is wonderfully expressive Scottish slang used here to mean useless morons, substituting for profanity ever so vile.  At least half of the words with which the singular numpty is interchangeable are vile.  In actual usage, it is most often preceded by yet another vile word of almost unlimited versatility.

If we could offend the Congress without offending our readers, we would do so, for we are currently in such unmitigated and unapologetic contempt of Congress that we would plead guilty without a hearing so as not to interrupt the imbeciles as they continue to immolate themselves on poisonous stakes of their own incompetent design.

With public approval of Congress at its lowest point in history, and that surveyed even before new congressional adventures that defy the loosest definitions of legislative responsibility, we are far from alone.  Our points of condemnation might not be yours, and are certainly at odds with those of the Far Left, which took such joy in succoring these swamp creatures into positions of power, to their own current dismay.  It must take a village of great diversity to achieve such poor representation.

Forget, for a moment, all the substance that the issue of SCHIP has, on either side, and there is some, on both sides, that should have been debated on the merits.  Clearly, the provision of health care for children is of considerable importance.  But look at the way in which proponents of SCHIP tried to sell it, or appeared to try to sell it, which is closer to the reality.

Trafficking in children for political gain is a reliable staple of political discipline, appealing as it does to the most basic of human instincts.  But rarely has it been deployed in such a shameless exercise of deception.  In essence, the managers of the overreaching SCHIP legislation trotted out two families to tell their heart-rending stories.  Yet neither of those families, as best we can tell, would lose benefits under the President's proposal.  So what was the point?  Pure politics to further the equation of an evil president, more stage-managed politics-by-spectacle to further a political advantage, and little to do with any responsible attempt to resolve an issue.

There will undoubtedly be a resolution, but only after political grandstanding of the lowest order, for the lowest of motivations.

The effort by 41 Senate Democrats to besmirch Rush Limbaugh, now hilariously and brilliantly thrown back by Rush to explode in their faces, may be the most probative explanation yet for why space aliens merely fly by our planet without landing in search of other intelligent life in the universe.

As much as the effort demeans all sense of the Senate as a "deliberative" body, it also raises - even more than debates on appropriate limits to intelligence gathering - the specter of misuse of power in ways that should be of concern without regard to ideology.  The effort sought, by any reasonable definition, to chill the speech of a private citizen.

Intelligence gathering, by means accepted or decried, has national purpose.  Attempts to silence a private citizen of influence great or small, no matter how silly or ill-considered, have naught but political purpose, offensive to and prohibited by the Constitution.

The two preceding examples are, at least not immediately dangerous to the security of the Republic.  That cannot be said of the House resolution to condemn Turkey for the massacre of Armenians nearly a century ago.  To the questions why this, why now, there are no rational answers.

Even if the motivation is to satisfy a political constituency, that cannot explain the stupidity of even airing, never mind enacting, a resolution virtually guaranteed to exacerbate tensions in the tinderbox of the world.  That's not our evaluation; it is that of every former living Secretary of State, Democrat and Republican alike.

It seems now certain that the resolution will go away, despite the defiant previous position of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  Regardless, some unnecessary damage has already been done.

Manky numpties, indeed.  But we are fast approaching the point where merely useless becomes dangerous.

October 19, 2007
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