The Eternal Stamp of an Irreversible Act
You don’t undrop The Bomb.
Thankfully, wisdom and character were rightly placed in history…the right decision came rather easy for Mr. Truman. (Just months removed from a post in the Senate, this may be the most fortunate and timely promotion…aside from General Grant to the Potomac…America has ever seen. If the Senate of the mid-1940s was anything like today’s, I wouldn’t bet two cents we could roll the electoral focused dice at the convention and find one with a spine. But, I digress.)
When it comes to irreversible acts, history brands some figures…some names…some decisions…forever: Benedict Arnold, Aaron Burr, Robert E. Lee. In more generous cases, history mostly just writes them out…James Wilkinson. When your actions are just votes and you are but one of 435 it is usually safe to assume a large amount of anonymity in your shame. On Sunday, March 21, 2010…DON”T COUNT ON IT.
With hours to go before the big vote even occurs, some have already crossed the threshold and earned their eternal brand. President Obama owns this. Senate Majority Leader Reid owns this. Speaker of the House of Representatives Pelosi owns this. And to be perfectly clear, “this” is not a bill or a law…”this” is this the putrid fourteen month process that has torn mightily…and so destructively… at the very fabric of American society. The extensive collateral damage, primarily the credibility of the Congressional Budget Office, will plague DC for decades…maybe forever. Their shame is total.
Others carry quite a stain…Nelson, Landrieu and, yes, Snowe. (“When history calls, history calls”? Holy crap, that ranks right up there with “Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?” and “Joey, have you ever been in a… in a Turkish prison?” coming from a sitting US Senator. Unbelievable.)
Many more will chose a place in history very soon. They have but one duty…a vote…executed while under the following oath:
“I, _________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”
Nothing about an obligation to the Speaker…or to the President…not even explicitly to constituents back home. This is a pledge of allegiance to the Constitution of the United States not a vow to grasp for unlimited power when majorities allow and to grant new rights and redistribute property on a cynical legislative whim.
The simple fact that there are 180 or so solid “Yes” votes on the “reform” bill says a lot about how low our collective standards have become for federal representation…and makes you wonder what exactly these individuals have in mind when they repeat the phrase “So help me God.” Unfortunately, after this weekend, they will remain mostly anonymous outside their districts. Unfortunately, to the extent that a majority in those districts has sent such lacking character to DC, I expect no shame to be placed on them.
On the other hand, there are undecideds, late deciders, and flippers. These names will be branded and they will be remembered. The new media are everywhere and they have long memories.
So when the true costs of this are finally known…you will be remembered. When Speaker Pelosi admits that abortions actually will be funded brags that this is the ultimate victory for women’s reproductive rights…you will be remembered. When Americans go to the voting booth this November…you will be remembered.
Votes have consequences…long lasting consequences.
Proud Redstate “Old Timer” – 5 years 7 months