Dogs, Politics

Public Service

08.28.07 | Comment?

I think a sign of Boris’ competence as the Scourge of Possums is my reflection, just now after hanging up the phone, that I really should add to speed dial the Multnomah County Animal Services’ Dead Animal Pickup number.  I think this is number 4 on the dog’s tally, possibly 5 if my suspicions about a recent victim of a Boris attack having crawled under the deck to conveniently expire.  Stupid fucking possums.

Unrelated, but speaking of critters, I doubt anyone can ever be an effective legislator if he becomes known as “Senator Men’s Room”. 

Further to the discussion of Congress, recently two events with such members have been held locally.  The first was Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, holding a “town hall” meeting, where he was apparently barracked by anti-war activists.  In the words of the Oregonian: “Although few senators can match U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden’s long record opposing the war in Iraq, it didn’t protect him from being thoroughly roasted Tuesday by angry anti-war activists at a town hall meeting in Portland.”  Choice quotes: “Do you have any idea how angry we are at the Democrats?” and “How do you sleep at night?”  All this because Wyden has not dropped everything to impeach the Chimpy McHitlerburtoncheney, nor has he immolated himself publicly in the Senate rotunda in order to halt funding for the Iraq war.

The second event starts Brian Baird, U.S. Representative from certain parts of Washington State, including bits just across the river from Portland.  Baird is another Democrat with an unblemished anti-Iraq-war voting record, but his own experience while visiting that country recently has caused him to publicly reverse course and support the surge.  For this he was mau-maued in a meeting yesterday with his constituents.  “We don’t care what your convictions are,” said [a constituent of Baird’s and resident] of  Vancouver. “You’re here to represent us.”  [Constituent] added, “You’re not representing us with this stance.”  Another said, “You’ve screwed up, my friend. You have screwed up, and you have to change course.”

Disagreement in the polity is vital for democracy, and the anti-war position is obviously valid and relevant to any discussion with our representatives.  However, the solipsism on display by these people is absolutist and detrimental to public discourse.  It also displays an utter ignorance of the principles of representative democracy.  The idea that one’s representative might not be in lock-step agreement with one, nor perhaps that others in the district are equally in disagreement, doesn’t enter into it with these folks.

My U.S. Representative and I do not agree on the Iraq war, but I would never shout at him any of the imprecations above.  Since my U.S. Representative is Earl Blumenauer and he once looked at me like he thought I was a car thief, I probably wouldn’t be having many conversations with him anyway, but still.

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