Bret Rumbeck
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Here you'll find reviews of music, discussion of sports, social/political commentary and thoughts on the professional world. 

Want to Make America Great Again? Let's All Retake High School Civics

There’s nothing better than to see a politician caught up in a hypocritical statement or situation.

For example, we had former Senator David Vitter (R-LA) who was going to save us from swimming in the molten sulfur lake of gay marriage: 

I’m a conservative who opposes radically redefining marriage, the most important social institution in human history.  (Source)

Bless him. He will save our Fair City!

Wait. Didn’t you got caught with some prostitutes?

Vitter, 46, acknowledged in a statement last Monday that his number was included in the telephone records of an escort service run by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, a woman dubbed by the news media as the 'D.C. Madam.' (Source

And to keep it balanced, we can't leave out President Bill Clinton

But I want to say one thing to the American people. I want you to listen to me. I'm going to say this again: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time; never. These allegations are false. (Source)

And what happened?

Indeed, I did have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate. (Source)

We're still unclear exactly what was not appropriate: The fellatio or the cigar. A question for philosophers to answer, methinks.

Let’s spit on our hand, shake and agree that neither the Republicans or the Democrats are as pure as the driven snow or have an IQ that breaks 100. House Democrats shared their brilliance when they re-elected Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as the minority leader. Under her 'leadership', Democrats lost the majority of the Midwest - and the bulk of the Blue Dog Caucus - due to an overly-aggressive liberal agenda. House Democrats reward these losses by re-electing her again and again.  Sounds like an NFL owner I know who keeps blaming everyone else but himself. 

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is now taking all of us for fools. Shortly after Justice Antonin Scalia died, Republicans serving on the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter to McConnell stating, "...the American people are presented with an exceedingly rare opportunity to decide, in a very real and concrete way, the direction the (US Supreme) Court will take over the next generation We believe The People (sic) should have this opportunity." (Source

Two things: 

  1. “The People” shouldn’t be capitalized. You’re not Thomas Jefferson, so don’t capitalize random words in the middle of a sentence.
  2. Our pal Senator Vitter signed this letter. You know, the champion of social justice and fierce defender of family values. Do The People get to know more about his time with prostitutes? 

I digress.

McConnell agreed, saying "This nomination will be determined by whoever wins the presidency in the polls,” Mr. McConnell said. “I agree with the Judiciary Committee’s recommendation that we not have hearings. In short, there will not be action taken." (Source)

He repeated his stance the same day Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to serve on the Supreme Court: "The American people are perfectly capable of having their say on this issue, so let's give them a voice. Let's let the American people decide." (Source

So yesterday, McConnell stands before reporters and tells The American People, "… apparently there’s yet a new standard now, which is to not confirm a Supreme Court nominee at all. I think that’s something the American people simply will not tolerate, and we’ll be looking forward to receiving a Supreme Court nomination and moving forward on it." (Source)

The American People wanted the Senate to ignore Garland’s nomination and now we won't tolerate a further delay? Golly Senator! The People are as fickle as a fourth grader trying to choose who to sit next to at lunch. 

Take a moment and join me in a vacuum of time, space and our own personal politics. Yes, I know Senate Democrats have pulled this type of nonsense before. We can delve into that later. Travel to this infinite place where we all wear tri-cornered hats, fight King George and are rational, compromising people.

Here’s why we’ve accepted these statements from politicians: We didn’t pay attention in high school civics. Today, we suffer for our sin and allow The Powers That Be to take us for the proverbial ride. We allow them to light a dark cave with a few candles and dance behind us so all we see are shadows. They bottle-feed us this false reality and we respond with ‘Of course we're electing the Supreme Court nominee! Freedom!’ 

The American People did speak before Garland had the nomination. We voted in 2014 for congressmen and senators. That is our voice. We may disagree with those holding office, but we had our say. We do not directly elect Supreme Court justices. So, why are you duping us into believing this nonsense? 

A better question: Why are we believing it?

I’ll lay my cards on the table. I didn’t pay much attention in math and science classes. I faked my way through high school chemistry, I nearly flunked geometry twice, I cut geology classes to eat chicken sandwiches in the Cal Lutheran cafeteria and I told the astronomy adjunct 'professor' 'Learning algorithms to find stars is a pointless activity.'  

But I’m not on social media posting fake news about geology conspiracy theories, or some rant about how oxygen and hydrogen really aren’t forming water. I don’t claim to be an expert on how galaxies form, I don’t post fake news about rocket science nor do I practice geometry proofs in my spare time.

Yet, when it comes to political issues, many who can’t name the Third Amendment to the Bill of Rights or name their congressman are embracing McConnell’s nonsense about The American People 'electing' the new Supreme Court nomination? That’s absurd. 

That’s not the fault of the GOP or the Democratic Party for taking advantage of our ignorance. No, Gentle Reader, we will not blame the ‘mainstream media’ either. We should be better than blaming the reporters for the New York Times, Associated Press or using phrases like ‘lame-stream media’. Grow up. 

We’re at fault for dumbing ourselves down to the lowest common denominator and then embracing that lowly state. We’re allowing candidates and elected officials to claim he/she can simply sign a document and poof! There goes Obamacare! We’ve freed ourselves from the shackles of tyranny once again with the stroke of a God-given quill pen.

We allowed a congressman to convince San Joaquin Valley residents that the reason for the drought was all on the Democrats. (Source) But passage of his bill would 'turn on the pumps' and bring 'immediately bring relief to the families of the San Joaquin Valley.' (Source) Yet he failed to explain his bill would then need to get passed by the Senate, sent to a conference committee, passed again by both chambers and then signed into law by the president. (Source)

You know, I think I’ve learned how a bill becomes a law… somewhere…

In today’s world, knowledge isn’t power and we can’t get bogged down with those details. Details and facts are for suckers. And Lord! The media! They’ll just screw it up with slanted journalism and bias.  

The system is not broken. Congress isn’t broken either; it’s the same slow, deliberative body it’s always been.

What’s broken is our understanding of fundamental government. We’d rather take our crazy Uncle Lou’s Facebook post as gospel, rather than a journalist for the Washington Post. Journalism describes reality; our Uncle Lou is just angry.

We’re entering a strange new world in a few short weeks, and we’re going to hear more and more from the Right and Left about the fire and brimstone we’re all in for unless Jesus can intervene and pass this legislation/repeal this law/cut this budget/drain the swamp. 

And maybe Jesus will come down from the sky, flaming sword in hand, to repeal Obamacare. Until those trumpets sound, we should agree to leave that dark cave and not allow those in power to take advantage of our ignorance. Let's work to be smarter, better Americans.