I Dream of Jeanie
by Paul Hein
by Paul Hein
A while back I wrote a piece about the activities of one of my Missouri Senators: Christopher Bond. His website described his activities, and I was so amazed by them that I was driven to the keyboard. Virtually nothing that he did had anything to do with what one, in a fit of idealism, might call legitimate government. (I know: that's an oxymoron, but you and I are among the very few who seem to realize that.)
Recently I decided to see what Missouri's other Senator has been doing, because she's one of my favorites. That's because she typifies Washington, and the people who live there: completely oblivious to the law. I say that because ex-Senator Jean Carnahan (she lost her re-"election" bid in November) had no more legitimacy in the Senate than my poodle, who is cuter, and equally disposed to a government career: he'll run off with whatever he can get a hold of.
Senator Carnahan was not elected to that august body, but was appointed to it by the governor of Missouri to serve the term of her husband, the previous governor of Missouri, who wasn't elected to it, either. The late governor Carnahan was killed in a plane crash shortly before the election, before new ballots could be printed. Missouri voters, in their wisdom, elected a dead man. Carnahan's opponent, John Ashcroft, made no objection when the new governor proposed that the unelected dead governor's wife serve in his stead. Bizarre! (Or had he been promised something better?) But no one seems to care that a Senate seat is occupied quite illegally. Oh, well! We're a nation of laws, unless sentiment, or just plain dirty politics, gets in the way.
So how did our illegitimate Senator spend her time? Well, not exactly fighting for justice, which would seem to be about the only justifiable reason for any senator's existence. Rather, she did a lot of announcing. For example, she announced federal grants for eleven Missouri fire departments. She announced federal education grants for low-income youth in Missouri. She announced two federal grants for substance abuse prevention and treatment programs in St. Louis. She announced new federal grants for Missouri law enforcement. She announced a $6.8 million grant for water and waste programs in rural Missouri. She announced another $1.1 million grant for Missouri law enforcement. She urged President Bush to restore cuts in veterans' benefits. She expressed disappointment at the delay in drought relief for Missouri farmers. She wangled $365 million for Missouri defense projects. She introduced a bill "Honor Our Heroes" to assist families of troops who made the "ultimate sacrifice." She called on colleagues to support a drug benefits program for seniors. She finagled $21 million for Missouri military construction projects. And all of this was only in July and August!
Obviously, this woman presented a clear and present danger to Americans not living in Missouri. The best defense of non-Missourians to the predations of this skirted Zorro is to elect similar senators in their own states, to prey upon other Americans in an attempt to stay even, or even come out ahead. The best Senator is the one with the most blood on his sword, or the most loot in his bag.
What an absurdity! This person had no business being in Congress in the first place, but who cares? What she did there is to use the power of government to plunder non-Missourians for the benefit of Missourians — especially well-organized individuals who vote, like senior citizens. It is apparent that she had no more idea of the proper role (if any!) of government than does my aforementioned poodle, but she's infinitely more dangerous than he.
Check your Senator's website, and see what he's doing for his generous pay and fabulous perks. Is he worth it? Is the whole damn fool establishment worth it? The more you investigate, the more obvious the answer will become.
September 6, 2003
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