It can’t be easy, in a campaign with Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson, to say something that stands out in its craven pandering and utter cluelessness.
So congratulations to Jeb Bush, who yesterday managed both.
“Let’s disrupt Washington,” Bush told Fox News’s Sean Hannity. “Let’s create a little bit of a recession in Washington, D.C., so that we can have economic prosperity outside of Washington.”
Washington, D.C., is filled with hundreds of thousands of actual American citizens, including me. But Jeb Bush can get away with his lighthearted call for economic suffering for a major U.S. city because the “Washington” of Americans’ fevered imaginations is somehow to blame for all their problems. They hate Washington.
Well guess what? We hate you more.
Election after election, districts all over America send their village idiots to Congress to rule over us, to write our laws and to spend trillions of our dollars. Some of the people they elect aren’t qualified to spoon food into their own mouths, let alone serve in Congress.
- Georgia’s Jody Hice doesn’t think the First Amendment should protect Islamic worship, and he thinks it’s only OK for a women to run for office if she’s “within the authority of her husband.” (He replaced a congressman who called evolution a “lie straight from the pits of hell”; that guy was a doctor.)
- Steve King of Iowa has said undocumented immigrants crossing over from Mexico have “calves the size of cantaloupes” from carrying so much weed.
- Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton wrote a letter to Iran’s leaders explaining the Constitution to them, got it wrong, and managed to get 46 of his fellow senators to sign on.
These people are the human equivalent of those email forwards you get from your uncle who only wears one t-shirt, with a crying eagle holding an AR-15 on it. They don’t believe in climate change, and they think President Obama is a communist Kenyan Muslim who wants to destroy America by making sure people have health insurance.
At this moment, Republicans can’t figure out who should be the next speaker of the House, one of the most powerful jobs in the government, because they can’t find someone who will break the government enough. The 40 members of the House Freedom Caucus – the only members of Congress who love freedom, I guess – want someone who will shut down the government unless President Obama orders a nuclear strike on Planned Parenthood clinics across America. (I think I have that right.) And they’re holding the process hostage until they find someone to satisfy their hunger for chaos.
After breaking the government, they’ll go home to their constituents to join their complaints about how government just doesn’t work. It’s that dang Washington, D.C.! If only we could fix it!
And those of us who live here in Washington? We don’t even get to write our own local laws without these yahoos giving us a meaty thumb’s up. Want to spend our own tax dollars on helping poor women pay for abortions? Nope, Jesus told Congress that makes him cry. Want to make marijuana more or less legal because the War on Drugs is destructive and immoral? Sorry, we need to review this Reefer Madness filmstrip first to see if that’s OK.
And, of course, when Congress does vote on our laws, we don’t get a vote.
Republicans like Jeb Bush love to complain about Washington because we make an easy target, but it’s the representatives the rest of America send to our city who are mucking everything up. Oh, are you sick of all the partisan bickering? The influence of big-money lobbyists? The gridlock, the extremism? That’s not Washington; that’s you.
Bush suggests sending the city I live in into a recession. He’s joking, of course. But it’s a nasty joke, one that comes from ignorance and malevolence. And the governing philosophy behind it is very real. Bush – along with his dozen or so fellow candidates – wants to come to Washington to destroy it for the greater good. They think firing my neighbors who work for the federal government will somehow fix the problems back home.
Do me, my neighbors and my city a favor and stop sending these folks here. Washington isn’t responsible for your problems. You’re responsible for ours.