The short, unhappy nonconfirmation process of Tom Daschle was a cautionary tale. The system worked...ugly. Will the lesson take? Yet to be determined.
One thing we did discover. We know a whole lot less about those who represent us, back home here in "the sticks" than we think we do.
The disclosures that came out, not just about the unpaid taxes for the driver, but the multimillion dollar fees from the healthcare industry, make me think that for all the ugliness of Daschle's determination to stick it out until he couldn't any more, we dodged a bullet.
There's an entitlement among too many Senators and Representatives and others who sign on to work in DeeCee that after a while they lose touch with what brought them there in the first place.
[Disclaimer: I don't think the Bush ideologues who trashed the place for the past eight years ever had any other agenda than trashin' the place. But then that's me....]
But even the best of them, at their Super Bowl parties or in their caucus lunches or wherever, tell each other how the little people just don't understand how hard they're working for them. Don't appreciate just how important they are.
Oh, they probably don't put it quite that crassly....
But they posture and sometimes preen and find each other the most awesomest, wonderfullest, honestest....
And the rationalization becomes easier. And that's the slippery slope that avalanched right over Obama and his vetting team this week. Chock-full o'Daschle and the deniers and the demigods.
They become "they," not "we," "the people."
They lose touch...with their constituents, their states, their country,
...and whatever brought them to Washington in their dusty ol' cars, still married to their home state wives and their principles.
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"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."