Every day I get my daughter off the bus and every day she bounds toward me with all the confidence of a tea party Senator, aware of lots of things but still not really thinking with an adult brain. She tells me how great her day was and walks inside, plopping her hefty backpack on the kitchen table before heading to the pantry for a snack. When her snack is done, she unzips her backpack and a litany of anti bullying information bursts out like the string’s been pulled on a plastic champagne party popper, only without the unpleasant sulfur smell. I read it all. Most of it either announces the “Steer Clear Of Bullies” assembly she attended or provides helpful hints on how to avoid raising a Nellie Oleson. Surprisingly, the school never suggests the strategy I’ve adopted over the past several weeks. Do NOT let them watch the coverage of the madness on Capitol Hill.
We all know children learn by example so clearly, calling the 62 year old woman who stole your parking spot a “thoughtless pig” is a definite no-no but if you have an atom of self control, this should be obvious. But people rarely consider how destructive the evening news can be on the young, malleable mind. What in the world is going on up on Capitol Hill? When Ted Cruz read Green Eggs & Ham in a disgusting display of stubborn immaturity and let the clock run out like a gloating football team, I immediately thought of the Simpsons “Marge in Chains” episode when the prosecution asks “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury. Who do you find more attractive? Tom Cruise or Mel Gibson? I feel so confident of Marge Simpson’s guilt that I can waste the court’s time by rating the super hunks,” Is this where we’re getting our leadership cues from these days? The Simpsons? If it is, I’ll have to quote Lionel Hutz and declare a “bad court thingy.”
If holding the government hostage while you read children’s books, posturing like an aging peacock and refusing to back down despite a sizable, logical opposition isn’t bullying, then I don’t know what is. When the senate is your captive audience and you can’t fill that time with meaningful opposition to the Affordable Health Care Act, you may as well be holding the presidents backpack over his head saying, “come on loser…come get it,” raising it as he jumps. You can’t tell children one thing and do another and if we allow this disrespectful, immature debacle to continue without holding these men accountable, no clever t-shirt or bookmark is going to undo the C-SPAN damage the evening news provides. Bullies and cowards cannot hold power positions. It’s high time we remind elected officials that intelligence and character are requirements, not bonuses and stop supporting these smirking, arrogant shills of corporate think tanks like the Heritage Action Group. This shit’s really getting old. Can we raise the bar now? Please?
Author: Rachel Zimmermann is a 43 year old dependent with a fair amount of artistic ability and lots of spare time. She currently resides on Long Island with her husband and two children.