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Elise Patkotak: Our government is the scariest show this Halloween

Elise Patkotak

It being so close to Halloween, I think we should examine the new paradigm in America in which the scariest things of all begin with the words, "The US Congress has formed a bipartisan committee to (fill in the blank - it doesn't matter because nothing will ever come of it)." Also high on the list are the words, "Hi, I'm from the Affordable Care Act and I'm here to help you enroll online."

Growing up, I was always told how lucky I was to live in America and not the Soviet Union where people feared their government. How quickly times can change. According to what some members of Congress are saying, we should fear our government more than the Jews feared the Nazis or slaves feared their owners.

Thanks to the concerted effort of some pretty extraordinarily ridiculous members of Congress over the past two decades or so, we now have a government from which any sane American should be hiding. It's not that we worry we will be sent to a gulag since the government claims that Guantanamo is mostly reserved for people who want to hurt us. However, given how trustworthy Congress has proven itself to be recently, we should probably not take their word for that any more than we believe them when they say there will not be another government shutdown while the kiddies in the sandbox have their little hissy fits.

But while we may not yet have to worry about being sent to a gulag for writing or saying things that might cast aspersions on the quality of government currently represented by the bozos in Congress, we certainly should worry about what their juvenile temper tantrums are doing to both our international reputation and our daily lives. To say nothing of the horrible example they are setting for our children about how mature people act.

As a for instance, let's just take a gander at the idea of a bipartisan committee working to come up with solutions for both the debt ceiling conundrum and the annual federal budget fight. Bipartisan committees have never had their recommendations taken seriously by their colleagues. In fact, one almost could be cynical enough to assume that the bipartisan committee was actually formed to get the adults out of the room so that the kids could continue to trash it. While moderate voices on a bipartisan committee work to come up with sensible legislation, the kids are in the corner giggling, laughing and pointing at them and the fact that they actually seem to think their solutions will be seriously considered.

It's hard to pick and choose which would be the scariest costume to don this year. Rand Paul could possibly win for having the worse hairpiece in Congress. He's running The Donald a close second in that regard. A Senator Cruz costume would be scary simply because Ted Cruz is a very scary, if somewhat pompously ridiculous, person.

As for the other side of the aisle, well, if the Republicans hadn't been so busy eating their young, they might have gotten a lot more play out of the disastrous debut of Obamacare. Unfortunately, they were too busy shutting down the government to successfully hammer that disaster in the press. Instead we were treated to pictures of Republicans grandstanding with WW II veterans outside of memorials their actions closed down. And yes, that was Our Gal, Temporary Sal, you saw at those memorials. Is there a photo op that woman won't show up for?

The current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue supposedly oversees one of the most tech savvy staff in presidential history. They won an election that was seemingly unwinnable by using their ability to hone in on the tiniest of demographics and turn out the vote in historically low voting districts. But somehow this group couldn't come up with software to launch a successful web site. They should have called Amazon. I'm sure they would have been happy to help. In fact, if they had simply sold the insurance plans over Amazon, I'm sure Amazon would have successfully launched the product.

So it would seem that this Halloween, donning any costume based on any branch of the government, including the Supreme (corporations are people) Court should win you the scariest costume at the party honor. And that's just sad.

Elise Patkotak's latest book, "Coming Into the City," is available at AlaskaBooksandCalendars.com and at local bookstores.



By ELISE PATKOTAK