The Old Guard

One of the most important positions a military person can perform is that of “walking picket”. Dictionary.com defines a picket as: (n)1:a person employed to keep watch for some anticipated event (synonymous with: lookout, sentry, and spotter)

This job has real importance and holds significant responsibility for obvious reasons. If the enemy can find a habitually recognizable weak point in the defenses of a structured combat or bivouac encampment, sappers can engineer an attack at the line closest to the troops.

Normally this position is maintained by the youngest troops. It’s a traditional way of forging a youngster’s acceptance and performance of a regularly assigned position of responsibility. The more serious you take the job, the greater the safety of your comrades. This is why we’ve heard of dire punishments for sleeping while on duty. These punishments range from loss of pay upward through incarceration to the death penalty during times of war. It’s something to take seriously.

The Fast and Furious controversy has plodded onward into the greatest depths of the sepsis we call politics. Rep. Issa (R-CA.) is continually jabbing Attorney General Eric Holder like he’s Quixote’s favorite windmill. It looks impressive but the futility appears greater each day because Holder just doesn’t want to comply with Issa’s demands Holder give up the evidence they both feel could be detrimental to the Obama Administration.

Now, (as in so many other occasions) the media is asking: “Will Chairman Issa really issue a contempt of Congress Citation?” “What would be the impact”?

The impact would obviously be that Issa, taking the role of Combat Engineer, would place an explosive charge at the feet of the administration and blow the obstinate lackey of a politically and bureaucratically corrupt system to smithereens. This would challenge the archaic system all of these people do the Kowtow to. They’re all characters in a strictly structured performance art known as Kabuki. It’s stylized. It’s arcane and carries many hidden and convoluted sub-plots. It’s harder than the dickens to understand by the layman. Such is Washingtonian politics today.

“The system lives; long live the system.”

Unfortunately, this system, written and performed in a specific fashion for so long totally rejects change to its structure. It’s become an anachronism: a relic unresponsive to the needs of a new society seeking performances the actors don’t want to give.

There are main cast members. Holder is one. Issa is another. But the role of beloved patriarch has fallen to Speaker of the House John Boehner. His role should be that of a warrior leader leading the cast to greater revelations concerning the direction of the plot.

Instead, Boehner has chosen the part of “Picket”, the sentry guarding the gate behind which his civilization rests before the next assault on their political position. Boehner, because of his longevity in the cast, has taken on the role of “Old Guard”. He’s a man more interested in maintaining the status quo than he is providing the excellent service expected of him. He prefers to spend his time in daydreams of his long-passed rise to power and past glories. He cat-naps while on his post.

Meanwhile the opposition tunnels and digs a path beneath the battlements Boehner is charged to protect.

Issa wants a Contempt of Congress Citation to shake the administration to its core. Boehner doesn’t want Issa to get that Contempt Citation. It would create problems for Boehner. It would remove control from the Speaker. It would shake Boehner’s (and Cantor’s) core because they’d lose control. They couldn’t mediate/conciliate anymore.

Boehner’s asleep on post right now; if not asleep, dozing, his head dropping sleepily to his chest.

His performance is tired and hackneyed. His awareness slides toward the dreams of the past glories only he finds relevant now. He only knows one way and he wants to keep it that way. Unfortunately, he benignly allows the opposition time to rally, gain strength and ready for the next assault; an assault to come as Boehner naps on post.

The Old Guard, though ideologically as loyal as ever is sleeping on post and the results, as always, will be dire.

Thanks for listening.



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