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July 13, 2009

Nominating Dictators

So what else is new?

Given the recent activities of many its Members, a May poll revealed that the Congress of the United States is held in low esteem by much of the public.

In Walt Whitman's political tract, "The Eighteenth Presidency," an attack on the dreadful state of American governance in 1856, he trained his sights on the "nominating dictators" of American political life. “Who are they?” he asked. The answer:

"Office-holders, office-seekers, robbers, pimps, exclusives, malignants, conspirators, murderers, fancy-men, post-masters, custom-house clerks, contractors, kept-editors, spaniels well-trained to carry and fetch, jobbers, infidels, disunionists, terrorists, mail-riflers, slave-catchers, pushers of slavery, creatures of the President, creatures of would-be Presidents, spies, blowers, electioneerers, body-snatchers, bawlers, bribers, compromisers, runaways, lobbyers, sponges, ruined sports, expelled gamblers, policy backers, monte-dealers, duelists, carriers of concealed weapons, blind men, deaf men, pimpled men, scarred inside with the vile disorder, gaudy outside with gold chains made from the people's money and harlot's money twisted together; crawling, serpentine men, the lousy combings and born freedom sellers of the earth."

Americans have been having fun looking at their political leaders ever since. Long may we look with a critical eye at the shenanigans of the kept editors [Did someone say "fair and balanced"?] and lobbyists for carriers of concealed weapons.

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