It is amazing that people have such little faith in Congress these days. During the rancorous health care debate the other day, the esteemed congressman from west Texas yelled “baby killer” to the esteemed congressman from Michigan. We have now learned that they later met and an apology was accepted, which should restore our faith in the civility of this fine institution.
I suspect the apology went something like this:
TX Congressman: I’d like to apologize for your thinking that I called you a baby killer.
MI Congressman: But you did.
TX: First of all, no one was supposed to find out it was me.
MI: I know. You hid behind your giggling colleagues.
TX: But then I remembered why I did it. Publicity. And you can’t get that without coming out. Anyway, I was talking about the bill.
MI: I understand completely.
TX: It’s the bill that’s a baby killer. You are not a baby killer…as far as I know.
MI: And you are not a lying, flaming pile of pond scum. So I accept your apology, which must mean you are something less than a flaming pile of pond scum or else I wouldn’t accept your apology.
TX: Why thank you. You know, tensions were high. I got caught up in the moment. I said it to give voice to my constituents who hate killing babies.
MI: As opposed to my constituents who enjoy killing babies.
TX: Yes, exactly! I’m so glad we see eye to eye.
MI: Would you like a drink?
(after the Texan nods, the Michigan congressman pours two snifters of cognac. They clink glasses and sip their drinks.)
MI: You know I put rat poison in your drink.
TX: I don’t believe you. You wouldn’t kill a senior citizen because you only kill babies. That is . . . you would only kill babies, if you were a baby killer.
MI: Yeah, you got me. It wasn’t poison, only LSD. Seriously, why do you think the public has such a low opinion of us?
TX: They don’t! It’s only baby-killing congressmen they don’t like.
MI: Will you cut it out? Can you get off message for just a moment, you rich-loving, corporate ass-kissing, cancer-victim hating, right-wing nut?
TX: I apologize to the esteemed baby killing gentleman from Michigan. Alleged baby killer that is.
MI: What’s happened to us? What happened to the great statesmen like Henry Clay, John Calhoun, Daniel Webster?
TX: Yeah. And Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin, Davy Crockett, John Wayne.
MI: It’s this crazy, fast-paced, 5000-channel, DVR addicted, Googling, short attention span age we live in. If the Lincoln-Douglas debates were held today, they would probably be settled by Simon Cowell voting someone off the stage.
TX: That’s why Joe Wilson is the new Daniel Webster of Congress. His message is short and sweet, aimed at the attention deficit masses.
MI: Joe who?
TX: The esteemed gentleman from South Carolina. You know, the “you lie” guy. That’s why I said what I said yesterday. Did you see the campaign contributions he got after that?
MI: Yeah, I know. They skyrocketed! He’s definitely set a new standard.
TX: You know since we eliminated earmarks from bills…
(They both wink at each other)
TX: I needed to bring back a little something to my district.
MI: Did you have to be so over the top? Couldn’t you have just yelled, “death panels” or “higher taxes” or “I hate poor people?”
TX: Abortion is a three-syllable word. Most Americans wouldn’t sit through it. But once again, I apologize for your thinking that I think you kill babies.
MI: Accepted again, you deceiving, barely-smoldering stack of pond scum.
TX: (laughs) Cheers! By the way, between you and me, what did you really think about that health care bill?
MI: Are you kidding? 2500 pages? I couldn’t make an intern suffer through that.
TX: Yeah, me neither. But I’m pretty sure there’s some language in there somewhere about killing babies.