Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Putzing on the Ritz....

A funny thing happened the other day, during an *epic* roadtrip to my uncle's house in Tolland, CT, from my parents' winter hideaway in Florida. It was a saga, a three-act play, a journey fraught with detours. It involved changing weather patterns, calculating traffic algorithims on the fly, repairs (had to get a new transmission in Clark's Summit, Pa.), but I persevered, kept my eye on the ball, tried not to be selfish whenever I was stacked up with a bunch of other citizens, all of us merging into a single lane, minding the rumblestrips, obeying local laws. It was less than perfect, believe me, but with compromise, we all got to our destination.

Almost all of us, that is.

At the very end of the trip, after having chewed up over 1,100 difficult miles, having expelled myself from I-84 with an audible "Pop!" who should be standing in the middle of my lane but U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, with his hand stretched out like the Supremes? So, like all Americans in December 2009, I Stopped in the Name of Lieberman.

I asked what he wanted, and he said that he wanted to be the King of Everything--and barring that, then the Overlord of The Free World, but if he couldn't achieve that, then definitely the Viceroy of Relevance, but if that post were already filled, then maybe just maintaining his current job as U.S. Senator, but with the expanded powers of the Under Secretary of Transportation for the Off-Ramp of Exit 67 at Connecticut State Road 31 and the Wilbur Cross Highway.

It was a logical turn of events, he explained to me. On a particularly slow day on the Hill, he was struck with this brilliant idea that only vehicles with employee stickers from the The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., ought to be allowed on secondary roads in Connecticut, and since the Dept. of Public Safety was weathering a hiring freeze, no one would be available to preserve smooth motoring for the insurance workforce of Tolland, in their immortal quest for profits--his constituency, you see--if he didn't roll up his sleeves and do it himself, because he thought it was the right thing to do, what he was elected to do, and did I have my ID card with me?

As it happens, for me that particular document was quite a few miles back, long forgotten at the corner of I'd-Never-Do-That and You're-A-Complete-Schmuck. So I nicely pled my case to the senator, telling him that, actually, secondary roads ought to be open to ALL Americans, becuase they provided excellent options when other, larger, more expensive avenues were hopelessly clogged--not unlike I-84. Nope, he smiled grimly. That's going to take my permission, and I'm just not gonna grant it. Your heroic slog of 1,100 miles was for naught, because I am exercising my power to stop you. (And the millions your allegory represents, for those playing at home...)

So what could I do in the face of One Mad Senator? Nothing to but phone in my regrets to my uncle, wheel the Studebaker around and look for a road I *could* take -- a Public Option back in the Sunshine State, that self-same place where the "Al & Joe, On Ice!"ctm  show made its last appearance, to standing-room crowds, in November, 2000, at the Miami-Dade Dinner Theatre. Florida Supreme Court, Jeb Bush, Exec. Dir.

What a waste of time, money and goodwill, I thought, as my Studebaker wheezed back onto the one-size-fits-all, might-is-right world of Interstate 84..... What a goddamned annoying citizen this man has become.

Don't get me wrong. A decade back, I was thrilled at the prospect of a Lieberman Vice-Presidency. He had Moxie; he could be the Bad Cop to Al's Good Cop. His ascension would also bring long-overdue religious diversity to the Executive Branch. And he was Al's man. How, after all, could Al lose? He was a by-god shoe-in after the Go-Go 90s....... (cue a five-minute clip of the longest traffic accident imaginable)

Let it be known that I don't blame Joe one bit for the eventual devolution of the 2000 Election. But I do blame him now, for the un-anesthetized spaying of Health Care Reform.

Seriously, Connecticut. Really? Your guy is holding peoples' lives hostage here. You need to take away this crudely-fashioned badge of "Independence," clean house, vote boyfriend out, and then take a 15-yard penalty AWAY from the polling stations and STAY THERE until you all come to some kind of concensus on a candidate who Plays Well With Others instead of a politican whose two-sheet playbook consists of One: a recent history of talking out of both cheeks of his ass, and Two: lying down in the road and becoming the Most Lifelike Pothole on the Bridge to Progress.

Allow me to be your check and balance here. Outmaneuver him now, before he invents another Party of One. (Angry Grandpa Party? Fiddler Crabs for Connecticut Party?)

Because just as sure as Bugs Bunny drew a 21 on one card, come 2012, we're all going to be a bunch of Daffy Ducks, our un-insured tailfeathers singed to the bone, our eyes bloody and red, screaming in exasperation, "I'm a Fiddler Crab... Go on and shoot me, why don't you? It's Fiddler Crab Season!!!"


  1. Well said. Say it ain't so, Joe. Connecticut joins the ranks of Georgia with Democrats Gone Wild (see Zell "Guess who I am today" Miller)ctm.

  2. Yes, Zell went "crazy-old-coot" a long time ago. Not sure the proper metaphor for Joe, but several come to mind that shouldn't be printed in a public forum.