So yesterday I talked with you about mischief, the innocent kind that kids do to have fun, and (hopefully) not at the expense of others. But I mentioned that there is another kind of mischief referred to as malicious mischief. It, too, can be undertaken by kids, and sometimes ends up looking like vandalism, graffitti, or even wanton destruction.
But there is another community upon which I wish to focus when thinking about malicious mischief. It is the Republican majority in the House of Representatives and some of the minority in the Senate. They are a nasty group of elected officials who have dedicated themselves to disrupting the government. Prior to the 2012 election they declared that their primary purpose was to see to it that President Obama did not have a second term. They stipulated over and over again that they would stop at nothing to get him out of office.
But since then this group of Republicans, fed by the Tea Party, have done all kinds of nasty tricks to continue to harrass the Obama Administration and to effectively shut down the legislative process in Congress. They have been more successful in this venture. One of their specific goals is the overthrowing of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. At the present time they are using it as a pawn in holding up much-needed legislation regarding the economic policy of the government. If they continue, the country will actually close down for business, causing a huge problem in terms of our domestic and international economic programs.
I have chosen to call this behavior malicious mischief. I suppose there are more sophisticated terms to characterize the behavior, but it has all the earmarks of intentional tricks and manipulations intended to do harm to the Administration, the country, and international economic systems. It is game-playing, and the risks involved in these games is greater than one could have imagined.
Congress is not elected to play games. It is a serious, difficult system of governance which requires intelligence, thought, and respect for fellow members. None of that is present in the workings of this group of misguided legislators. They have rallied around selfish, small-minded goals and will use any equipment available to achieve their ends. If the government or nation is damaged, so be it. Even when the leadership of their own party warns that the party will be damaged by their maneuvering, they forge ahead with their malicious intentions.
Every time there is a hint of success on their part there is glee and high-fives, reminiscent of the champagne-popping celebrations in sports teams. It is childish. The pain on the part of the opposition is ridiculed and the smell of temporary, but limited, success is touted.
Malicious mischief begins with mischief. It lacks maturity and forethought. It revels in hilarity at a time of solemn appraisal.
It must be hard for serious, forward-thinking Republicans to watch this kind of foolishness taking place. One of the reactions of these moderates is that they are abandoning the Congress, unable to stomach the frivolity of these Republican kids. With their departure goes a treasure of intelligent, well-meaning leadership which has been important to governance for decades. The thought of these juveniles being in charge of the government is frightening.
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