Pardon Me for Saying

     “This country never did, nor never shall
     Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror
     But when it first did help to wound itself.”
     Pardon me for quoting from “King John,” the worst play Shakespeare ever wrote, but as my old music professor Fritz Kramer used to say, “Second-class is very good.”
     When the Republican Party and the U.S. Senate told Iran and the world that the president of the United States cannot be trusted, did they wound the United States?
     Now that white policemen have become movie stars for killing black men, and their fellow officers keep arresting and brutalizing people for taking pictures of it, must we allow them to keep wounding us?
     Now that our Republican Congress has appointed Binyamin Netanyahu Secretary of State for the Middle East, how badly have they wounded us?
     Now that the Supreme Court has declared that money is speech, so long as it’s thrown at politicians, does it mean that people with no money to “donate” can’t talk to politicians? (That is what it means.)
     How grievously has the Supreme Court wounded us?
     And now that Florida is sinking into the sea, though the Republican Party has declared that global warming is a fantasy of “science” – a silly delusion we can extinguish by paying Republicans to strangle scientists – because oil and gas and coal companies have so much money – excuse me, I mean speech – how much longer until our East Coast lies at the foot of the conquering sea?
     Pardon me for singing an old Pete Seeger song, but “Which side are you on, boys? Which side are you on?”
     Perhaps it’s unfair to expect Speaker of the House John Boehner or Nebraska Sen. Tom Cotton – immaculately dressed breasts puffed out, begging for money, underpants soaked with oil and platitudes – to approach Shakespeare at his worst.
     But let me cite Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar:
     “Let us bathe our hands in blood up to the elbows, and besmear our swords; then walk we forth even to the market-place, and waving our red weapons o’er our heads, let’s all cry ‘Peace, freedom and liberty!'”
     OK, let’s.
     Nah, you do it. I’ll watch.
     Hey, it worked for Brutus. For a little while.
     And he was the noblest Roman of them all.
     Marcus Antonius said so after Brutus ran onto his own sword. And Mark Antony was Brutus’ mortal enemy.
     Politics was serious back then. Not a game, like it is today.
     Brutus killed himself because he saw there was no way to undo his horrible mistake.
     He finally understood that when he killed Caesar, he’d turned over his country to be torn apart by … itself.
     So Brutus ran onto his sword.
     That’s not a sign of nobility, or of guilt: It’s a sign of class.
     It’s a sign of good taste.
     In this new millennium, we have the most tasteless Congress in the history of the world. They’re as bad as Putin’s congress. They’re as bad as Caesar’s. And it’s all done in the light of day.
     I don’t have much money, and I never give it to politicians, so I don’t expect them to listen to me. Still, I’d like to say this to all 535 members of Congress:
     Stop wounding our country, you selfish S.O.Bs.
     Stop bathing other people in blood and besmearing your imaginary swords with other people’s blood while crying “Peace, freedom and liberty!” in the marketplace.
     Show some class, you overpaid, self-seeking babies. Admit it when you’ve done wrong:
     Your stupid, Oedipal self-seeking wars;
     Your greedy truckling to Big Oil, Big Guns, to Big God As He Appears On TV;
     Your shameless pandering for money;
     Your insane selfishness.
     Listen to me, Congress:
     Money is not speech.
     Freedom is not war.
     Liberty is not unchaining millionaires and corporations that never wore chains, and can’t wear them, and never will, to put other people in chains.
     Poetic license – which the Department of Homeland Security granted me in a very expensive license, which the FISA court prohibits me from revealing, because I bribed the judges with words – allows me to say, this one time, before they haul me away:
     All of the 301 Republicans and 234 nominal Democrats in Congress today are just walking shadows, strutting their few hours upon the stage, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

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