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A Pox on Both Their Houses

How satire dies, one angry reader at a time...
 
"YOU'RE a disgrace to the American public."
 
This we have on authority of reader Bill C, writes Brian Maher at The Daily Reckoning.
 
Because our comments about Joe Biden's inaugural speech appalled him.
 
Others denounced us with such extravagance...we cannot publish their comments without alarming the Federal Communications Commission.
 
Biden's talk was the greatest inaugural stemwinder in history, we gushed. Washington's and Lincoln's were Alan Greenspan lectures next to it.
 
Thus we incurred the ire of Adam M.
 
Here he gives us a good, round piece of his mind:
 
"I am disgusted with the comments from your managing editor. His political comments and love for Biden is sickening."
 
Steve R, meantime, reads us a severe lesson...each word of it dripping acid:
 
"Most biased idiotic article I've ever read. You appear incestuously infatuated with one of the most corrupted career politicians that have been put in the white house."
 
Steve is so sore he washes his hands of us entirely: "Please cancel my subscription from this newsletter."
 
Bill O. is also aghast.
 
"Wow! No such thing as Government waste?...To say that excess spending isn't waste because it falls into a private company's hands! What kind of reasoning is That?"
 
In fairness, not all readers denounced us. For example, Cheryl H. crooned:
 
"I so appreciated reading such a pro-democracy perspective from an online financial editor. I can tolerate some differences of opinion expressed by some editors but have been deeply offended and alarmed by the ongoing falsehoods still being presented by others. Yes, I'm biased, due to sharing the values expressed by Mr.Maher, but it was just such a breath of fresh air to come across his contribution."
 
We vastly appreciate Cheryl's lavishness.
 
Yet, we cannot accept it in good conscience. Nor can we accept the scorchings listed above in good conscience.
 
For our praise was, in one word...insincere.
 
We had assumed our leg-pulling was evident to the readers. But the written word, naked upon the page, lacks the nuance of the spoken word.
 
The reader cannot observe the writer tugging on his leg. He cannot observe the sly grin.
 
Long-suffering readers will recognize that we are ruthlessly bipartisan. That is, our finger-wagging is ruthlessly bipartisan.
 
Republicans and Democrats, Democrats and Republicans...both invade our peace, both invade our dignity...both invade our wallets.
 
We are certainly no drummer for Joe Biden. We may as well pound a drum for a storefront mannequin.
 
He has little to say and says it in too many words. What he does say often bewilders us.
 
A vote for Joe Biden was not so much a vote for Joe Biden...but a vote against Donald Trump.
 
A majority of voters were evidently against Donald Trump. Did some patriotic Americans cast ballots from the grave?
 
Perhaps some did. We intend to upon our eventual demise. But we simply do not know the number of dead voters this election.
 
Regardless...Joe Biden is President.
 
We expect little good to spring from his presidency – and many ills.
 
We had hoped for a stalemated government if this fellow won the election. That is, we had hoped for gridlock.
 
A government that can get things done is a general menace. And Democrats plan to get many things done.
 
They now command both houses of Congress. For two years, they are free to go amok.
 
We fear they will go stampeding through the Treasury. We fear they will bludgeon the nation's finances at least as much as Republicans have bludgeoned them.
 
We fear they will boss and police us as we have never before been bossed or policed.
 
The President is already authoring executive orders at an astounding rate.
 
By his own admission, he does not always know what he is ordering.
 
"I don't know what I'm signing," Mr.Biden was recorded mumbling as he prepared to sign one order.
 
"Sign it anyway," a minion instructed him.
 
He signed the order.
 
The President may not have known what orders he signed. But the goons who drafted them certainly know.
 
We are on our guard. As H.L.Mencken noted with terrible accuracy:
 
"The only good bureaucrat is one with a pistol at his head. Put it in his hand and it's good-bye to the Bill of Rights."
 
But we do not have any great heat towards Mr.Biden.
 
Is he deceitful? Is he corrupt? Is he a scoundrel and a rascal?
 
He is at least three of them. And very possibly, four of them.
 
But he is merely a man practiced in the arts of his trade – that is, he is a sound politician.
 
And we confess to a grudging admiration for any man skilled in his craft be he a bank robber, hit man, or politician.
 
Can an honest man win election to the United States Senate...or the White House?
 
A skilled surgeon requires a steady hand. A skilled detective requires a good nose. A skilled surveyor requires a sharp eye...
 
And a skilled politician requires a silver tongue.
 
He must flatter, cajole, coo and woo. He must sing gorgeous lies to win office. Yet we do not blame him necessarily.
 
As we have argued before:
 
Let the politician take an honest man's attitude before the American public.
 
Let him tell us we can have A. Or we can have B. But we cannot have A and B – and certainly not A, B and C.
 
Not without paying for A, B and C, that is.
 
Then observe the barrage of rotting eggs and tomatoes raining down upon his head.
 
11 times of the 10, this honest Abe is trounced by the silver tongue who tickles our ears with false but catchy jingles.
 
We harbor a suspicion...
 
A winning politician must be astonished that his mambo-jumbo fetches him his game.
 
He knows he is a rogue. He knows every third word he babbles is false – in some instances, every second word.
 
He knows he would be chuckled out of court if subjected to competent cross examination.
 
Yet he wins the jury.
 
The skilled politician is, in essence, a showman – no, a salesman.
 
And a salesman never respects his mark. He needs him because his livelihood depends upon his trade. He may even like this fellow...
 
But he does not respect him.
 
He regards him – accurately in many instances – as a witless dupe.
 
'He took my bait, the fool. Can you believe him?'
 
This the salesman asks inwardly as he counts his cash.
 
Who then does the salesman respect?
 
He respects the man who sees through his whim-wham, the man who sniffs him out, the man who walks away from the sale.
 
He resents the loss of the sale, yes. But he respects the man who costs him it.
 
And so the politician respects the man who walks away from his political sale.
 
Where is the politician's dignity? It is nowhere.
 
What man of dignity, what man of honor, stands before a crowd and begs – for votes in this case?
 
As the salesman begs for the sale, the politician begs for the vote.
 
He must beg, that is, for the franchise of those whom he considers his lessers.
 
After all...if they were not his lessers...they would not require his leadership.
 
Who respects a follower? Not his leader.
 
Yet the political aspirant pretends he is their equal. No – their servant!
 
Assume our seeker of high office has pulled enough wool over enough eyes...and wins an election...
 
He proceeds to the business of picking pockets, trading horses, scratching backs, greasing palms, cracking skulls...and breaking promises.
 
Soon he abandons his final scruple. Yet he is consoled and soothed by this one capital fact:
 
He can grow extremely wealthy being a humble servant of the American people.
 
Simply ask Joe Biden.

Formerly an independent researcher and writer, Brian Maher is managing editor of The Daily Reckoning, the contrarian investment email launched in 1999 and now read by over half-a-million people worldwide each day.

Please Note: All articles published here are to inform your thinking, not lead it. Only you can decide the best place for your money, and any decision you make will put your money at risk. Information or data included here may have already been overtaken by events – and must be verified elsewhere – should you choose to act on it. Please review our Terms & Conditions for accessing Gold News.

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