Burt Prelutsky

Sometimes, I swear, when I see what our tax dollars get us in Congress, I feel like asking for my money back. But, other times, I find myself thinking that the laughs those clowns provide us nearly, but not quite, make up for their incompetence, hypocrisy and mendacity. The Marx Brothers, at their goofiest, couldn’t hold a candle to these self-important bumblers, although I’m sure that Groucho would have been sorely tempted to try.

You see nincompoops like Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and John Murtha, bloviating on TV and you realize that when poll after poll indicates that these political hacks have an approval rate only half as high as George Bush’s and only a point or two higher than measles, they somehow assume we don’t have them in mind.

Because of their arrogance and pomposity, they can’t help being amusing, but they are never more hysterical than when they hold hearings and sit in moral judgment of those they regard as lesser beings. Which, when you get right down to it, includes virtually everyone who pays their salaries.

A couple of years ago, we got to watch them chastise baseball players who’d been accused of using steroids and human growth hormones. As a lifelong baseball fan, I resented these guys for breaking long-standing records they never would have approached if they hadn’t cheated. But I got no satisfaction from watching a bunch of puffed-up mediocrities, who prostrate themselves to lobbyists on a daily basis, lording it over a bunch of athletes who, steroids or no steroids, had spent 15 or 20 years standing in a batter’s box just twenty yards away from iron-armed freaks hurling baseballs 98 mph in their direction. What’s more, I knew darn well that after performing for the TV cameras, these same politicians were lining up to get autographs for their grandkids.

More recently, I got my year’s quota of laughs when Congress decided to grill oil company executives because, I guess, the price of gas was higher than it had been in 1958.

There’s nothing that rich, pampered politicians like better than putting rich, pampered business executives on the hot seat…at least until they have to go, hat in hand, to grovel for campaign contributions.