When Dr. Johnson defined patriotism as the last refuge of the scoundrel, he was unconscious of the then undeveloped capabilities and uses of the word “Reform.”

-Roscoe Conkling (1829-1888), machine Republican in the Garfield-Arthur Era, one of the most prominent proponents and beneficiaries of the “spoils system,” or pork barreling, whereby successful political candidates reward cronies and associates with positions, contracts and a chance to “put their snout in the trough of public spending.” A sworn enemy of the Progressive Movement.


Spitting on people? Hurling racial and sexual abuse at elected representatives as they go to fulfill the responsibilities of the offices they were elected to serve in?


This is going to shape up as a hugely interesting Sunday, and there’s no two ways about that. And while Glenn Beck, who gives foaming at the mouth a bad name, declares that voting on a Sunday is an affront to God (what? WHAT?) the wheels of legislature are indeed turning and we’ll just have to wait and see what’s going to come out at the other end of the mill.

I wish (it’s a common refrain of mine, I know) that I was in the States right now. Now more so than ever, because I’ve been watching the political scene over there with vague and growing interest. This would appear to be a tipping point raising its head – no one’s really sure where healthcare’s going to jump, but it’s a fountainhead of issues, none more clearly illustrated at present than the deep and bitter divide consuming the political life-force of the nation.

Or, at least, that’s what we get told over here.

Where to from here?

I just hope it doesn’t include spitting.