We stepped in the door of a local restaurant last evening, immediately noticing metal walkers and several elderly people sitting, waiting to enter the buffet line. We gave our name and party of two information, then sat in the remaining spaces available. I whispered to my wife, “I wonder if heaven’s waiting room will be like this.” Congress came to mind, bills languishing, clinging to spent walkers, tottering; while remembrances of campaign promises to voters were heard fading from victoriously elected Republican Alzheimer-ridden memories.
Honest. This is a true story. Our name was called. We entered the restaurant proper. The area was practically empty, empty chairs and tables everywhere. Was the waiting room experience for show? To make it look like there was “standing room only?” Like there was some business afloat? Or like the work is hard and the waiters and bus staff deserve our respect? The allegory was complete. Congress for sure, heaven’s waiting room. We know one thing for sure about heaven. It will be peaceful there. It might be busy. It might be replete with hierarchy, jobs to do, bowing and curtsying maybe. But surely all the activity or lack thereof will be marked by the overwhelming presence of Peace.
The Good Shepherd, here on Earth, made a promise to His people before He left, “Peace I leave with you, not as the world gives you….” (Elsewhere He said he came “not to bring peace, but a sword.” That scenario is certainly not reflected by any known characteristic of Congress today and is not relevant here.) The peace He promised was to arrive in the person of The Comforter, the Holy Spirit. Congress and We the People have a comforter: the Constitution and adherence to its demand for regular order. It could be said President Trump came with the sword. Congress should have followed up in its turn, brandishing the Constitution and regular order; a show that peace again reigns in the land of our countrymen.
That’s what the founders left us with, a comforter in the image of the Constitution. Later heirs to the founders created the appropriations process (an example of regular order) to be a reliable, sturdy structure for the assembly of annual budgets. Much later entered the first of the Left’s virulent “Resistance,” in the person of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He refused to allow budgets to come to the floor of the Senate for a vote, thus necessitating Continuing Resolutions to fund the government just until moments of time when it again would be most inconvenient for Republicans to “shut down the government.”
Saturday evening President Trump stood, addressed a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania rally. In the background was a banner, “Promises Made, Promises Kept.” That was the message, the theme of he who currently brandishes the sword: to look at what I/we have accomplished in the first one hundred days of my administration. Unabashedly on Tuesday morning Speaker Paul Ryan spoke at a scheduled press conference. Remorselessly he explained why the Republican House will not keep the most important of the “promises made” until at least the 2018 elections, and only then if Republicans can win enough seats to make the Senate filibuster proof. Poofffff.
Congress, full of promises; but the chambers are empty. Clint Eastwood should reprise his discourse of Ode to an Empty Chair. The media could then make fun of him for his unapologetic display of terminal dementia. Meanwhile voters will sit back contemplating if they need to look around for yet another promising swordsman that can deliver the peace from Congress.
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About The Pundit
This retired window washer now provides instruction on the benefits and perils of time travel through focusing an allegorical lens on the present.