Senate Follies

“Senators are a never-ending source of amusement, amazement, and discouragement…” Will Rogers (1879-1935)

Never a Senator....overqualified

Never a Senator….overqualified

So nice to see in the land of the free and home of the brave the US Senate remains ever vigilant. Not content to convene a Secretary of Defence confirmation hearing reminiscent of Romper Room, the Republican minority brain trust has let slip their dogs of war and …..sanctioned the latest howler, a once-in-a-century filibuster to ensure that the self-styled Great Democracy® again lives down to its formidable reputation for utter stupidity.

What a joke. Hagel was a brutal witness during the confirmation hearings. The merits or otherwise of his nomination will be revealed in short order. Then again, he got elected Senator…twice. But, dammit, he will be confirmed unless there is some mass Democratic majority revolt – so chumps, back to work!

Alas…whatever slaphead Senatorial shite goes on in Washington, we Canadians can trump it, our laughter mingled with our tears. At least the American shenanigans, brinksmanship and bullshit in equal measures are democratic outcomes – you elected ‘em, peeps, hard ass proof that Americans always get the government they deserve, and they tend to get it good and hard.

Here in Canada the Senate, our unelected, unaccountable, and ultimately ineffective Upper Chamber is constitutionally entrenched. The Prime Minister gets to appoint worthy members whenever vacancies arise, $132,000 per, sweet perks, and expenses that never seem to get that full public airing. Great work if you can get it….

Not to say our Senate does not have its collective pudgy, patronage fattened finger on the still beating national heart. Canada faces serious issues. Our hewers of wood, drawers of water, resource based economy has taken one in the nads lately with oil prices stagnant and the Keystone XL project stalled. Our First Nations people have too many living in utter squalor. Health care, rapacious cell phone carriers, ongoing environmental questions, and a long-stalled free trade deal with Europe all screaming for attention. So the Senate, ever probing and perspicacious, recently struck a committee to provide a nuanced and exacting review of a singularly crucial Canadian legislative initiative….

We sleep easier tonight knowing that the Senate blessed a bill to confirm British royal succession (y’know, England…a foreign country) may now pass through the female OR male heirs to the Crown (the nominal Canadian head of state, as represented by the Canadian Governor General). So… if Prince Willy and his lovely, now preggers Kate are blessed with a girl, this lucky little lass will one day be Queen of Canada, too.

Nice to see our Canucksters exhibiting the same keen appreciation of public duty as their filibustering bozo brothers and sisters under the skin to the south. Our gang (appointed for life to age 75, natch) kept the optics extra pristine last week when one of their number was charged with sexual assault (a youngish one, or the defence of impossibility the obvious plea), and three more (at least) facing audits for maybe not exactly living in the national region for which they were appointed (a pesky little Senate requirement – so much easier to charge a second residence to the taxpayers…), and…perhaps, as all remain yet unproven allegations, milking the good old public teat for travel and other expenses that easily match the GDP of Mexico.

Ain’t it grand? Misery does love company, north or south of the border.