Monday, 30 September 2013

speakeasy or yes, minister

For some time there has been a continual soap-opera cycling in the hallowed halls of the US government, yet it is hardly the stuff of dramaturgy without great license and a keen imagination, being that the dialogue outside of what the public is subjected to and the secretive pow-wows whose proceedings are all to easy to envision, is the sum total of the exchange. The two parties do not engage one another off-line, as big as the growing disconnect between civilian and military leaders. That is not to say that backroom, unregulated deals are preferable—enough of those end up codified without the watch-dog of checks and balances or the consent of the public that the elected legislature is supposed to represent, but at least, without too much theatre or romanticism, there was in the past the water-cooler, the break-room or social-dues that saw senators and congressmen, regardless of political ilk, spending time together at private haunts, after hours.
This club culture is undone by hasty retreats to their constituencies whenever recess is called, which no matter how short can find repre- sentatives home and back again in no time and the conscience decision not to filter one's public and private lives. Thinking of two congressmen casually finding commonalities by forgetting differences and spending a spare moment together seems unfortunately like a laughable prospect nowadays, for fear one might question their party loyalties. I couldn't say whether any great compromised was ever reached in Congress by a dining-out but it's a fact that only keeping company that's like-minded is quite sufficient for justifying one's own views—or rather the unshakable views that one is expected to have.