This is a thought that I have been kicking around for a while, and I actually voiced it, during the TV interview Sunday morning; that our current political uber-class have become the new aristocrats, and that is one of the reasons that the Tea Party protests have been springing up relentlessly, like mushrooms after a good few weeks of rain. Our permanently-revolving political class has somehow mutated into becoming something of a hereditary aristocracy in the last few decades. I know there were always people who served long terms, or whose families – Hey, John Addams! Teddy Roosevelt! William Henry Harrison, John Kennedy, George Bush! – tended to show up in the corridors of power, over and over again, yea down to the fourth generation. But this current situation has something of a different feel about it to me; not so much an aristocracy of blood, although certain of our current crop are indeed the spawn of professional politicians of yesteryear – but an aristocracy of interests.

They sometimes seem like a mad mash-up of the Soviet aristocracy, during the Stalin era, as outlined in Simon Sebag Montefiore’s “Court of the Red Czar” and the court aristocrats of pre-revolutionary France. Here we have a combination rapacious and self-serving functionaries, viciously defending their perks and the source of their power while giving lip service to the Party of the People… and the vapid, frivolous and completely clueless, dining on $100 a pound Waygu beef, and sending out for gourmet Chicago pizza. From a Washington, DC address… um, yeah, I know it wasn’t all that bad, the chef was going all that way by regular airline and on his own dime. Hey, at least they didn’t send an Air Force transport aircraft for him. Like the old aristocrats at the court of the Sun King Louis, and his ilk; preening and posing in elegant clothing, against magnificent backgrounds, oblivious to the world outside steadily crumbling away at the edges. But those are all superficial things. Tacky, heedless and oblivious to other people may be no way to go through life, but these qualities usually do nothing but amuse or appall everyone else.

Alas, the current political aristocracy are also not just standing there… they are doing things… passing stimulus bills they haven’t entirely read, passing laws which – in the case of one particularly ghastly example – has the ostensible purpose of protecting children to exposure to lead from toys manufactured in China and imported into the US. A bill which was so broadly written and badly conceived that complete enforcement of it will bankrupt or close many boutique toy manufacturers, and home crafts ladies with a tiny but tidy sideline business, empty out second-hand stores of children’s clothing and toys, and gut libraries and publishers alike, either of new books or those published before 1985.

Always remember – they work for us. They are our employees. We hire them, through elections, to look after this stuff for us – as we are… you know, busy with our real lives? Earning a living, paying taxes, raising families…Maybe it is time for a serious talk about this with our various political hirelings.

Think of the Tea Parties as a sort of counseling letter; the last step before we think about getting someone who can better able to handle those duties sent before them.

Tax Day tomorrow. Tea Party also: I’m the one appearing on various local San Antonio TV channels (Fox mostly, other networks as the mood takes them and as their programming people dictate) with a faintly English accent, looking like a gentle and earnest Catholic school principal, urging listeners to live up to what our mothers, the better angels of our natures, and the founders of this Republic encouraged us to do…)
All that… and me, I could really do with loosing some pounds. Over and above that which the camera puts on…

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