The political realm is a constantly changing thing and it makes one almost dizzy trying to stay tuned into the change that occurs. About the time we think we have gotten a grasp on the current situation, that situation has evolved into a different situation.
There are 536 (100+435+1) prime time players and untold tens of thousands of lesser players whom we typically don’t know but that exist all across the spectrum. Those lesser players vary in clout across that wide spectrum. I talked about the House Freedom Caucus a short time ago and about where and how it will make itself felt. These 32 members of Congress are believed to be considerably more conservative than many of the other so-called conservatives, and they are excited whenever they can insert themselves strategically to the angst of others. That has occurred and makes the job of the Speaker of the House more difficult.
At the same time, the Democrats recognize the duress of the Republicans and seize on those opportunities to make life even more miserable since that is about all they can accomplish given their numbers. President Trump, of course, adds a new element to the mix given his non-typical approach to the Presidency.
When these kinds of games are being played we citizens are the last thing that anyone in a national office thinks about. The game is, at that point, all about them and how much power they can exert. It is about face time before the folks at home and about the wielding of power by some who have little opportunity to wield true power.
We can liken this, if we stretch our imaginations, to the fights between the beasts of the jungle. When one, for example, has been wounded by another, the wounded one is besieged from all quarters even by the less strong animals since it is the only time they can make themselves felt.
This, unfortunately, is what Congress and our country’s leadership can be like. Politics certainly has the capacity to be seen as a “blood sport”. And the people who engage in these activities are some whom we’d never have expected to be able to do such a thing. We may have had the opportunity to shake the hand of a person who has suddenly turned into a vicious political animal. We may have had the opportunity to attend a local meeting conducted by one or more of these. Deals are made in times such as this in order to gain an advantage at the time. Those deals also have to be honored in the world of politics and that sometimes is reflected in a vote we never thought a person would take. For the most part, that person likely doesn’t enjoy the position but felt that the prize won earlier was worth the agony of having to vote a certain way today.
When we see a person vote contrary to what we thought they’d ever do, there is probably a deal lurking somewhere that caused this vote to be cast. Political deal-making could sometimes put pit bulls to shame given the carnage figuratively left behind. This is no place for a Casper Milquetoast.
We might also liken these situations to the frenzy of sharks when they sense blood in the water. It is ugly; it is a time to get as far away as is possible if you don’t want to lose a valuable body part.
Many of our politicians at the national level find themselves in such situations every once in awhile. I don’t believe that the majority of our national leaders like this side of their world, but they have little choice once they get off the airplane in D.C. Then there are also those politicians who live for these figuratively bloody battles. You can spot them easily. They’re the ones that have a gleam in their eye as they close in for the figurative kill, and we can probably each name a few. Coming from Wisconsin, I am proud to say we don’t have any of those people in our current elected group. And it has been a long time since we even came close to this experience.
A Former Nevada Senator and a current New York Senator, both Democrats, come to mind, however.