They stand out there mesmerized, shouting "Yes we can" while Barack Obama chants his mantra about change.
If they had even the slightest idea of how Washington works, the cry would quickly change to "No you can't."
Unconcerned with Sen. Obama's utter failure — or perhaps refusal — to explain what he means by change, the crowds get all misty-eyed over the prospect that Obama will wave his magic wand and utopia will arrive on Inauguration Day, 2009, God will be in his heavens and all will be right with the world.
The only specifics Obama offers about what the future under President Obama will be are the same old hoary Marxist programs disguised as universal healthcare, college educations for all, and a foreign policy of sweetness and light in a world filled with darkness.
Obama mutters darkly about Washington, about lobbyists, and about the powerlessness of Americans to get the powers that tarry on the shores of the Potomac to pay heed to their cries, rather than to those of the evil special interests. He promises to ride his . . . ohmigod, I almost wrote “white” horse . . . into this den of iniquity and drive out those who are pillaging the public treasury while blithely ignoring the wishes of the people.
Exactly how he plans to cleanse the Augean stables single handedly when the people in charge of the barn have neither the desire to do a little housecleaning nor the willingness to put themselves out of business.
Principally among them are the 535 members of the United States Congress, a coterie of salons who cling religiously to their many perquisites and powers. Obama can pledge to do away with such outrages as the so-called earmarks process that continually plunders the treasury but he knows full well that it's the boys and girls on Capitol Hill who hold the purse-strings, make their own rules and harbor resentments against the folks downtown who come and go while they remain kings and queens of the Hill.
A recent vote to rid the Congress of this earmarks perk went down to ignominious defeat, with many Republicans joining their Democratic colleagues in defending the indefensible process.
Obama savages the army of lobbyists that swarm about Capitol Hill and the various federal departments and agencies downtown. Listening to him you'd get the idea that once change-agent-in-charge Obama is running things he'll send all those lobbyists scurrying out of town.
Sure he will, even if the Constitution provides Americans the right to seek to redress wrongs perpetrated against them by Big Brother.
As I have written in the past, for a long time now Congress has been passing myriads of laws and rules and regulations that seriously restrict the abilities of Americans to do business or conduct their personal lives and affairs. Congress keeps doing it, and federal agencies keep promulgating new and tighter rules and restrictions on our daily lives no matter how damaging to the commonweal they may be.
Our only recourse is to petition the Congress and the government, but that is beyond the means and abilities of most of us. Those who can afford it, hire experts who know the ins and outs of Washington and the people who write the laws and regulations.
We call these people lobbyists because they once congregated in the lobbies outside legislative chambers where they could button-hole the legislators and plead their clients' cases. And they are protected by the Constitution of the United States as long as they conduct themselves in accord with the law.
In short, it's not only the poor we will always have with us, as Christ admonished us, but we'll also always have lobbyists with us as long as there are legislators and rule makers among us, Barack Obama notwithstanding.
If Congress is an unmovable object the federal bureaucracy is the Rock of Gibraltar. No matter who is in the White House, it's the bureaucrats who run the government of the United States. Get in their way and all hell breaks loose, as President Bush learned when he got on the wrong side of the State Department bureaucracy and the liberal bloc at the CIA who used leaks to damage him even when they also damaged the safety of the American people.
Does anybody seriously believe that Barack Obama will be able to cope with this entrenched Washington establishment, if indeed he does? Let him try and he'll be a one-time president in the mold of James Earl Carter.
Am I saying that America doesn't need change?
Hell no! But here are the changes we need: stop ignoring the Constitution, stop spending our grandchildren's money, get the government out our way and allow us to plot and fulfill our destiny without being nurse-maided by big sister, get rid of the IRS, and enact real tax reform to mention just a few changes. And we won't get them from Barack Obama or a Democratic Congress.
Instead we'll get more doses of Marxism and lots of new earmarks.
Phil Brennan is a veteran journalist and World War II Marine who writes for Newsmax.Com. He is editor and publisher of Wednesday on the Web (http://WWW.pvbr.Com) and was Washington columnist (Cato) for National Review magazine in the 1960s.
He also served as a staff aide for the House Republican Policy Committee and helped handle the Washington public relations operation for the Alaska Statehood Committee which won statehood for Alaska. He is also a trustee of the Lincoln Heritage Institute and a member of the Association For Intelligence Officers.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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