The Musings of

Something full of magic, religion, bullsh*t.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

I'm just a bill

Do you remember high school civics class? Sometimes I look back on mine and laugh at the naive simplicity that went into the preparation of that textbook. Remember that great "How a Bill Becomes a Law" chart? Who came up with that thing? This guy? Where was the box that said, "bottled in committee by chairman looking for trade votes on a pet bill" or "killed by a 'poison pill' amendment"? After years of experience in politics and law it has become clear to me that civics class was a exercise in hopeful idiocy, if not out-and-out deception.

Of course, it also didn't help that my my civics teacher, the assistant football coach, spent the first 15 minutes of every class ranting about his personal demon, the national debt, until, his anger sated, he would slump in his chair, tell us to be quiet until the end of class, and proceed to read the newspaper while moving his lips. Nor did it help that the guy who sat next to me was the standard issue none-too-bright, football-playing bully who had to screw around at all times. (Didn't you hate that guy? I used to sit there as he tried to stick paper airplanes in the ceiling tiles and think, "Laugh it up Hotshot, because in 10 years you'll be cleaning my pool." Of course, he went on to become a well-known professional wrestler who is, I'm sure, making enough money to support a small European country. And I still don't have a pool. But I'm not bitter. Really.)

What's scary is that, for the overwhelming majority of voters, high school civics was the apex of their formal education on the workings of government. That's right -- our political future is being decided by people who still believe that the Supreme Court's decisions are not governed by political concerns and that Congressmen actually have minor involvement with the laws they pass.

Clearly the answer to the problem is better educated assistant football coaches.
Centinel 7:25 AM #


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