Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Shut Downs & Shut Ups: Middle Child Talking Points

     As the Founding Father of the Middle Child Party, I spend a lot of time tracking the antics of our Middle Child-in-Chief. And as the partial government shutdown enters its second month, I’ve been spending even more time lately thinking about the sad state of affairs in our nation’s capitol. It seems our elected officials talk over each other and through each other, but nobody is really talking to each other. As a result, the state of our union is in a state of perpetual stalemate. But regardless of party affiliation, there’s one thing we all can agree on: politicians love to talk. And Middle Child politicians are some of the best in the biz.
     Nothing illustrates my point better than the political Talk-a-Thon known as the filibuster (a.k.a. every Middle Child’s dream come true). The chance to be center stage, talking for hours on end without interruption. I get all giddy just thinking about it. And while there’s no scientific proof that Middle Children talk more than other people, there is this: some of the longest filibusters in U.S. history were staged by Middle Children. Of course, there’s a very good reason we might love to hear ourselves talk so much. Nobody else wants to listen! I have to admit, when it comes to talking, these Middle Children make me look like a lightweight:
Double Talk: Rand Paul delivered TWO
of the longest filibusters in U.S. history.
     Sen. Rand Paul (KY) has the distinction of staging two of the longest filibusters in U.S. Senate history. On May 20, 2015, the self-professed patriot started talking for 10 hours/31 minutes attempting to block... the Patriot Act. On March 6, 2013, he droned on for 12 hours/52 minutes protesting -- wait for it -- drones!
     The aptly named Sen. Huey Long (LA) spoke for 15 hours/30 minutes from June 12-13, 1935, attempting to stop passage of a bill he later voted for.
     Sen. William Proxmire (WI) spoke for 16 hours/12 minutes from Sept. 28-29, 1981, attempting to prevent national debt from exceeding a mere $1 trillion at the time. He clearly failed. Currently at almost $22 trillion, imagine how much longer he’d have to speak today.
Middle Child Strom Thurmond:
a world class windbag.

     Sen. Wayne Morse (OR) spent 22 hours/26 minutes on April 24-25, 1953, trying to submarine legislation letting Texas control submerged lands in the Gulf of Mexico.
     Sen. Strom Thurmond (SC) staged the longest filibuster in U.S. history - 24 hours/18 minutes - wasting everyone’s time on August 28-29, 1957, trying to stop passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957. When it comes to filibusters, that makes him the undisputed King of the (Capitol) Hill.

The shutdown's over, but the melody lingers on:
watch “Music for a Government Shutdown

UPDATE ON LAST POST (“Let’s Kick and Make Up”): I was unable to contact “Kim the Kicker” before posting, but did hear from her shortly after. Not surprisingly, she claims to have no memory of “Kick-gate.” “Wow, absolutely no recollection of that at all! Will an apology work now?" she offers. Oh really, Kim?? I’m pretty sure the damage is already done! Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure that’s not even an actual apology. It’s more like an offer of an apology! Whatever. I am SO over it.

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