Friday, January 25, 2013

Reset: Rep. Don Walrus (Bull of the Beach)

This now from a guy who is starting his twenty-first consecutive term at his government job, and who’s done nothing else but that same job for over forty of his almost eighty years. The fact that this same person is calling for a “reset button” is an irony beyond comprehension… it’s institutionalized hypocrisy, or In other words, the government.
 Perhaps Young should take his own advice, step down, and stand aside, as he clearly is fundamentally incapable of being the change that he wishes to see in the world, or at least in the House of Representatives. Longevity does not automatically infer gravitas; it often masks entrenched, professional incompetence, and much less earning any respect might actually work against even being taken seriously. That said, earning a six-figure income ($174k) is another thing, and raking in over a million dollars in campaign funds this last turn at the trough seems to be more evidence of the problem, not a solution, no matter how you bluster and rant. So much for statesmanship.

But for a bull walrus wallowing around with the rest of the politicians, such idle concerns never quite make it to the shore, as evidenced by such public displays of classy behavior as openly insulting the President on election night:
“I can’t believe how many misinformed voters there are in the country,” he said. Actually, he initially said something not as politic, but told a reporter, wearing a typical Don Young smile, that he would throw her out if she printed it.” 
Leaving alone the fact that a sitting US Representative appeared to have threatened a member of the press - who was either intimidated into sort-of-silence, or was just gossiping - the reporters journalistic credibility failed in not addressing a potentially serious issue raised by such an alleged interaction. Also consider the operative insult often bandied about folks such as Young: that Obama is a "socialist," even though it doesn't quite mean what he thinks it does.

Another potential sign of political impotence (harkening back to the Articles of Confederation) is the hallmark hostility that Young is all-too well known for. Herd hierarchy and theatrical dominance displays notwithstanding, playing the surly curmudgeon card might make for scoring quick and easy points amongst the stereotypical Alaskan independent, but does absolutely nothing when it comes to promoting or advancing diplomatic solutions. Or even effectiveness in office, as to wit, one of the most significant acts of legislation that Young advanced last year is H. R. 991 “Polar Bear Conservation and Fairness Act of 2011”

“To amend the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 to allow importation of polar bear trophies taken in sport hunts in Canada before the date the polar bear was determined to be a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.”
This is what occupies the time and attention of the US House of Representatives, which benefits what, at most a couple (Edit: turns out it was forty-one) of "hunters" who want their trophy hide? 

And speaking of hide, what with all the recent hullabaloo about local yokel Schaeffer Cox getting sentenced for his militant shenanigans, not a peep from anybody about the peripheral shadow cast from Rep. Young. If Schaeffer's own attorney described Cox as “suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, delusions and a paranoid personality disorder” and a "master manipulator," what then does it say about Alaska’s Congressional delegate for literally signing on with Schaeffer's particular brand of paranoia? At least the both of them will now enjoy the relative comforts of a federally subsidized retirement, brothers in arms indeed.

Update: An accompanying Letter to the Editor here
Update #2: The original source letter ("Community Perspective") appearing in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner here. Gee, which is exactly the same form letter/spam published here earlier in an op-ed for USA Today. And the Alaska Dispatch. And so on.

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