Thomas Jefferson is credited with saying that the government we elect is the government we deserve. You who voted Republican absolutely got the government you deserve. Unfortunately, so did the rest of us.
Welcome to the newest, biggest gambling casino in the country.
Welcome to mourning in America.
And we’re screwed.
Republicans throughout the land will continue trying to get even. Everything they despise about Democrats, liberals, socialists, Kenyans, and everybody else who doesn’t accept their ascendancy will become a major issue as they struggle to govern. In Northeastern Pennsylvania, two new congressmen will pack their bags, leave their families and head to Washington to take seats with their Republican colleagues as the new majority in the House of Representatives as the Grand Old Party rocks on.
Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta and former federal prosecutor Tom Marino will become instant stars not for their accomplishments as public servants but for their notorious behavior during the time they held public office.
Marino will be slightly feared because of his deep friendships with admitted criminals – including an alleged Mafia associate and a former cocaine dealer. Whispers will follow him through the hallowed halls of Congress as he slinks around corners in dark glasses and heads for meetings with who knows whom.
Barletta will become an even bigger darling for the new nationalists who look good in brown shirts as they use him as a human battering ram for their dangerous anti-immigration rhetoric that demonizes anyone with brown skin – including Barletta’s own mixed-race baby grandchild.
The irony with both men is that both appeal to supposedly law and order types who supposedly have no time for anything less than strict adherence to the law.
But that didn’t stop a mad rush of voters from endorsing Mario, who, when serving as U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, acted as a personal character reference for the admitted criminal and alleged mob associate when that admitted criminal and mob associate lobbied successfully for the state’s first gambling casino license.
Conservative voters who supposedly idolize the Founding Fathers and the Constitution also stood in solidarity with Barletta when a federal appeals court ruled that Barletta’s proposed anti-immigrant legislation for his town clearly violated the Constitution and everything for which the Founding Fathers supposedly stood.
Consistency is clearly missing from Republican voters’ moral constitution.
Then comes Tara Toohil.
The young Luzerne County lawyer joined the Republican militia when local Democrats refused to even entertain the thought of allowing her to challenge state House Majority Leader Todd Eachus, a good old boy whose close relationships to powerful corrupt Harrisburg officials remains a serious matter of investigation.
Naive and bubbly, Toohil launched an immature, yet sincere, campaign to upset a political brawler who many people believed would swat away her bid for office with the ease of swatting a bug at a Democratic clambake.
But Toohil won.
Despite a bizarre stretch of almost a week during which she refused to say whether she ever visited admitted criminal and former Luzerne County Judge Mike Conahan’s Florida condo of corruption – eventually issuing a one word denial - Toohil persevered and emerged victorious from the campaign mud.
During a radio interview this morning, Toohil expressed excitement about her new job and said she was looking forward to new responsibilities – such as finding her office in the state Capitol.
The people are desperate for intelligence, maturity and leadership in government and Toohil’s looking for her office with all the exuberance of a high schooler looking for her homeroom.
I’m looking forward to tracking the success and failure of the new gang in office. I expect them to be much like the old gang in office. Still, I hope they succeed in shaping a better nation and state without hurting too many people or themselves. But political self-immolation often comes with the territory and crash-and-burn elected officials are nothing new to us who dwell deep in the heart of in the culture of corruption.
As my cousin Hunter once said: When the going gets tough, the tough get weird.