Sunday, June 19, 2011

If Thomas Jefferson were alive today

An unnamed congressman is responding to questions by Thomas Jefferson, who miraculously has come back to life and is presiding over a committee hearing. We arrive as the hearing is in progress, and we read only the responses to his questions:

“What was that Senator Jefferson?”

“No, we have not declared war on anyone.”

“Oh, Libya, Afghanistan, and Iraq? Well, those aren't really wars, you see.”

“Well yes, Senator, people are being killed, unfortunately.”

“You see, in 1973, after Richard Nixon ran a secret war, we passed the War Powers Resolution Act. It gives the President the authority to respond to hostile situations with the use of force, provided he notifies congress. Then after 60 days he has to get permission from us to continue.”

“Yes, Senator, it has been almost ninety days in Libya”

“No, sir He has not asked us for permission.”

“No Senator, I don't believe that congress has abdicated its duty. You see it's a dangerous world today. Things happen quickly. The president has to be able to respond if we are attacked...excuse me Senator?”

“No Libya didn't attack us.”

“No Senator, they didn't attack any of our allies”.

“Well no sir, you see they are just killing each other, and we are helping the Libyan rebels try to overthrow their government, besides, we aren't really fighting. NATO is running the whole thing. Excuse me sir?”

“Oh sorry, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, it is a bunch of countries bound together to protect each other.”

“No sir, Libya didn't attack any other NATO country. As I said, their leader Muammar Qaddafi is a pretty mean dude. He is killing his people, and they asked for help. What's that Senator?”

“No the President didn't ask us sir, but he did get permission from the UN”

“The United Nations sir. It a body with representatives from all over the world who gather to make sure wars and things like that don't happen.”

“The Constitution sir?'

“Well, that's a really old document sir. It's like a hundred years old. We don't pay much attention to that anymore.”

“Yes Mr. Jefferson, this is the United States of America.”

“Checks and balances sir?”

“Branches of Government, why yes sir, we have the Congress, the Senate, and the Regulatory Agencies”

“Well, you see, we don't actually go in for rule making to much anymore. We authorize regulatory agencies, and they make the rules.”

“No, a lot of the rules are unpopular with the people Senator, that is why we have agencies make them. That way we aren't blamed for their unpopularity.”

“Citizen legislature? No, Senator, most of us are career politicians. We spend the bulk of our time trying to get re-elected.”

“Enumerated Powers? I'm not familiar with that term sir.”

“Oh, yes, the commerce clause, things like that, yes sir. We used that to require everyone to buy health insurance from a private insurer, or we will fine them.”

“Excuse me Senator?”

“Yes, you see, health care costs are high now, and some people aren't buying insurance, so we decided to force them to buy it. That way, the taxpayer doesn't have to foot the bill for those without insurance.”

“Well, the insurance companies seem to like it sir, they wrote it.”

“Well I'm not familiar with all the provisions of the bill Senator. It was rather lengthy you see, and we didn't really get a chance to review it before it came up for a vote.”

“What's that Senator?”

“Oh yes, of COURSE I voted for the bill. It is important legislation!”

“Well it must be a good bill, the leadership told us to vote for it.”

“No, not always sir, not if they don't NEED my vote to pass a bill. Then I can vote the way I want.”

“Effect on the budget Mr. Chairman?”

“Well, we don't really have a budget, haven't had one in years.”

“No, we just pass a continuing resolution every so often to keep the country running, and we borrow what we need from somewhere.”

“I'm not really sure sir, the treasury department takes care of that, I think.”

“Me, sir? Yes I was elected overwhelmingly by my district!”

“Education? We provide everyone with a good education. The teachers union says so. We pretty much give them everything they want, why do you ask, sir?”

At which point, Thomas Jefferson pulls out a revolver and shoots himself in the head!


  1. I have often wondered what the founders would say if they could see what our country has become. No it would not be pretty.

  2. I have said the same thing...I'll be they are rolling in their graves....