The loyal reader of this blog will be aware that earlier this week I posted an item calling for the firing of the 3 Stooges — Ben (Bernanke), Larry (Summers), and Curly Tim (Geithner). With the Senate’s vote to confirm Ben Bernanke as Fed Chief for a second term, we lost the chance to rid ourselves of one of the Stooges, but it’s not too late to fire the other two I mentioned.
Meanwhile at mid-week I was struck by the media photos of Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi looking over President Obama’s shoulder as he delivered his State of the Union speech, and the fact that at the risk of overusing the image of the Stooges, there are actually three more we should fire. I found a variation of this thought in an excellent item by David Michael Green, who in one of the bleakest overviews of our situation I’ve seen — but one with which, unhappily, I must say I substantially agree — wrote that if “you like your politicians to be embarrassingly weak, inept and ineffectual, then the latter-day Three Stooges — Barack, Harry and Nancy — offer a refreshing break….” A couple of my favorite lines from Prof. Green’s piece point out that the Democrats “have simply become a sort of halfway holiday from the worst excesses of the GOP, a kind of spring break from the serious business of wrecking a superpower.” You can see David’s entire piece, “An Ugly Week for the Human Race and Other Living Things” — at http://www.smirkingchimp.com/print/26445.
But whoever you count as the contemporary Stooges, please bear in mind the real differences between the original Three Stooges and their counterparts in our current government. Moe, Larry and Curly Joe gave a comic definition to the term “stooge.” And unlike their latter-day counterparts in our government, they were entirely competent in their roles, and never did any harm. This is much more than can be said for Ben, Larry, Curly Tim, Barack, Harry, Nancy or Joe. None of these, as far as I’m concerned, is competent at representing the public interest, which is the role our system of government assigns to them. But they’re entirely competent at representing the interests of their masters, primarily the big players in the financial, energy, pharmaceutical, and insurance industries. So the definition of “stooge” that applies to them is “one who plays a subordinate or compliant role to a principal” – “principal” meaning one who calls the shots. “Puppet” means the same thing, and one dictionary even gives, to illustrate the definition of “stooging,” “congressmen who stooge for the oil and mineral interests.” This is the sense in which our current crew are stooges through and through. And unfortunately, though at times one has to laugh to keep from crying, this is no laughing matter.