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Thursday, 3.10.06: Congress & Borrowed Courage

In the world of psychobabble, a person with a disorganized and weak sense of self sometimes has to "borrow ego" from a stonger, supportive person in order to keep going.

Yesterday, Congressional Republicans found "borrowed courage" to defy the White House on the Dubai ports deal.

In no circumstances do we look toward Congress for academic reasoning and subtle thinking. They worry about being re-elected. Usually that means looking for the next campaign contribution. Lobbyists hand them a buck while screaming directives into their ears. Republicans are especially known for their ability to dance to a common tune -- a well-practiced Rovian line dance.

A few weeks ago I wondered who among them would have the courage to break ranks and say, "Hey, wait a minute... this doesn't seem right..."

Who knows if scuttling the ports deal was the correct decision. The White House and corporate America saw nothing wrong with the deal. Many analysts saw the issue as the least of our security concerns. But this time it was the American people screaming, one by one, into the ears of their Congressmen -- within a few short months of an election.

It's comforting to know that the legislature still believes that voters influence the outcomes of elections... that they still have some dim recollection that they are there to represent us... and that We The People are occasionally more important than foreign investments and pandering to oil-rich despots.

In the Catholic Church (at least in the old days of private confessions), there is a distinction between "perfect contrition" and "imperfect contrition." Perfect contrition occurs when you are sorry for your sins because you realize you have offended God's love. Imperfect contrition means you're sorry for your sins because you're afraid of going to hell. Lucky for us, either one will get you to Heaven.

Go, Congress.




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