Demon Lurking in D.C.

Once again snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, weak-kneed Republicans have waved the white flag and surrendered to the braying Democrats (“We won’t negotiate. So there!”), thus ending the sixteen-day partial government shutdown that furloughed 800,000 “non-essential” (yet tax-supported!) federal employees. Now we have the spectacle of RINOs – their paltry defenses blunted like so many poached rhino horns – anticipating unwarranted praise for a job not well done. Instead, they have earned the scorn of conservatives who (vainly, it turns out) expected better of them.

These GOP quacks seem to have succumbed to a sort of Stockholm Syndrome: Having been held hostage and bullied by the liberal Dems and other RINOs for so long, they have ceded their advantage, identified with their captors and, like Patty Hearst with the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA)*, become part of the gang that steals from the rest of us. So, now Americans are weighted down with even more debt and the palpably unconstitutional Obamacare that most of us don’t want.

Surely some nefarious element is at work here, giving rise to this craven behavior and transforming these Republicans into “Republicant’s.”

Who or what is it?

I consulted Paul Dickson’s Words.** In chapter 29, “Monsters,” I found Bucentauer, half-man, half-bull (a lot of bull comes out of Congress); Derodidymus, a two-headed monster (presumably so it can speak out of both sides at once); Energumen, a being possessed by evil spirits; Gallenipper, a large blood-sucking insect; Gremlins, little people who make things go wrong – all appropriate designations, yes, but still not quite right.

Next, I opened my copy of Dante’s Inferno, the entrance to which bears the ominous sign, “Abandon all hope ye who enter here.” Numerous demons can be found here whose features perfectly duplicate those of our political scoundrels. Cerberus, for instance, who guards the Gluttons in the third ring of Hell, is a three-headed dog of ravenous appetite, himself an apt symbol of gluttony.

The greater numbers of demonic political proxies are the denizens of the eighth circle of Hell (there are nine circles altogether so we’re sinking pretty low here), comprised of numerous malebolgie, or ditches of evil. The sticky-fingered Grafters are in the fifth malebolgia (singular of malebolgie).

In the seventh malebolgia are the Thieves, low-lifes who stole from others, subverting the spoils to enrich themselves. Appropriately, these creatures are represented by reptiles such as snakes and lizards who, unlike their counterparts in Congress, do have spines but which are horizontal and low to the ground. This renders them incapable of standing up to be counted, much like their Doppelgӓngers in the Capitol. Many also have forked tongues, which makes them very adept at lying, or “spinning,” as they say in D.C. (“Spinning” must be a required course for politicians.)

Among reptiles, of course, is the malicious crocodile who cannibalizes its own while grinning insidiously. This beast is similar to Sen. John McCain and other RINOs who eviscerate honorable Republicans like Sen. Ted Cruz who actually do the work they were elected to do, the work RINOs should be doing. Fittingly, (and similar to Congressional committee members) these McCain gang facsimiles also occupy additional malebolgie, the ninth and tenth, the ones for Sowers of Political Discord and Falsifiers, respectively. This lends them to a kind of schizophrenia, a criminal multiple personality disorder allowing them to wreak havoc from several positions.

There are other rings and malebolgie befitting wayward politicians but those listed here come the closest. It’s interesting that the higher politicians rise in office, the lower they descend on the rings of Dante’s Inferno.

You may wonder how our Senators and Representatives acquired such dubious reputations in Washington in the first place, and then such low status in the Inferno. I’ll tell you. There’s a shylokian demon that haunts the halls of Congress, exchanging pyrite*** tokens of esteem and power for the souls of Faustian politicians. Look for this grotesque little creature lurking under a sign admonishing voters, “Abandon all hope ye who send them here.”

* Violent 1970’s American self-styled left-wing revolutionary group

** Dickson, Paul. “Words: A Connoisseur’s Collection of Old and New, Weird and Wonderful, Useful and Outlandish Words”. Dell Publishing Co., Inc.: New York, 1982.

*** “Fool’s gold”