I rarely use my blog to comment on political matters, as is the case with my various postings on social media. Squirrels behind our house and members of the Tea Party extremist group in the U. S. Congress may not care for this post, but few if any of them read it anyway.

Weeks before the crippling government shutdown precipitated by exceedingly low-wattage thinking concentrated in the right wing of the Republican Party, I became upset by this year’s pampered squirrels behind our house. These squirrels that I have come to think of as “our squirrels” are displaying the most callous disregard for their duty to harvest every single black walnut that two large trees produce annually just outside our back windows.

This year, for the first time in over a decade, our squirrels are simply inept at carrying on the work of their forefathers and foremothers. Never until this year have our squirrels let walnuts fall from the towering tree closest to our house onto our roof and deck. Already hundreds of black walnuts have fallen compared to zero over the last ten years. Our squirrels obviously are blessed with abundance unknown to their predecessors. They are privileged, act like fat cats, and have become self-satisfied.

Squirrel eating a walnut. They are wasting walnuts this year at an unprecedented rate in our experience, signaling a rough winter in the U. S. Congress. (Photo credit.)

Squirrel eating a walnut. They are wasting walnuts this year at an unprecedented rate in our experience, signaling a rough winter in the U. S. Congress. (Photo credit.)

Like members of the Tea Party in Congress, our squirrels are so pampered here with an overabundance of black walnuts, acorns, and possumhaw berries that they can live a life of great privilege and take it for granted. Our squirrels don’t worry about medical care, catastrophic illness, poor squirrels in other parts of the country, where their next meal will come from, or how they will come up with enough nuts to pay for their housing and children’s education. Our squirrels are self-made squirrels, they mistakenly think. They’re surrounded by opportunity and wealth, while seeming oblivious.

Our squirrels remind me of the Tea Party members of Congress who don’t worry about getting medical care when they need it. They’re covered financially if they or a member of their family faces catastrophic illness. They don’t worry about poor people in the country, about the unemployed and underemployed, about people who have lost their homes, or children who go to sub-par schools and stand a poor chance of climbing the academic ladder or getting a decent job. Tea Party members of Congress are self-made people, they mistakenly think. They’re surrounded by money from wealthy donors, by the privileges of members of Congress, by parties and pep talks about how to make everyone scratch to the top like they did.

A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows how dramatically overall public support of Republicans in Congress has eroded since the government shutdown. Ironically, House Speaker John Boehner’s advocacy of the Tea Party position on the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare) that triggered the shutdown has resulted in a rapid increase in support for the Act over the last month!

I wonder if the right wing fringe has grasped the significance of this finding yet. Mainstream members of the Republican Party are starting to see their fortunes in future elections swirling around the drain. They’re becoming visibly alarmed.

This week the news media reported that the National Retail Federation has lost its influence with Republican House members and is realizing that their political donations are not producing their desired results. Now they are thinking they will have to specifically support candidates who oppose Tea Party candidates in the next Congressional elections. You’d think the National Retail Federation would have been worried all along about millions of unemployed adults who wish they could still shop the way they did before our financial crash of 2008. But when their chosen members of Congress fail to deliver on the Federation’s goals,  the Federation is talking about a more aggressive, defeat-the-Tea Party strategy! 

The National Retail Federation logo. (Source credit.)

The National Retail Federation logo. (Source credit.)

Summing up, our squirrels and Tea Party members of Congress seem to be real nutcases. I just can’t think of a kinder way to put it. Nutcases. 

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Brains and Politics: Gridlock and the Lack of Reason


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