Our Words Roll Off Their Backs

To those good people outraged over what happened in the House of Representatives last week, please …

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… stop crying “Shame on you!” to Republican leaders. It’s a waste of breath, time, energy and sentiment. If the sort of people who still identify with modern Republican policies had anything within their consciences that could possibly feel shame, they could no longer live with themselves as Republicans.

And while we’re on the subject, also stop trying to stress how ironic is that they are behaving today in a manner they scorned yesterday when a Democrat did it. Stop harping on their hypocrisy, their flip-flops, their reversals, and/or their lying. Such public reactions as contempt and ridicule no longer work on the Republicans now governing our country. They cannot be embarrassed, they cannot be mortified, they cannot be made to even blush slightly when we catch them at something that would have ended their careers not so very long ago.

They know they are hypocrites, that their professed principles are meaningless verbal flatulence, that they are spewing lies more often than they aren’t. They know they have no integrity, they know they have no honor. But few of them, if any, got to where they are by virtue of their integrity and honor, anyway. (Raul Labrador, for instance … is it even possible to use those words to describe a man who could argue with a straight face, “Nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care,” when we have all had friends and/or family who did die because they couldn’t afford what it costs to live?)

No, they got to where they are by virtue of vast flows of campaign cash from unfathomable reserves of money funneled their way by manipulative schemers for whom integrity and honor are distant concerns when measured next to power and wealth. They got to where they are by virtue of gerrymandered districts, voter suppression and coordinated corporate maneuvering, all funded by people for whom money is no object, as long as it makes them even more money. They may have gotten to where they are disguised as decent people. But now that they’re there, they have dropped the act.

So you good, authentically decent people need to understand this before you burn yourself out with outrage: They couldn’t care less when you cry “Shame on you!” They couldn’t care less about being called liars, fools, heartless, or travesties. They know all of your Facebook complaining, your commiserating with like-minded citizens, your dutiful attendance at townhall meetings, your agreeing whole-heartedly with sympathetic voices, your approval of this very opinion and, yes! … my writing it! … are all just background noise—mere static, easily ignored, as long as those who own their souls are happy.

The only thing they have to seriously worry about is holding onto the office they’re in. And the only thing we can do that will seriously matter is taking that office away from them.

To that end, we have only two choices: We either vote them out, or we drag them out.

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