99 Red Trial Balloons

The remarks the other day by North Carolina’s Governor Bev Perdue about postponing Congressional elections as a “money-saving measure” are getting the appropriate scorn and derision and vitriol (not enough, in my opinion, but some), but is merely the latest in a series of such remarks that has me wondering if there’s something brewing under the surface.


So we have a Democratic governor saying we need to cut back on our democratic processes a wee bit. Who else has been saying similar things?

Well, how about Peter Orszag, President Obama’s former Director of the Office of Management and Budget, writes that we have too much democracy, and need more plutocracy, governance by our “betters.”


Or Tom Friedman, who thinks that we would be a hell of a lot better if, every now and then, the government could just suspend all the rules, become an absolute dictatorship, and simply rule by fiat?


Or all those left-leaning pundits that, whenever the left finds it can’t just steamroll the right into getting its way, starts talking about how the US is “ungovernable?”


(That last one is based on a seriously flawed assumption — that if President Obama, obviously the smartest and most noble and most wonderful human being ever, can’t govern this nation, no one can. But I digress…)


These all could be just frustration bubbling over, leading people who really ought to know better saying what they shouldn’t. Or they could be trial balloons.


And if they are, we need to go all Balloon Busters on them.


Almost 100 years ago, during World War I, balloons, airships, blimps, and zeppelins were weapons of war — and quite effective ones. So much so, both sides actually developed aircraft and tactics just to go after them — the “Balloon Busters.”


That’s what we need to do today. Any time someone floats one of these balloons, that balloon needs to be destroyed so quickly and so thoroughly that it serves as a stark warning that certain lines can not be crossed. Governor Perdue needs to face calls for her resignation and — if possible — a recall petition or impeachment hearings. Peter Orszag should never be considered for any sort of public office. Tom Friedman needs to be shut away some place where he will never be seen or heard from again. (Oh, he writes for the New York Times — mission accomplished.)


We need to send a message every time one of these balloons floats up: this shit won’t fly. And if we happen to rough up the balloon-launchers a little in the process… oh, well.

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