Hail to the Merlot Party!

It is hardly a secret that the Republican Party has assumed control of the House of Representatives in the U.S. Congress, with a boatload of “freshmen” Congressmen who seem hell bent on reducing the size and power of the “bloated” federal government.  Many attribute these gains to a pick-up political movement popularly (or not) known as the Tea Party that appears to want to push that process to its absolute limit.  Two potential targets are the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, federal financial regulators that – just a few months ago – were charged by the same Bodies to impose a bear hug on the $600 trillion “swaps” business that had evolved without significant independent oversight for at least a generation and, rightly or wrongly, was put in the line up of perps responsible for the 2008-2009 financial crisis.

It is difficult, to say the least, to place the Tea Party in the camp of either major political party.  Its adherents seem to torment both sides with equal zeal, urging them to downsize the Government beyond any level that the Establishment has proposed.  And the rhetoric can be very sharp.  What is obviously needed is a higher level of civility on all sides.

And so, I propose the formation of a new political movement that can douse the vitriol and create a mellower atmosphere inside the Beltway.  It would not be associated with the sacking to British cargo ships in Boston Harbour at the beginning of our Revolutionary War, a stressful experience to say the least.  No, this movement would infuse the Congress with a more positive, more optimistic attitude.  Here is how it will work.

First, we buy a copious supply of good (not great) Merlot.  Then, we organize a daily early-morning “briefing session” for Members and their staff, including free refreshments. Press would not be allowed as it might spoil the ambiance. Congress would then open at 10:00 am sharp, though many in attendance would not be. Ushers would assure that the proper seats are taken. I can guarantee that this will lead to a reconciliation of the factions and Better Government.

All we need to launch this historic initiative for the Merlot Party is a good slogan.  My choice would be “NOT JUST ANOTHER BREAKFAST DRINK!” but alternatives will be welcomed.

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