A recent issue of The New Yorker carried an article George Packer that painted an unflattering picture of the United States Senate. "The Empty Chamber," The New Yorker, August 9, 2010. Far from the greatest deliberative body on the planet, the Senate looks more like a geriatric Animal House, with Senators preening before unmanned cameras in empty chambers and rarely engaging in anything liker serious debate.
So I ask you: What would be the harm of electing Alvin M. Greene to the Senate in South Carolina? Greene appears to be a classic no-nothig, do-nothing sort of guy. But is he any different than the folks in the Senate now?
Consider the words of Tom Daschle, the former Senate Majority leader from South Dakota:
"Sometimes, you're dialing for dollars, you get the call, you've got fifteen minutes. [To appear for a vote.] You don't have a clue what's on the floor, your staff is whispering in your ears, your running onto the floor, then you check with your leader -- you double check -- but, just to make triple sure, there's a little sheet of paper on the clerk's table: the leader recommends an aye vote, or a no vote. So you've got all these checks just to make sure you don't screw up sometimes. But, if you're ever pressed, 'Why did you vote that way?' -- you just walk out thinkinh, Oh, my God, I hope nobody asks, because I don't have a clue."
Greene is a 32-year-old political novice who mumbles rather than speaks. He won the Democratic primary for the Senate in June, and is believed by some to have been put up to running by mischief-making Republicans. He will face Senator Jim DeMint, a Republican incumbent in November. Pundits predict slaughter.
Greene's chances grew even dimmer this past week. He now faces two obscenity counts for showing a college coed some pornographic films and trying to accompany her to his room. But, once again, such shenanigans hardly disqualify him from sitting in the Senate.
What would be the harm in voting for Greene? I hope South Carolina voters call the bluff of politicos and send this man to Washington. Just once, I'd like to see someone sit in that chamber who wasn't full of more feces than a sewage treatment center.
What would be the harm of sending Greene to the Senate? It's not as though Solon is expected to arrive there anytime soon. According to packer, the chamber is dominated by a culter where lofty thoughts and generous impulses have no place. Would anyone really notice if Greene were elected?