mitch McConnell holds the ball. Nobody likes playing with him because he is like a black hole on the field. Anything that comes his way — he just grabs it and holds it. He never lets anything past. Which would be a good quality in a GOALIE, but McConnell is NOT a goalie! He is supposed to manage play that involves everybody on the field. Instead he checks your uniform before he decides what to do with your play.

…grown men get the faux vapors over opposition behavior that looks fine to them in their own bathroom mirrors. The sniping is personal, and blunt as a bludgeon.

If your jersey matches his, he lets your play go on, and if it’s different, he stops the ball. Blows the whistle, blocks play, blocks EVERYTHING –even plays that his own team has signed on to. Just because you’re carrying the ball.

It’s not fair, I want to say. I’m in this game too! You are my Senate Majority Leader too, and you can’t just put the kaibosh on everything I like because I like it and I tend to side with the other squad.

Really, he is such a jerk, is Mitch. Nobody likes playing with him. Even the kids on his own team, who get their way. Oh, they are glad enough to get their way, sure, but that’s all they get. Nobody likes actually playing when Mitch runs the field because it’s such a mean game then. People say awful things — and not cleverly, either, which would be something — a bone, at least. How about some witty back spray, a pointed take down of somebody’s sacred cow, or pot-shots at principles, like the Good Old Days? Oh no: instead, in Mitch’s game, grown men get the faux vapors over opposition behavior that looks fine to them in their own bathroom mirrors. The sniping is personal, meant to silence, meant to threaten — blunt as a bludgeon.

…most air time is filled with what we used to call tattling.

They bring these bad qualities out in each other. Once the volley starts, it only gets worse. Nobody wins. Every game is suspended for time, and tied. They’ve done away with overtime now. They barely “work” at all, and work like glaciers when they do — a slow, inexorable grinding, scraping, stalling, waiting out the clock while they dash home weekends to raise money and campaign to keep their “jobs.”

I suppose I should be grateful that they behave badly in such slow motion. Those of us who have to work a real job (or two) and/or tend growing families, manage personal calamity, grieve loss, call plumbers or otherwise carry on would never be able to keep track if these “elected officials” ran the government at the pace we run our lives.

Government’s gears grind so slowly, the media run out of new things to say about them. You’d think there’d be plenty holes to dig even if you never left DC, but every garden has its own peculiars and takes time and focus to master. Plus, it’s expensive to mount a media operation — you’ve got costly equipment, facilities, consumables and then people on top of that — people who take a while to grow into their roles. It requires an enormous investment to get this bumblebee off the ground. Add in the 24-hour news maw they must feed and it’s really no wonder they repeat themselves. The media do what they can do to keep their own lights on, and justify it later because “government” bears watching.

But, with a few notable and shining exceptions, most media aren’t actually watching in the sense of oversight or calling to account. Really, most of their air time is filled with what we used to call tattling. Tattling on government, tattling on the administration, repeating the newish tattles, then opining on each others’ tattling, and once they really do run out of spit there is always the relentless replay on tape of some principal’s worst behavior.

The whole thing is just awful. I suppose it’s never seemed any better.

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