Here they come, walking tall, purposeful - proud men and women who've stood up for themselves on one of the great issues of the day. The members of the D.C. City Council, they'd be, and they fought successfully to get back their free tickets to the home games of the Washington Nationals - the team with the worst record in major league baseball. Talk about pork!
Mayor Adrian Fenty, who has his own free tickets, nevertheless scooped up the Councils', apparently feeling you can't have too much of a bad thing. "I think it is great we can put this behind us," Council member Jim Graham said yesterday. "It was bad for the mayor, it was bad for the Council, it was bad for Mayor-Council relations."
The civil war over tickets started last year and continued in full flower, or should that be full rancor, until now. You're not going to find these grown ups, these civic leaders, these paragons wasting the taxpayers' time and money worrying about, say, pot-holed streets, a soaring homeless population or troubled schools. No, they went to the issue that affects them - 19 seats in Suite 61 for every home game from now on. I don't know how much those seats cost. The seats I have - I'm part of a pool - are way up in the top deck, but right behind home plate. They cost twenty bucks a pop. We can be sure, I suspect, that the freebies the Council members get are worth more than that. Doesn't it make you proud?
If there is some citizen resistance to this brazen waste of public time and money, I can think of a number of things we might do. We could litter those 19 seats in Suite 61 with, say, human waste - or dog , whichever smelt the worst. We could, if we were really clever and had a couple of good civil engineers amongst us, probably contrive a catapult which would lob bags full of interesting substances into the public gladiators' seats during games.
I grew up in Chicago, where we thought we knew what petty partisan politics was all about. But these clowns have reached new heights. Congratulations, fellas - enjoy the game or games. I hope from the bottom of my heart that you trip over a rotten hot dog smeared with mustard on your way to your free and wholly undeserved chunk of my tax money - aka your seat.
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