Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cloutless Connecticut

Seniority equals clout in the U.S. Congress. New Senators and House members entering the portals of the U.S. Capitol are expected to be seen and not heard for their first year or so in office. Both Connecticut’s U.S. Senators are new arrivals.

Senator Richard Blumenthal, who appears to be having a problem shedding his past as Connecticut’s Attorney General, the state’s litigator-in-chief and consumer advocate, passed his first year blinking as the world slid chaotically by. With a couple of years in the Senate under his belt, Mr. Blumenthal may now be prepared to open his beak and sing a song.

Political watchers in his state are hoping the melody will not be freighted with bills he wished he had been able to enact as attorney general. The state’s soon to be Senior Senator, after a scant two years in Congress, has not favored his favorite newspapers with exhaustive opinions on a raft of recent nettlesome issues, including the destruction of the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, the murder of Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens and other Americans, the growing U.S. deficit, the recent bombing by Israel of Hamas military emplacements in Gaza, an ordeal followed by an uneasy “peace” brokered by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood fundamentalist who often has expressed his contempt of the West, hates Israel and wants to turn Egypt into a Salafist state, as well as other issues of moment much in the media. Perhaps after his year of sequestration Connecticut’s senior senator will be more forthcoming on, to mention just one pressure point, the economic collapse of Europe.

“Those two quarters of contraction put the euro zone's 9.4 trillion euro ($12 trillion) economy back into recession, although Italy and Spain have been contracting for a year already and Greece is suffering an outright depression.”

Connecticut’s newest U.S. Senator-elect, progressive Chris Murphy, will be forced by protocol to bite his cloutless tongue for about a year, after which the world will doubtless be his oyster.

Political science professor at the University of Connecticut Ron Schurin notes in a news story:

“In the next Congress, the senior senator will be Democrat Richard Blumenthal, elected to the Senate only two years ago. And its junior senator, also a Democrat, will be Chris Murphy, who is newly elected to the Senate. It's the least senior Senate delegation of any state.”

In a news conference following the recent elections, Governor Dannel Malloy noted that Connecticut’s economic future is tied inextricably to Europe’s fate. If Congress fails to reset the debt ceiling, the governor said, “with the weakness that Europe is currently demonstrating, we will see a worldwide depression.”

Republicans were perhaps thankful that the governor did not attempt to pin Connecticut’s growing post Malloy tax increase recession on Andrew Roraback, falsely reputed by his Democratic opponent, Congressman-elect Murphy, to be a Tea Party enthusiast.

“If we go off that cliff,” Mr. Malloy warned, “honestly, it is unthinkable." France, which elected in François Gérard Georges Nicolas Hollande (pronounced O-lend) its first socialist president since François Maurice Adrien Marie Mitterrand, the governor pointed out, is "our No. 1 trade partner."

Entering office as a snorting socialist bull, M. Hollande promised to tax rich millionaires at a 75 percent rate, but moderated his ambition somewhat, it is assumed by some fantasists in Connecticut, after having received a communique written in French from M. Malloy indicating that he, a la Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, would be waiting at the border of Connecticut with a net to snag and relocate to Greenwich, CT French millionaire expats as they fled M. Hollande’s Bastille with their pants on fire.

Pointing out that he took over a state in financial distress during the Bush-Obama recession, Malloy said he accepted the challenge to turn the economy around.

Mr. Malloy vowed to "reshape my state -- I want to make it a better and stronger state."

To this end, Mr. Malloy told 300 credulous businessmen and women gathered at Fairfield University, he has given millions of tax dollars to a series of companies far richer than any single millionaire politician in Greenwich, with the possible exception of Mr. Blumenthal.

Such is Connecticut’s Crony capitalist future. Unlike the French in the days of Danton and Robespierre, American progressives do not lead the rich trembling in tumbrels to the guillotine; we shower upon them tax dollars wrested from the petite bourgeoisie.

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