Cultural Revolutions

Rising Costs

Congress, said H.L. Mencken, or perhaps it was Will Rogers, cost him about twelve dollars a year in taxes to support the institution, which was an unmatched bargain for entertainment. The statement was made during the raucous 20's, when things seemed to be going along pretty well, and the antics of our leaders did not usually result in inescapable and intolerable burdens. Congress, of course, costs a lot more today. Will Rogers was lost in 1935 and Mencken about the same time gave up political reporting for other interests. The whole thing has become a lot less funny, but we might as well get what enjoyment we can out of it—that's all the benefit we will get.

They are all funny, politicians, but perhaps the funniest are the establishment conservatives, who will provide us with many occasions for hilarity during the coming presidential campaign. The last time, during the Republican National Convention, they stridently demanded attention and representation. They got Dan Quayle, whom Bush and the media immediately identified as theirs, though most of them had never heard of him. Their one big payoff turned out to be a liability.

Probably the most amusing part of the whole campaign will be watching Bush, whose affirmative action quota bill was barely distinguishable from the Democrats' affirmative action quota bill, pose as the antiquota hero.

The knee-jerk conservatives rallied to the defense of...

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