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Bear Lawyer and the Candidates, or The Mad Tea Party
(with apologies to Charles Lutwidge Dodgson)
The sun was shining in the glen,
Shining quite clear and bright:
It did its level best to make
The trees grow tall and straight.
(‘Twas quite the comely backdrop for
This meeting of The Right.)
Michele was glowering sulkily
Because she thought some churl
Had little business being there
Once orders he unfurled.
“Pure socialist bunk,” she did complain,
“To vaccinate young girls!”
Poor Jon was bland as bland could be,
Herman cried “9-9-9!”
‘Sylvanian Rick could not break free,
Stuck up his own behind.
Newt’s chances, likewise, long since gone;
Staff left him high and dry.
Bear Lawyer met these Candidates
And sat them down to tea.
On marmalade and toast they supped,
Vast quantities, all free,
By Concerned Citizens for Earl Grey
Served with fine courtesy.
Then conversation did commence
On things political:
The EPA, Obamacare—
With rolling, folksy drawls
They sniped and snipped and cherry-picked
Laws deemed contemptible.
“If an uninsured man were sick
And bills he did accrue,
Who, do you suppose,” was asked,
“Is liable to pay his due?”
“Let him die!” came the unseen cry
As Ron spoke bitter rue:
“Government in this land is broke,”
Began Ron his rambling speech.
“Wars, high taxes, entitlements,
Unending Federal reach,
Social Security, Medicare—
How can we pay for each
And e’ery bill and subsidy?
There’s trouble up ahead!”
The elder statesman raised his eyes,
As much he left unsaid—
But, seeing that the crowd looked bored,
He bowed his snow-white head.
The younger hopefuls then perked up,
Each eager for the treat
Of ignoring the next question,
Their talking points to mete.
(And this was fine, because, you know,
Their thoughts were far from neat.)
Mitt, the well-coifed ‘Chusettsman
First grinned and stretched his jaw,
Then thick and fast there came at last,
One-liners from his maw:
“That Texas Rick is not so slick,
Four aces in the hole.”
On immigration, amnesty,
And borders they debated.
With each riposte the Candidates
Their bona fides stated—
And, in turn, at next attempt the
Others’ points berated.
Bear Lawyer heard the Candidates
Talk for an hour or so.
With rhetoric and rhyme they raged,
(Albeit, facts were low)
As each and every one dug in
To quibble—what a show!
“Oh, say, why so?” Bear Lawyer thought,
Debate such pressing things—
Taxes and healthcare, foreign wars—
With wheedling jabs and zings?
To ask why jobs have gone to pot,
To cut the apron strings
Of the long-vested Nanny State,
Which those here had decried—
All well and good; yet really, few
Answers did they provide.
“Cut this! Slash that! Raise taxes? No!”
Each forcefully replied
To questions anyone might pose
Of merit, aye, or likelihood
Their plans could ever be.
Dodgy and slim the details were
Of fiscal policies.
“Tax not us!” The revelers yelled
Whilst fighting o’er the teat
Of Social cheques and Medicare
And Federal subsidies.
“Repeal! Reform!” rang loud the cry—
“But don’t touch what’s dear to me!”
Soon Bear Lawyer had enough and,
Reared upon his haunches,
Called for some semblance of calm and
Finishing of lunches.
Still Candidates did him ignore;
Their debate flowed undaunted.
“It was so kind of you to come!
But I have some advice!”
Bear Lawyer growled, yet no one heard;
Words wouldn’t fit edgewise.
Truly, he now hoped they’d leave.
(He would not ask them twice.)
“I pray, dear friends,” Bear Lawyer roared
“That you soon realize—”
We tooth and claw he drove them out,
Continuing his cries:
“That Freedom is both give and take
And Liberty an unearned prize
“Is all too true: one must expect
No ease in governance—
‘Tis harder running a country than
So put away that gimlet eye
And unforgiving glance
“And consider all the Nation’s needs,
The expectations and
Obligations of the people,
And all that they demand.
Despite self-interest rational,
These States United must needs stand.”
With that Bear Lawyer lumbered off
Towards his peaceful den,
Foreboding ill the many months
Before this madness ends.
And with a sigh he did remark
Just as he left the glen:
“This Greed disguised as Liberty
Is an unsightly trend.”