Friday, October 30, 2009

The American Fopocracy: Congress and the Political Elite

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Lord Foppington

Congressional Districts & Senate Seats as Legacies

Are American political elites the new American 'fopocracy'? There's some evidence to think so. There's also gathering evidence that Americans are ready to show some of their members the door.

What is a 'fop'? We knew, in general, it was an over-dressed fool; but we consulted Wikipedia for a more exact definition. From Fop:

"The fop was a stock character in English literature and especially comic drama, as well as satirical prints.

He is a "man of fashion" who overdresses, aspires to wit,"

"and generally puts on airs, which may include aspiring to a higher social station than others think he has."

"He may be somewhat effeminate,"

"although this rarely affects his pursuit of an heiress."

"A fop is also referred to as a 'beau,' as in the Restoration comedies The Beaux' Stratagem (1707) by George Farquhar, The Beau Defeated (1700) by Mary Pix, or the real-life Beau Nash, Master of Ceremonies at Bath, or Regency celebrity, Beau Brummell. The sexual recklessness of "beau" may also bring intimations of homosexuality."

What class did the fops come from?

While not all members of the upper classes were fops, all fops were members of the upper classes. They were the only ones who could afford to dress in such a manner. Sometimes, members of the lower class were referred to as "fops", but that was only to tag them as "fools"--not "over-dressed dandies".

Some would say that our current crop of political elites are members of political dynasties--and they would be right. Almost 10% of Congress (51) is composed of members who've had other members of their families also serve in Congress. From Congressional legacies: Current members of Congress:

Evan Bayh, Mark Begich, Robert Bennett, Brian Bilbray, Gus Bilirakis, Dan Boren, Shelley Capito, Lois Capps, Russ Carnahan, Andre Carson, Ben Chandler, William Clay, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Mario Diaz-Balart, John Dingell, Christopher Dodd, John Duncan, Jo Emerson, Rodney Frelinghuysen, Kay Hagan, Rush Holt, Duncan Hunter, Walter Jones, Patrick Kennedy, Jon Kyl, Robert Latta, Carl Levin, Sander Levin, Daniel Lipinski, Connie Mack, Mary Mack, Doris Matsui, Kendrick Meek, John Mica, Alan Mollohan, Lisa Murkowski, Nancy Pelosi, Mark Pryor, Jay Rockefeller, Lucille Roybal-Allard, John Salazar, Linda Sanchez, Loretta Sanchez, Stephanie Sandlin, John Sarbanes, Bill Shuster, Olympia Snowe, John Sullivan, Niki Tsongas, Mark Udall, Tom Udall.

There's nothing like keeping the Congressional District or Senate seat in the family.

While we're not implying that all of the above members of Congress are fops, we will suggest that perhaps when they're used to the perks of "service", they may lose touch with what it's like to live in the real world.

Perhaps that's why it's so easy for Congress to vote for more taxes. And while many of these taxes are advertised as "taxes on the rich", Congress knows well that the real money is the middle and lower-middle classes.

Which is why the tax burden on average Americans continues to rise.

Is our current crew of political elites nothing more than a fopocracy of pampered, over-dressed dandies, anxious to preen for the public?

We'll let the reader decide.

by Mondo Frazier
* wikipedia

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