Burning Down the House

Through years of tradition and arbitrary custom, decisions in the United States are often made by random groups of people whose legitimacy owes itself to nothing except that tradition.  Exhibit A, the Electoral College.  Exhibit B, the House of Representatives.  Exhibit C, the Baseball Writers Association of America.

The first one isn’t going anywhere and except in random cases like the 2000 election, hasn’t actually thwarted the will of the people.  Sure, it does give outsized importance to states like Ohio and Florida that really should be sold back to the French and Spanish, respectively, but it doesn’t make me hate myself.

The House of Representatives, on the other hand, is where intelligence and common sense go to die.  Take Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia who sits on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology as an example.  Rep. Broun’s membership on a relatively unimportant committee wouldn’t matter too much except for one thing.  He believes that “evolution and embryology and Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell.”  Broun also has stated that he believes that the earth is about 9,000 years old.  That an idiot of this magnitude could be elected to Congress, and is running unopposed this year as well, is indicative of the collective intelligence of the body (and the American people, unfortunately).

Need more proof?  Take the House Republicans’ hearing on Libya that took place last week in which they not only failed to resolve anything but also managed to blow the CIA’s cover in Benghazi in the process.  Seriously, this is more appropriate to the plot of a Coen brothers’ movie than it is to the lower house of of our esteemed national legislature.

And finally we come to the Baseball Writers who have the power to hand out post-season awards as well as decide who is elected to the Hall of Fame.  Considering that the list of members includes Woody Paige and Buster Olney, I’m not inclined to give much credence to anything they say.  The only good thing about having them around is that there’s a good chance they’ll give the AL MVP to a Detroit Tiger for the second consecutive year, despite the strong case that could be made for Mr. Trout.  And, at the end of the day, if I had to wish for the unholy death of one group of people, I’d probably give the nod to the House over the sportswriters.  That could all change if Miggy doesn’t get the MVP, though.  Writers, you have been warned.

-A

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