Fifteen Yard Penalty For Roughing The Pontiff
I tended to listen to it rather than watch it all. I could do other things and still take it in and I would not have been able to sit and watch the Tube for that many hours.
I did watch a bit, now and then, and two things struck me:
- The Pope is obviously blessed. He has a Fiat that has gone miraculously long without breaking down. I owned a Fiat once and all the fuses in the car blew out fifteen minutes after I first picked it up from the dealer.
- When he spoke before a joint session of Congress there were specified members of the House who had been assigned to keep an eye on and block other members from reaching out and touching the Pope.
Imagine that the Pope was the Quarterback and these Congressional Blockers were his Offensive Line. Nobody sacked the Pope. They did a better job than the Front Four of the Colts last week.
During his visit to America the Pope was mere inches away from hundreds of thousands of people, on the streets, in Cathedrals, and even going through Central Park, and nowhere was his person so guarded as when he went down the aisle inside the House Chamber. True, that was where it was most likely that his pocket would have been picked, but really now!
Are our Representatives so goofy and undisciplined that they had to be physically restrained from reaching out and grabbing the Pope? You can more easily train a puppy to stop jumping on you than you can train these people to behave themselves when somebody comes to visit. Maybe a few swats with a rolled up newspaper would do the trick.
“Down, Congressional Representative from the Fifteenth District of California! Down!”
It also makes me wonder if Congress is housebroken.
I saw a list of who made up the Pope’s Steel Curtain – a select list of politicians and assorted felons that few people have ever heard of. Included were Representatives from Washington D.C. and the Northern Mariana Islands. Neither of these have any voting rights in the House. So, if they get taken out by some charging politician from Maryland, it’s no loss come time to say “Yea” or “Nay.” When I looked at the other names I realized that I had no idea who they were. As far as Congressional leadership was concerned – they were expendable. And that is an argument that is hard to rebut.
I also noticed that there were Supreme Court Justices sitting there in the front row. They were all appearing dour, confused, and not really plugged in to the event. A couple of them looked like they were just waiting for the movie to start.
When a newly elected Representative arrives in Washington they are given an orientation about how the whole system works (or doesn’t work) and what is expected of them. I propose that another training module be added:
“How Not To Make A Fool Of Yourself When The Cameras And Microphones Are On — You Big Dummy.”
It might help. It might not, but, hopefully, it would keep them from destroying the sofa, or groping the Pope.