Thursday, July 16, 2009


                Washington is dense with acronyms.  It seems that only a couple of years ago we were alerted to the acronym POTUS, referring to the President of the United States.  Pretty slick!  The Secret Service has probably referred to whoever the current "him" is as POTUS for decades, managing to be both clear and obscure in the same breath.  That's where the "secret" in secret service lies.

                During the Sonia Sotomayor confirmation hearings, we heard a related acronym—SCOTUS, which means Supreme Court of the United States.  Perhaps in regular use among lawyers, and DC lawyers in particular, I only became alert to it just now.  I figure that the conservatives on the Senate Judiciary Committee should have started referring to Judge Sotomayor as "SoSo" since that's apparently how they feel about her.  Nobody ever gave the U.S. Senate points for creativity, even a little bit, so I guess I'm not too surprised.

                Let me have a turn at the name game.  I propose that we refer to the Congress of the United States as COTUS, and the conservative faction of that congress as COTUS interruptus.  Do I need to make myself clearer?

                One illustration is now winding its way through the Senate.  Senators Brownback and Landrieu—a conservative republican and a conservative democrat, respectively, are co-sponsoring a Bill that outlaws the hybridization of humans and animals.  Sounds pretty ugly, that hybridization process, and I guess I'm against that, too.  But wait!  Who's doing that sort of thing today?  Is there a lab anywhere under the purview of the United States that is trying to make hubits (human rabbits), hish (human fish, pluralized in the standard format), or hugers (human tigers)?  Maybe I'm being species arrogant, and should be referring to timans—putting the tiger first.

                If the twenty (Yes!  Twenty!) senators—one-fifth of that august body—had decided to debate eugenics instead, I'd have been all over it like Troy Polamalu on a safety blitz!  Scientists trying to intervene badly in human genetics may comprise the dark side of stem cell research or the human genome project, and a debate on the potential creation of a master race is something people could, and probably should, engage.  Who would waste scientific resources creating a centaur!  Can you imagine if a centaur, at 16, wanted to learn to drive?  We'd need to bring back the 1959 Cadillac convertible to fit the six-limbed freak behind the wheel!

                Nope!  The conservative movement must be absolutely bankrupt to use manimals as a distraction.  Lost on abortion?  No problem.  That magical 25% will be distracted and believe anything you say, so give them another hook to hang their next unintelligent design argument on.

                We're at a political crossroads now.  We are trying to address to wars, nuclear weapons in societies that could actually use them on someone, health care, a financial mess, global environmental issues, and a housing crisis; that's just the top of the list.  Yet conservatives continue to decide that nonsense is the opposing side of the debate from sense.  I can only hope that they practice enough of this COTUS interruptus to achieve negative population growth.


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