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Should there be a sanity test for Congress critters?

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What a show the goofily-fanatical tea party Republicans are putting on in Washington!

First, they threw a group hissy fit to force a costly, embarrassing, and entirely-unwarranted shutdown of the national government of our USofA. That was strange enough, but then a gaggle of the goofballs cranked their shtick all the way up to code-red bizarre by throwing a series of staged tantrums when they learned that the government they had shut down was, in fact, shut down.

I know you don't have to be smart or logical to be in Congress, but surely a lawmaker ought to be more tightly-wrapped than this bunch. One thing that really worked them into a shrieking frenzy was that national parks and monuments were closed. This led to the spectacle of a House committee hauling in the director of national parks to berate him mercilessly for five hours, demanding to know why the parks were closed.

He should've just held up a mirror, but -- like the good career park ranger he is -- Director Jon Jarvis patiently tried to explain the obvious to the congress critters in front of him: They had voted to shutter the federal government; national parks are a part of the government; Congress took away the money to staff the nation's 401 parks and monuments; so they were closed.

But the rabid solons effectively shouted at him: "Stop making sense!" One doofus named Doc Hastings even invented his own facts, blathering that in the government shutdown back in the mid-nineties, parks stayed open. Sorry, Doc, but no -- the Lincoln Memorial, Statue of Liberty, Grand Canyon and others all across the country were closed.

By the way, guess who has been steadily whacking funding for park service staff and maintenance of those national treasures? Right -- the same loony-tunes ideologues running this absurd circus.

"Why the national parks were closed," The Washington Post," October 18, 2013.

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Jim Hightower is an American populist, spreading his message of democratic hope via national radio commentaries, columns, books, his award-winning monthly newsletter (The Hightower Lowdown) and barnstorming tours all across America.

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