Illustration by ALEX FINE
BY WILLIAM C. HENRY Duly appreciative of the Oscars, Emmys, Tonys, and Pulitzers — all of which are indeed honorable — I believe the time has come to establish a new and entirely different type of awards program. A completely cynical national dishonors program, if you will. One that judges and affords official recognition of and to the worst. The very worst in American politics, that is. I propose to call this new program the American Scumbucket Awards. Nicknamed the Scummys, and represented by a rusty statuette of a smiling, pants-down George W. Bush perched on a parlor pot playing the fiddle beneath the all-embracing Victory Arch of Baghdad, they would be presented each January — by yours truly — to those politicians or politically affiliated individuals or groups who have dishonored themselves to the greatest extent in selected categories (which may vary from year to year to suit the author’s altogether flippant fancy). So, without further ado, allow me to present a sampling of suggested categories and respective nominees:
For “Dumbest Publicly Avowed Racist” the Scummy goes to: Donald Trump for continually implying that 52 years ago Hawaiian government records keepers and the islands’ private newspaper publishers divined that Barak Obama would become the nation’s first black President and consequently conspired to falsify proof of the future POTUS having been born in their fair state. In all fairness to The Donald, it should be noted that when questioned about proof of his own “official” creation, Mr. Trump immediately came forward with a properly witnessed and sealed FBI evidence envelope containing his original government issue petri dish.
For “Phoniest Alleged Believer in Equal Treatment Under the Law” the Scummy goes equally to: Barak Obama and Eric Holder. Four years and still not one single indictment of a Wall Street banker — commercial, investment, mortgage or otherwise — for having participated in the most massive criminal financial fraud in United States history. “Two”-facedness just doesn’t get any better than this!
For “Greatest Degree of Gall Exhibited by an Organized Group of Hand Biters” the pieces of a single smashed up Scummy are to be distributed among: Ex-CEO Maurice Greenberg and Assorted Stockholders of American International Group, Inc. (AIG) for their ongoing law suit against the very American taxpayers and voters who reluctantly saved their collective criminal asses to the tune of some $182 billion. On the other hand, maybe a single Scummy doesn’t do them justice. How ’bout a bushel basket full of solid brass balls.
For “Most Appalling Performance by an Elected Official” the Scummy goes to: Rick Scott (pictured, right). The Florida governor’s hypocrisy, bigotry, pill-popping protectionism and general disregard for the best interests of the folks who “brought him to the ball” is fast becoming a thing of legend. Turns out that telling Washington to stick $2.4 billion and literally thousands of jobs up its ass was but a harbinger of things to come. But, hell, what would you expect from a lying thief who was part and parcel of the biggest Medicare fraud in history and later used his ill-gotten gains to finance a successful bid for the governorship of the Sunshine State?
For “Most Repugnant Organization on the Planet” the Scummy goes to the National Rifle Association. Twenty more innocent children and six more innocent adults horrendously butchered by a lunatic with a semi-automatic assault rifle, to which the NRA has responded that the best way to curb gun violence in schools is to grant concealed-carry permits to all kids in grades K through 12, and that it will continue to vehemently oppose any and all forms of gun control until such time as wild game and varmints agree to turn in their Kalashnikovs. In all seriousness, how convenient it is for gun control opponents to ignore the fact that when fashioning the 2nd Amendment the founding fathers saw fit to use the word “well” rather than the prefix “un.”
For “Most Chicken Shit Action Exercised by an Elected Official” the Scummy goes to: The Filibuster. In the United States Senate any one senator can put a perpetual hold on any piece of legislation by simply secretly expressing his or her intention to filibuster it. Just in case I mumbled, allow me to repeat the gist of that. They don’t actually have to filibuster it, they simply have to secretly express an intention to do so. I think that sort of thing used to be called the “divine right of kings.”
For “Most Brazen Display of Racial, Ethnic and Class Hatred” the Scummy goes to: the Republican party for its concentrated efforts to prevent registration and voting of the poor, the disabled, persons of color, and ethnic minorities. Perpetrated by Republican controlled legislaturesin 20 states (including MN), the actions represent the last ditch desires of one of the most bigoted — and dying — political minorities in America: old, white men.
For “Exhibiting the Greatest Degree of ‘F_ _ _ You, I’ve got Mine, Get Your Own’” the Scummy goes to: Republicans in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. To this day these hypocrites would repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) if they thought they could get away with it. Well, of course they would. Here’s one of the biggest reasons why. The PPACA removes their lifetime health coverage! Under Obamacare when they return to private life they’ll have to obtain health coverage the same way you and I will. Ah, yes, some of those perks are soooo hard to relinquish.
For “Most Shameful Ongoing Episode in the History of American Jurisprudence, Military or Otherwise” the Scummy goes to the Court Marshal of the Patriot Bradley Manning whose treatment from the beginning represents one of the sorriest and saddest chapters in American history. Currently imprisoned for almost 1000 days without trial, nearly 300 of them in solitary confinement, for exposing the lies, the deceit, the incompetence, and the corruption behind our involvement in both Iraq and Afghanistan, Private Manning should be celebrated as a hero. Instead he faces the strong possibility of life behind bars. If you haven’t been following what’s going on here, folks, you damn sure ought to bring yourself up to speed.
Have a great day.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Fed up early stage septuagenarian who has actually been most of there and done most of that. Born and raised in the picturesque Pocono Mountains. Quite well educated. Very lucky to have been born into a well-schooled and somewhat prosperous family. Long divorced. One beautiful, brilliant daughter. Two far above average grandsons. Semi-retired (how does anyone manage to do it completely these days?) and fully-tired of bullshit. Uncle of the Editor-In-Chief.