January 13, 2009 in City

Clark: Dylan’s words fitting for legislative theme song

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Brother. Nothing puts a stain on a fresh new year like hearing that the Washington Liars Club (aka “The Legislature”) is back in business.

One moment we’re all looking ahead to the good things in life, like the playoffs and the Super Bowl. Then – wham! – news breaks that the zombies are rising again.

Or perhaps a new legislative session is more like that mysterious annual phenomenon of rattlesnake hibernation.

For months these poisonous creatures nestle in harmless slumber only to uncoil and come slithering forth in a potentially destructive mass.

I think it was Jay Leno who said that politics was show business for the ugly.

Anyway, I’m sure you Idaho taxpayers feel the same way about your own office-holding reptiles.

And, by the looks of it, the Spud State economy may be worse off than Washington’s. Add to that a fat-cat governor so out of touch he’s talking about raising taxes and increasing fees in a recession.

But since I live west of the state line, I am more concerned about the ignoramuses who can directly mess with me. And with our state teetering on the precipice of a $6 billion shortfall, I can’t think of a worse time for these bandits to saddle up and start governing again.

On Monday I awoke to a National Public Radio story about Washington lawmakers choosing theme songs that will best represent their upcoming session.

This must be the modern-day equivalent of Nero giving the burning of Rome a fiddle soundtrack.

The theme song is apparently an annual tradition, like fleecing the taxpayers, breaking campaign promises and doling out pork to cronies.

Representing the Democrats, Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown chose the 1989 Bob Dylan tune “Everything is Broken.” Here are some of the lyrics Brown, of Spokane, recited to some of her peers at a legislative forum sponsored by the Associated Press:

“Broken hands on broken plows, broken treaties, broken vows. Broken pipes, broken tools, people bending broken rules …”

Theme song? I thought those were the Legislature’s annual goals.

Senate Minority Leader Mike Hewitt, wanting to show that Republicans can be cool, too, selected for his session theme song “Love Rollercoaster” by the Ohio Players.

I’m willing to give Hewitt the benefit of the doubt. He might have boogied hard to this 1975 funkadelic masterpiece. But I’d lay odds the Walla Walla lawmaker has never studied the lyrics.

“Rollercoaster, of love

(Say what)

Rollercoaster, (ha, ha)

Whooo, Whooo, Whooo”

(Keep repeating)

I dunno, Mike. “Love Rollercoaster” sounds more like Larry Craig men’s room mood music.

I can dig it that Brown picked a Dylan tune. Trouble is, she picked a poor representation.

What she should have selected is Dylan’s “Positively Fourth Street.” Bobby wrote that one in 1965, back when he still had all his teeth and a sharper blade.

“You got a lotta nerve,

“To say you are my friend.

“When I was down,

“You just stood there grinning.

“You got a lotta nerve,

“To say you got a helping hand to lend.

“You just want to be on,

“The side that’s winning.”

My fellow Washingtonians, if that ain’t the best anthem to describe political snakes and a legislative session, I’ll eat my laptop.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or dougc@spokesman.com.

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