03 January 2013
A Congress of squirrels
We're not talking here about political pork. Squirrels are notoriously vegetarian, for the most part. So the squawking will likely center, as it often does, on who gets the pick of the fattest acorns and - at this time of the year - who gets to breed with the fluffiest of the forest femmes.
Within the dominant party, the Squeaker of the House must be reaffirmed too. Squirrels, rugged individualists that they are, are simply more effective with this kind of leadership.
Then there is the smaller but just-as-important matter of selecting the Minority Chip. Ground squirrels (even the tiniest of the tiny chipmunks) need to get in on the political action too because most of our nation's meaningful legislation begins at the ground, if not the grassroots, level. Bringing it back to the burrow is sometimes the best way to get things done.The only challenge, one supposes, will be keeping this particular representative from nodding off during session and going into full-tilt hibernation - not unlike some humans, glazed over by the endless partisan bickering.
When it comes to threat of filibuster, though, these gnawmakers' preferences are more likely to turn instead to filberts as a means of cracking the national debt. Their job is to cache enough of them away, ensuring a multi-trillion dollar national deficit could never blight their landscape, at least not on their watch.
Yes, perhaps some resources will be diverted elsewhere: They will consider sending aid to the embattled red squirrels in the United Kingdom to help them contain the fevered spread of pox that has killed so many of their Eurasian cousins. Or maybe ship some assistance to India to ensure the continued protection of the striped squirrels there.
Back home, there is the continued and urgent vigilance to secure the future of our nation's pride - the prairie dog - and this effort too must be given the funding to succeed.
Fear not, it will get done by this tiniest of Congress - at least in our dreams. Because while squirrels don't find necessarily get their thrill from Capitol Hill (and who does?), all that squawking and tail-flicking doesn't go on forever.
Eventually the squirrels get down to business for the greater good of the species.
If only such radical ideas were humanly possible too.