The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024

Law and Order: Washington Edition

Denial is not just a river in Egypt.

With deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi standing trial in November, I’m ashamed we haven’t followed in Cairo’s footsteps and thrown our representatives in a cell. After the government shutdown, all I heard were empty complaints and lame jokes about Congress (seriously, no more Boehner puns please), but not once did I hear someone suggest we hold the government accountable.

Grab your pitchforks, find your gavels and put on your black robes, it’s time to put the U.S. government on trial. Flip to whatever channel Nancy Grace is currently yelling on, someone pin down Judge Judy, and get me as many powdered wigs as possible — I’m about to make history.

Order! Court is now in session. The dishonorable (and disreputable) Judge Haidar is presiding in the case of America vs. The Federal Government. How does The Federal Government plead? They can’t reach a consensus? That’s typical.

Let me take care of this. The Federal Government pleads guilty on multiple counts of disturbing the peace, conspiracy to defraud the American people, failing to govern (come on guys, this part’s even in your name) and general negligence.

Bailiff, please bring the Speaker of the House to the stand for judgment.

Boehner, take the cigarette out of your mouth; you can’t smoke inside federal buildings. Don’t you respect federal property? Actually don’t answer that. For failing to cooperate with House Democrats, I sentence you to repeat kindergarten for a better grasp of group dynamics (and no, if you’re “it” at recess you can’t just say the game is over until you’re not “it”). I’m also revoking your membership at Planet Tan; you’re a congressman not a carrot. Dismissed.

Bailiff, bring me Senator Ted Cruz, and make sure he doesn’t carry any Dr. Seuss books to the stand.

Senator Cruz, for egging on the House with continued resolutions to block Obamacare, I sentence you to a lifetime of eating green eggs and ham for every meal. For fraternizing with Tea Party radicals and pushing more than 800,000 federal employees out of work for 16 days, I revoke your right to sweetened tea, and you will forfeit 50% percent of your annual income to social security (what you might know as the Communist billfold). Try to get by as a congressman in Texas without sugar in your tea, that’s nearly punishment
enough. Dismissed.

Yes, I’m cruel, but I’m also fair.

Bailiff, fetch me the Democrats. If you can’t find them, check the local golf course.

President Obama, I sentence you to a month in solitary confinement in Gitmo where your only source of entertainment will be your own speeches. After that period of time, I hope you’ll come to realize that sometimes actions trump words. Dismissed.

Congressman Harry Reid, for playing a part in the loss of billions of dollars during the shutdown, I sentence you to a life of dealing with Nancy Pelosi (too cruel?).

The trial is now adjourned. There won’t be a recess, because in my eyes, the government has had enough play time. There won’t be a jury either. The last time you left decision making up to a room full of angry men, our Federal Government stopped working for over two weeks.

In Egypt protests actually lead to change. The process can get bloody, but when Middle Eastern leaders aren’t up to snuff, they live in fear of getting snuffed. I’m not proposing anything that violent, like say a public lashing of every congressman. I’m suggesting widespread public humiliation. I’m suggesting we critique our government with both our words and our actions to show them that holding the government hostage days away from a debt ceiling deadline is unacceptable.

I’m not the only one who dislikes the government at this point. Let’s face it, the government dislikes government so much it decided to stop operating rather than continue to humiliate itself with public displays of ineptitude. While I do agree with the government that there shouldn’t be a government, shutting down outright is not the way to go.

As for a punishment to fit the bill, you can’t negotiate with terrorists (and holding federal jobs at political gunpoint is terrorism). To really get the message across, let’s refuse to reelect those who failed to serve rather than watch our representatives collapse in
on themselves.

Congress, read my lips; no second chances.

Haidar is a junior majoring in journalism.

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