NO OFFENSE, BUT ...
Ever wonder how the improbable likes of incoming Speaker John Boehner, who is self-evidently one of the most corrupt and dimmer bulbs in Washington, ever gets elected to the United States House of Representatives in the first place?
The shortest answer, of course, is that it depends on the congressman's district; he doesn't get himself elected, "The People" do it for him.
Yes, the people, we those virtuous people, or in Boehner's case, they those virtuous people. Which leads us to the residents of southwest Ohio, home of the state's mostly rural 8th Congressional District. Which in turn leads me to an H.L. Mencken essay that I reread today, "The Anglo-Saxon," in which Mencken cites a sociological study done of southern Ohioans, circa early 1920s: in other words, the intellectual forebears of "The People" who elected John Boehner to the U.S. Congress.
I quote from the study:
Here gross superstition exercises strong control over the thought and action of a large proportion of the people. Syphilitic and other venereal diseases are common and increasing over whole counties, while in some communities nearly every family is afflicted with inherited or infectious disease. Many cases of incest are known; inbreeding is rife. Imbeciles, feeble-minded, and delinquents are numerous, politics is corrupt, and selling of votes is common, petty crimes abound, the schools have been badly managed and poorly attended. Cases of rape, assault, and robbery are of almost weekly occurrence within five minutes' walk of the corporation limits of one of the county seats, while in another county political control is held by a self-confessed criminal. Alcoholic intemperance is excessive. Gross immorality and its evil results are by no means confined to the hill districts, but are extreme also in the towns.
Mencken didn't provide a citation for this study, so I did a little looking around and ... what do you know? He wasn't joking; it's from a scholarly article titled "Community Disorganization," from The Journal of Social Forces, 1924, by one J.F. Steiner.
And now you know how, at least indirectly and given some time, the likes of a John Boehner can get elected to the United States House of Representatives in the first place -- by the syphilitic, inbred, feeble-minded, criminally corrupt, poorly schooled, alcoholic and grossly immoral People.
My apologies, naturally -- as well as condolences -- to those in the 8th District smart enough to have voted against Boehner. No offense.