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'Twas the Night Before the 112th Congress | The Nation

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'Twas the Night Before the 112th Congress

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'Twas the night before Congress on Capitol Hill.
The right wing was gloating, the left wing looked ill. 

About the Author

Marc Emory
Born in Virginia 1952 to a Washington correspondent of a small upstate New York newspaper, Marc Emory grew up living...

Committee Chairs will be doled out by Saint John.
This guy will be Speaker? You’re putting me on! 

We voters were nestled all snug in our beds
While pipe dreams of health reform danced in our heads 

My wife in her nightgown whispered to me,
“At least this one night remains politics-free,”

When on the House floor there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to the press room to see what’s the matter.

“They’ve not been sworn in yet!” I yelled out so rash
To dozens of lobbyists handing out cash.

“Is this not too soon to be stooping so low?”
I asked as the Krugerrands tinkled below.

Then, what to my wondering eyes should appear?
The new Congressional roster this year!

‘Twas quite a bit different from the roster last week
I knew in an instant, I must take a peek.

More right-wing than Reagan, the new reps, they came 
When the count was complete, it was a new game:

Bye, Grayson, bye Murphy, Periello, Ortiz
Up Boehner, up Cantor. Up Bachmann? (Oh, please!)

“Smack down those liberals, push their backs to the wall!
“Now dash their hopes, dash their hopes, dash their hopes, all!”

“Before they can contemplate asking us why,
“Tell them, ‘balanced budgets are pie in the sky!’ ”

So down to the House floor, the right wingers flew
The Tea Party die-hards, and John Boehner, too.

And then, in the background, a woman said, “ooph!”
It was Nancy Pelosi, wishing John would go *POOF*

As I stuck out my head, feet barely on ground
To the rostrum came Boehner in one single bound

He grabbed the gavel from the hand of poor Nan,
And held it up showing that he’s now the man.

He looked pleased like he’d just run a four minute mile,
But let’s not go overboard, the man doesn’t smile.

His mouth remained set in its permanent frown
As he told the House, “there’s a new Speaker in town.”

“The next time I quote from a book, I won’t gamble.
“I’ll find out beforehand what’s in the Preamble!”

“I’ll fight for the Constitution each minute,
“And some day I promise to learn what is in it!”

His voice finally started to take on some range
Though his facial expression never did change

The glare in his eyes from his orange-brown head
Soon gave me to know I had much to dread.

He said nothing further, but went straight to work,
There were Democrats begging him, “don’t be a jerk!”

He gave them the finger, turned up his nose,
Made one tiny gesture and his faction rose

He sprang to the caucus room, flushed with success
To the Sergeant at Arms, he said, “keep out the press!”

But I heard him exclaim, ere he vanished inside,
“I’ve got one thing to say, and I say it with pride:

“Cold tea and no health care, we promise this night.
“Scary New Year to liberals, and to all a good fright!”

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