It was a banner week for ROCs in the House of Representatives. On Wednesday they announced that they would simply refuse to consider the immigration bill passed by the Senate—or draft a comprehensive bill of their own. If immigration reform is dead for the foreseeable future, as it may well be, responsibility for the execution will be clearly theirs. Moving from one triumph to another, the following day the ROCs passed a Farm Bill providing largess for agribusiness while stripping out any authorization for the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, aka Food Stamps.
So the ROCs are in full flight. You may think that “ROC” is a reference to the mythical bird of prey. There is, however, another avian myth that is even more fitting: the Oozlum. The Oozlum bird is concisely described in Wikipedia:
“[W]hen startled, the bird will take off and fly around in ever-decreasing circles until it manages to fly up itself, disappearing completely, which adds to its rarity. Other sources state that the bird flies backwards so that it can admire its own beautiful tail feathers, or because while It does not know where it is going, it likes to know where it has been.”
As the House Republicans fly in ever decreasing ideological circles, seeking to please their shrinking base, one can only say that, like the Oozlum, they always have the end in sight. Collectively, therefore, they may be described as the ROC–Republican Oozlum Caucus, and its members as ROCs (and ROCettes). Some of our best friends may be ROCs, but on the whole, I‘d rather be a RINO.
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The next scheduled blog, Blog No 6, Part II, The Voting Rights Act and the challenge before Congress, will be published on Monday. More detailed comments on immigration and food stamps will appear soon.