Friday, February 18, 2011

Fowl Play

“Birds of a feather flock together” is an old cliché that may not be true. Tweety, the chicken, a buzzard and the eagle are feathered members of our world, but each has its unique qualities that differentiate it from the others. I see the above-mentioned fowl as metaphors for career politicians. It’s uncanny how political behavior (well, human behavior) parrots our fine-feathered friends. I will “wing it” as I attempt to illustrate these striking similarities. I am convinced that it was no coincidence that the longest serving member of the U.S. Senate was named “Byrd.” If my insights seem reasonable, I promise not to crow about my success.
“Tweety” is the model for many of the politicians we know. He is rather cute and seems to have no real purpose in life. He is somewhat clever and manages to escape the clumsy clutches of “Sufferin’ succotash” Sylvester…his earthly nemesis. Tweet ingratiates himself with his elderly mistress by NEVER challenging the fiscal integrity of Medicare and Social Security. He simply goes with the flow and flutters above it all. Tweety is yellow.
The chicken is similar to Tweety in many ways but lacks the little bird’s charm. The chicken appears to spend his political life scratching and grubbing for morsels of sustenance. When confronted by a threat, the chicken joins his peers as they dash for cover, pile in the corner and suffocate one another. The chicken sees his re-election as the pinnacle of his two-, four- or six-year life cycle. He works diligently to feather his nest because his re-election may be unsuccessful. On occasion, he may attempt to hatch a plot to acquire more power, but because of his lack of courage, his plans lay an egg. The chicken’s tiny brain ultimately leads to his downfall as he becomes adorned with eleven herbs and spices while being consumed by the political world.
The buzzard is the most disgusting of the political species. He soars or sits, waiting for an unlucky mammal to lose the battle with an automobile, he swoops to earth to consume the carrion (think of Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin). As the vulture picks at the carcass of a flattened critter (think of taxpayer), his ugly head continues to swivel…looking for more victims to swallow. He has no pride though he is vain. Sometimes he acts as silly as a goose and usually ducks a straightforward discussion of issues. He benefits from the misery of others. He has no shame as he exploits the unfortunate. One count always count on the buzzard to appear when things begin to stink.
The majestic eagle represents the best of our political class. His penetrating gaze sees through deception and pettifogging. His mighty wings, left and right, lift him above the fray and its pettiness. He sits in his lofty aerie surveying his domain and refusing to participate in the grubbiness below. The eagle, a symbol of our nation, reflects strength, dignity and stability. Compare to other types of birds, he is rare and is seldom seen fraternizing with the others. He fiercely attacks any intruder who dares to approach his nest. The eagle represents the best of the political class through his nobility and character. He is uncompromising, and will not adapt to the lifestyles of lesser birds. The eagle, similar to his political counterpart, is a bird and has the brain of one.
It can be said that politicians are “strange birds.” Indeed they are, but I sense a change percolating throughout the land. The people are becoming bird-savvy, and they will no longer be swayed by pretty plumage, graceful flight, or cartoon cuties. The people are growing foxy, and birds should be wary.
The strange birds, the dodo birds and the dirty bird should nervous.


  1. Eagles are predators - they produce nothing.

  2. True, Bob, but they LOOK majestic, and they DO have tiny brains...thus, they represent the best of our political class.Maybe I should have included the turkey in the column.