Thursday, March 26, 2009

Right Rhetoric 3/27/09

No one has a finer command of language than the person who keeps his mouth shut.

Sam Rayburn
I actually met Sam Rayburn one day. When I was in high school our class took a trip to Washington D. C.. It was a very educational experience. We met some interesting people and went on some tours, a few of which were fun. We had a guided tour of the FBI which was fascinating and a tour of the Treasury Building which wasn't, (at least not to me since I don't know anything about money).

We met with one of our Senators, Jacob Javits, who spoke about how the Senate was reaching out to governments around the world from a position of bipartisan strength.

We met with Justice Harold Burton of the Supreme Court who explained how he went back over other relevant Supreme Court decisions since the beginning to help him reach a decision.

We had a brief chat with Margaret Chase Smith, who was the first and only female Senator at that time. She was from Maine. (Leave it to the New Englanders to kick down walls. My New England friends will agree.)

We got to watch the Senate in session which was by far the least interesting thing we did. Unlike members of the House of Representatives, who have a time limit, Senators can basically speak for as long as they want to. It takes a vote of the whole Senate to shut them up.

Sam Rayburn was a man of few words, but they were eloquent ones. During the few minute we were with him he described the machinations of Congress and what his responsibilities were. as Speaker of the House. I came away with the impression that the country was run by conversations in private, over the telephone and by inter-office memos, what today would be emails and faxes, and that a lot of it takes place in what they call "behind closed doors" and not on the floors of the House or Senate. Those are where the votes take place, of course. But by the time things get to a vote there are very few surprises.

All in all it was a fascinating venture into the jungle of big government and anyone who can should do it.

DB - Vagabond Journeys
Blessings on your day.


Big Mark 243 said...

This reminds me of a school trip to our state capital. Even taking KT there once still made me feel a little tingly inside!

Joyce said...

My mother was born in Washington DC and so many, many trips to lot's of historical and informational outings for me as a youngster. My favorite, of course, was the Smithsonian. You can fill your head with such a wealth of knowledge there. Interesting entry.
Hugs, Joyce

Ally Lifewithally said...

I loved you opener ~ "No one has a finer command of language than the person who keeps his mouth shut".~ These words are so true ~
Your School trip to Washington DC sounded interesting ~ our school trips were visitng Museums and Historical homes (not very interesting) :o( ~ Ally x

Beth said...

I was fairly awestruck when we saw the Senate, and walked the halls of the Library of Congress. Then there's the National Archives, the stop, the White House! Just as a visitor. I don't plan on running. :)

I think a visit to D.C. should be mandatory for all citizens. It really does make you understand a little more about our government. As frustrating as politics can be, it's still awe-inspiring to see the important work that goes on.

Hugs, Beth

Linda S. Socha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda S. Socha said...

Interesting how each of us may remember entirely different things from similiar experiences.

I visited DC in my early 20's after saving nearly a year to be able to go. My best friend went along.

We worked together in Columbus, Ohio at the place that made Weekly Readers for school children. We too did the basic tours and I was not impressed with the Treasury tour.

One of my most vivid memories is of the cab driver we hired to take us around town for the day...He read while he drove.I was a bit nervous about that.

I also vividly remember the renditions of the first ladies dresses worn over the years although I don't recall the occassions nor where I saw them...I loved the Shorham Hotel where we stayed...and the appearance of Tony Bennett that Saturday evening.

I still recall the rude tone of voices of store clerks ( I am a southern gal) and how they made us wait to pay for purchases! St that point in time that was unlikely to happen in the South OR in Columbus.

I was impressed with the impeccable behavior of the Shorham waiters. I remember warmly how I felt a bit like what I thought then was royalty....Someone remarked about how totally acceptable it was to be an unescorted lady as so many of the DC gentlemen were often out of town on a Sat evening.

I loved the huge pool with only my fiend and I in it. I still have a photo of me in my two piece red plaid from that vacation

We had to cut our vacation a day short as we simply got too short on money! Ah well