This Year, Send a Bipartisan Valentine

By J.F. McKenna

When you finish composing that heartfelt valentine to Aunt Sally, break out some extra stationery for those loveable folks in the Beltway. C’mon, get out the scented sheets and that government-approved red ink. Why, I’ll bet it has been a long time since you sent a personal note to the hardworking folks in Congress, particularly those selfless men and women toiling in the “people’s house.”

Not sure exactly what to say? Let me help.

Roses are red,

Violets are blue.

Your turn in office

Is just about through.

Yeah, I admit it: I’m in sarcastic overdrive. But I’m in dead earnest about your forwarding the essence of that very message to members of Congress—Republicans and Democrats alike. Tell them that they’ve had their turn at bat, and point out that we’re all in danger of losing not only the game but the ball field as well.

Don’t be reluctant to share a few hard facts with your funny valentines, many of whom can no longer distinguish public service from the public dole. If the day’s business section isn’t available for ready reference, don’t be shy about quoting Mark R. Levin, who has marshaled a handy bill of particulars in his latest bestseller, The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic.

“What was to be a relatively innocuous federal government, operating from a defined enumeration of specific grants of power, has become an ever-present and unaccountable force,” writes Levin, constitutional lawyer, celebrated talk-show host and president of the Landmark Legal Foundation. “It is the nation’s largest creditor, debtor, lender, employer, consumer contractor, grantor, property owner, tenant, insurer, health-care provider, and pension guarantor….

“In order to satisfy its glutinous appetite for programmatic schemes,” Levin continues, “the federal government not only hurriedly digests the Treasury’s annual revenue, but desserts on the wealth not yet created by generations not yet born with unconstrained indebtedness. And what havoc this has wrought.

“The federal government consumes nearly 25 percent of all goods and services produced each year by the American people. Yearly deficits routinely exceed $1 trillion.”

As you detail your Beltway bulletins with little red and blue hearts and cute little cupids with poison arrows, tell your respective representatives that they’re “2 Culpable 2 Be Forgotten.” Or forgiven, for that matter.

In the sappy’70s flick Love Story, Ali McGraw choked out, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Lovingly remind the pols in your D.C. missives that “This ain’t the movies. America is now $17 trillion past sorry. Just say good-bye.”

And save yourself from unnecessary exposure to Post-Rejection Syndrome Disorder, a political malady marked by empty promises of reform and meaningless pledges to uphold traditional constitutional values in our post-constitutional society. Again, Levin and his book can help. In The Liberty Amendments Levin champions the states’ application of the Constitution’s Article V to appropriately amend the underpinning of our liberty. Tell your reps they can read all about it when they return home for good.

Better yet, tell them they can watch you work toward that reform.

“The Framers anticipated this day might arrive, for they knew that republics deteriorate from within,” Levin explains. “They provided a lawful and civil way to repair what has transpired.”

At the risk of seeming like Dr. Phil, I admit that a wholesale farewell—especially on Valentine’s Day—isn’t without collateral damage. There are good public servants, even in Congress. As barrister Levin admits, “theory can be a cruel mistress when it comes to reality.” And the reality is that the federal system is damn near in ruins. Casualties are to be expected.

So for the good of all America, finish up that valentine to Aunt Sally. Then start working on those from-the-heart “Dear Johns” to John and Harry, Debbie and Nancy.



CBR contributor J.F. McKenna is a veteran business journalist and communications consultant. While at Industry Week magazine, he coined the expression “Total Quality Government” and co-chaired a series of national conferences on quality in the public sector. He still wonders why. Reach him at or through his LinkedIn profile: Jos. F. McKenna.



  1. Unfortunately, too few Americans pay attention to government for most politicians to be terribly concerned.

  2. Watch that weather vane. Political attention-deficit disorder may be coming to an end.

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