Behold the politician.
Self-preservation is his ambition.
He thrives in the D. of C.,
Where he was sent by you and me.
Whether elected or appointed
He considers himself the Lord’s anointed,
And indeed the ointment lingers on him
So thick you can’t get your fingers on him.
He has developed a sixth sense
About living at the public expense,
Because in private competition
He would encounter malnutrition.
He has many profitable hobbies
Not the least of which is lobbies.
He would not sell his grandmother for a quarter
If he suspected the presence of a reporter.
He gains votes ever and anew
By taking money from everybody and giving it to a few,
While explaining that every penny
Was extracted from the few to be given to the many.
Some politicians are Republican, some Democratic,
And their feud is dramatic,
But except for the name,
They are identically the same.
When a politician talks the foolishest
And obstructs everything the mulishest,
And bellows the loudest,
Why his constituents are the proudest.
Wherever decent intelligent people get together
They talk about politicians as about bad weather
But they are always too decent to go into politics themselves and too intelligent even to go to the polls,
So I hope the kind of politicians they get will have no mercy on their pocketbooks or souls.
Ogden Nash, “The Politician,” in I’m a Stranger Here Myself (1938), pp.193-94