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Poetry on the Senate Floor

Jamie Raskin, a freshman state senator from Montgomery County and veteran political science professor at American University, summarized his first year in the General Assembly this week with a poem he presented to the full Senate. It includes the name of every senator:

What I Learned during My First Session in the Maryland Senate
(47 Senators in 72 Lines)
By Jamie Raskin

In Judicial Proceedings we learned that a sportsman's home is his castle,

So don't trespass unarmedat the home of John Astle,

You may end up in a pet cemetery or the Brinkley, it's not worth the hassle.

If you want to save clams, oysters, Terrapins or Bison

Sail to Saint Mary's and ask for Roy Dyson.

If your untethered dog has now escapedfrom your home,

Form a search party and invite Senator Stone.

Now, some go left, some go right, some go right down the Middleton

Some just take signals from Kasemeyer or Kittleman

If you're at sea in the Senate, like a lonely Britt, you need coachin'

The distinguished gentleman to consult, I'm afraid, isn'tmaverick Jim Brochin.

He spreads anticlerical propaganda and drinks iconoclast potion.

If you want to get your Green-ip and clean the air during your whole term,

Rich isn't your guy,he likes to let the Col-burn.

Some of his partisans Curry favor with zealots,bashing everything gay:

If MaryCheney wanted to marry Candace Gingrich, they'dstill vote the Con-way.

After they rail against democracy and immigration, to me it seems strange

To hear them sing the National Anthem and Home on DeGrange,

God Bless America and This Land Is Your Land

All the time giving our sweet Jenny Forehand the Backhand.

They denounce transgender rights and anything with even a bit of bad sexum

Their caucus split bitterly on renouncing slavery with Nat Exum.

They vote red on the Big Bang Theory and Charles Darwin--itall seemsso loony

How can you study Philosophy at Dartmouth and still graduate a Mooney?

They treat global warming like a passing housefire

And talk to no Ds but sometimes Kathy Klausmeyer.

Well, if you're hungry in the Capital, you can visit the lobbyists' Della-catessan,

Of course,if you eat there, it's hard to know how badyou'll find your career a mess in.

For some roll the Dys-on play political Keno.

That's not the vice of Rich Madaleno,

He'll just bore you to death with this or that little-known budget blooper

While getting a high-five from J. Robert Hooper.

Now, if you do eat out, go with someone who knows the first step

Of the Heimlich maneuver for Jim Rosapepe

In case he has lasagna or spaghetti

And forgets to invite John Gianetti.

In the bars, some prefer Guiness and some Jones the Coca-Cola

Some switch parties and go solar with Rob Garagiola.

Some party frontwards and backwards, barwards and bedwards

Some drive five hours a day like Senator George Edwards.

Some, like Jacobs Hogan Harris and Munson,are part of no rhymin' pair

And now can't send their kids to college because of Brian Simonaire.

We have ladies and gentlemen like Pugh, Peters, Robey, and Haines

Whose gentle manners are conducive to big electoral gains.

But if you have the chance on the floor about illicit pipes and bongs to Muse

Your next election, Rev, you most certainly can't lose.

Of course, in no event with the Hooka Bar should you be Jerkin'

You'll provoke the wrath of our juvenile culture expert, Bobby Zirkin

Now, politics and religion aren't married, but I do think they've met--

But if religion wants a divorce, Rona Kramer will grant it the Get.

Form a state Commission to cure global warming and surely you'll win-sky

That's the fool-proof strategy of Senator Pinsky.

If you speak on the floor, don't be a nervous Nelly

Speak strong and smart and frequently, like Delores Kelly.

Don't bloviate, declaim and parade with self-important bluster

And, every time you rise, Lenett not be to filibuster.

Oh, and if your seatmate has a special bill, please don't make a whole fuss.

I even got a sympathy card from J. Lowell Stolzfus.

What made me gleeful and joyful and just so Gladden

If I singlehandedly promoted Senator Nathaniel McFadden.

A partisan actor who places us before them,

I think he's earned the title of President Pro Dem.

Now one Senator I've skipped over because his wit is a killer.

I'll leave him unnamed, this. . . brilliant anonymous Senator.

As for our next President, in the first tier of candidates--Curry, Frosh, Middleton--there's another a dark horse:

Some hope the incumbent will experience resignation remorse.

If I have offended or slighted any colleague, please forgive me, by Gosh

You know it's not easy just being a Frosh.

By Phyllis Jordan  |  April 6, 2007; 10:48 AM ET
Categories:  General Assembly  
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Next: The End of the Session


This isn't nearly as exciting as the arrest warrant that was just issued for Keith Washington.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 6, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

I'm pretty dissapointed to see Raskin kissing Miller's a$$.

Posted by: Marylander | April 6, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Just askin, Raskin. If you Senators see tax increases next year in the way the wind blows, Do you think, "it's so Longfellows?" I bid you adieu, by saying, "I do."

Posted by: Robin Ficker | April 7, 2007 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Just askin, Raskin. If the Senators see tax increases in the wind next year, do you think it's, "So Longfellows?" I'll bid you adieu by saying, "I do."

Posted by: Robin Ficker | April 7, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Jamaie Raskin is the best, Montgomery County gave to Maryland. The problem is that the next governor will be a Republican.

Posted by: Ron | April 7, 2007 11:25 PM | Report abuse

I seriously doubt it.

Posted by: Marylander | April 8, 2007 12:03 PM | Report abuse

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