Damning with faint praise… Our Congress…

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader had a fun and exciting day yesterday when he had hoped to be blogging. It involved running kids around to late summer/early fall activities that are just beginning to start. Where has the summer gone?

Of course, if you’re a member of Congress you should be saying “Where has the year gone?” According to the Wall Street Journal this Congress has done less legislatively than any Congress of the past 20 years.

According to the WSJ piece:

Barring a burst of legislative activity after Labor Day, this group of 535 men and women will have accomplished a rare feat. In two decades of record keeping, no sitting Congress has passed fewer public laws at this point in the session — 294 so far — than this one. That’s not to say they’ve been idle. On the flip side, no Congress in the same 20 years has been so prolific when it comes to proposing resolutions — more than 1,900, according to a tally by the nonpartisan Taxpayers for Common Sense.

With the mostly symbolic measures, Congress has saluted such milestones as the Idaho Potato Commission’s 70th anniversary and recognized soil as an “essential natural resource.” As legislation on gasoline prices, tax fixes and predatory lending languish, Congress has designated May 5-9 as National Substitute Teacher Recognition Week, and set July 28 as the Day of the American Cowboy.

The resolutions, which generally don’t carry the force of law, can originate in either the House or Senate. However, some types of resolutions establish the federal budget, authorize the president to go to war, or condemn actions such as the genocide in Darfur. Even among the 294 laws passed thus far, many were symbolic in nature. Many of the post offices named by this Congress honor servicemen and -women killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the 435-member House, fully one-quarter of the workweek is typically devoted to debating and passing symbolic measures.

Now boys and girls, you may be saying to yourself “Self, my Maximum Leader is all for gridlock. Certainly he must be happy with how lazy the Congress is this session.” Well… Yes and no is the answer from your Maximum Leader.

Let us be clear here. Your Maximum Leader likes gridlock in Congress. But in his mind, gridlock denotes that someone is trying to get something done in the first place. You see… Here is what your Maximum Leader likes, Congress gets together in January and decides this is the year to pass a new Endangered Species Act. Then they sit around and actually debate the new Endangered Species Act and decide they can’t agree on anything and go home. That way you can feel like the public’s business is a priority. One could even argue that they tried hard and that it is better that they don’t make a law than pass a crappy law.

What Congress is doing isn’t gridlock. It is avoidance. Rather than debating the public’s business, they get together and say “You know we have this whole budget thing to get done by October. But the budget is no fun; let’s get a resolution together expressing outrage at the demise of the drive-in movie theatre! Yeah! That would be super-fun!” So basically we get the worst of both worlds. We (The People) don’t get intelligent discourse on important topics facing our nation; and we get a bunch of meaningless tripe that doesn’t advance any person, cause or belief.

If Congress is going to continue to do crap, your Maximum Leader has a suggestion. Just stop pretending to “work” all year. Just go back to the way it used to be. Start the new session in January and go home in May/June. Rather than just inventing work that doesn’t really do anything; just say “Fuck it. I’m going home to raise money and watch TV.” This might make the government a better place. (Probably not - but anything is worth trying at this point.) You might be saying to yourself, “Self, what about those budget bills? What about the people’s business?” To this your Maximum Leader says “pshaw!” Congress doesn’t pass a real budget until January anyway. Just forgo the months of wrangling and dismay. Just declare that it isn’t going to get done until January and pass a standard continuing resolution. That is what they do anyway.

So… Is your Maximum Leader happy with Congress being filled with a bunch of lazy slackers? Well… Yes and no. Yes he is happy because they aren’t doing much real work so they can only be screwing things up but so badly. No he is not satisfied with Congress because they aren’t even pretending to try and do the public’s business. So there. Your Maximum Leader is just as useless as Congress is.

At least he only has a blog…

Carry on.

2 Comments »
Stormy said:

Atleast you only have a blog and aren’t getting a six figure salary at the tax payer’s expense, while being useless :p



Point taken. Although I’ll be the first to admit that if Congress were willing to pay me a six figure salary to blog; I’d do it.



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