On a Pathetic Lot

Simply put – as a collective, those occupying the hallowed halls of the US Congress are, at best, a very pathetic lot. I’m not going to call them clowns because I recognize both the viciousness and the shrewdness involved, so pathetic remains a suitable adjective.

We elect members to the House of Representatives on two-year terms – thus they make selfish decisions in light of their upcoming re-election bid that is always just around the corner.

We elect members to Congress who make decisions based on their needs, their party’s needs, and their donor’s needs – with the country’s needs no more than a selective sound bite.

We elect members to Congress who get outstanding financial support from special interests, so the elected legislate to the needs of the donors. Open Secrets is a great resource about campaign donors, PACs, and lobbying.

We elect members to Congress who fail to accept responsibility – just listen to them for proof.

We elect members to Congress who use their position to secure their next job. Not all, after all, but this applies to too many.

We elect members to Congress who get favors from the law for which is illegal for private citizens – such as insider trading.

We elect members to Congress so they (as a body) can determine their leadership based on their fund-raising ability for the party.

We elect members to Congress who regularly speak to financial accountability but regard Congress’s own operating budget as a well-guarded secret.

We elect members to Congress who are not the problem because it’s those from the other districts and states.

Meanwhile, with most of 2012 lying ahead, do not expect much from Congress in 2012 for this reason – both parties are rolling the dice with hopes of gaining power from the November vote so they can drive their agenda. Yes, they are truly pathetic.

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28 thoughts on “On a Pathetic Lot

  1. The answer lies in the first two words of each paragraph in your post:

    “We elect…”

    There are usually better candidates available, but they aren’t “polished” enough, or a slick enough speaker, or in the right party, to suit US, so we…WE…keep voting for garbage.

    Want to see the problem? You don’t have to go to Washington or your statehouse. The answer is as close as your bathroom mirror.

    • Bob,
      “We elect” is very true … and considering the alternatives, I will take that option over others. And yes, we not only keep voting for garbage, but also think the stench is from other’s garbage and NOT our own. And yes … the bathroom mirror is much of the problem … well, as long as you weren’t signalling me out. :) Thanks for stopping by!

  2. An excellent rant, Frank. Well said.
    Especially the lines “We elect members to Congress who are not the problem because it’s those from the other districts and states”

    It’s a whole lot of “Not in my backyard”.

  3. When they run for office, they tell you what you want to hear, then when they get in, its a whole different ballgame. No sooner after they are sworn in, is back to the fund raising, and the hell with the constituents. The only two that really care Dennis Kucinich and Bernie Sanders. Screw the rest of them.

  4. Sad, the truth of our short-attention-span nation is that all that really matters is what gas prices are in late October and who has the most repetitive commercials come November 1.

    • Beagz,
      It will be interesting to see how gas prices affect the election … especially considering the news that prices are about to soar. Oh well …. we’ve heard it before, so time will tell. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Hi,
    Seems politicians are the same the world over. :D
    Here in OZ in the state that I live in we are getting heaps of political spin, our election in Queensland is in March.

    • Mags,
      Thanks for confirming that this seems to be true around the world. I contend that it may have always been this way, but given the age of technology and communication today, the people are simply learning more about what always has been.

      It also seems that one major difference here in the US is the our presidential process is soooooo long. Thanks for sharing your experience from Oz.

  6. Sadly, politics is all about the money. Politicians cater to their biggest campaign donors. The politicians that raise the most money can run the most ads and usually win the election. I don’t think anything will change until there is major campaign finance reform, though since that is something Congress would have to vote on, it seems an unlikely eventuality.

    • Sandy,
      I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately, given the Supreme Court’s ruling in DC United will make that difficult to achieve – and the Republican primary is a great place to see the effect of the high court’s ruling. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

      • Nancy,
        If my interpretation is correct, it won’t happen because of the following:
        1) In DC United, the Court made a Constitutional interpretation
        2) therefore, the ruling can only be overturned by a Constitutional amendment … thus fat chance.

        Thanks for commenting.

  7. I’ll be glad when the election is over, and I don’t even live in the US. We Canadians also feel the pinch when the politicians move into election mode. New fees on visitors, delayed decisions on pipelines – all part of the tactics to garner votes, I expect.

    • Margie,
      A special welcome to a first-time commenter as well as to being a northern neighbor. Canadians are very welcome here (but you are not the first). I imagine it’s a tradition throughout the free world that politicians operate within election mode … which in my eyes seems to be standard operating procedure. Oh well … better than the alternative of not having a free voice. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  8. I absolutely despair over the state of our political “union”…and I’m afraid. Afraid not for myself, but for my children and my grandson. What kind of legacy are we saddling them with? How far will our “representatives” fall down the rabbit hole before We the Sheeple wake up??? The media doesn’t help…they are the other side of the Machine, big money being the first side.

    *sigh* I could get on a fair rant myself here. But here’s my question. HOW CAN WE CHANGE IT???

  9. Frank, my friend, I disagree completely. We elect people who come up through the ranks, starting with Board of Education, through local and county legislatures, state legislatures and then they run for the House of Representatives.

    We elect folks we don’t know, who’ve spent YEARS doing a crappy job in local, county and/or state government.

    We elect folks because we remember their name, not their opponent’s.

    We elect folks based on slogans (this year’s is “eliminate regulation” — Yeah, that worked really well with the housing industry. And the Banking industry.

    We elect folks because our ministers tell us to.

    We elect folks for all the wrong reasons.

    So pay attention to who wants to be on the local level. Because if you elect them there (or don’t work to prevent their election to that level), you’re going to be stuck with them at the higher levels.

    Look at my state, Virginia. Our governor, and our totally whacko Atty general started in the State House. If you paid attention to them there, you knew what they’d do when they got into higher office. AND THEY DID.

    I believe that Americans who will not think get the government they deserve. It’s just not the government that I deserve.

    Anybody want to take my spot on the soapbox?

    • Elyse,
      What an outstanding addition to the list as I was cheering while reading – plus relating to local examples in my area. For instance, my current representative was my township trustee when I move into my current house. Then it was off to the State House of Representatives, to the State Senate, and then to Congress. As some point to the experiences gained at every level, I also point to the aspect of cronyism. Once a person proves loyalty to the party, the party will support their election.

      Speaking of which, (and both parties do it at various levels), I hate hearing someone point to an “open” primary system. True, anyone can run, BUT the party will endorse someone, which means that person will have the publicity and organizational support over the others.

      Of course if an endorsed person bucks the party, so long endorsement, which happened locally as well. A county commissioner bucked the party at the county level, lost their endorsement the next time the seat was up for election, and now that person is out.

      Crap … I turned my response into a post! Thanks for your great additions.

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