Friday, August 5, 2011


Now we know why members of congress held their noses and passed the legislation to raise the debt ceiling. It’s August and the members needed to take off for their customary August recess. There was a time when it took a lot longer to get home to shake hands with the voters. No TV, no cell phones, no twitter, no facebook, no jets that can get you from one coast to the other in hours instead of days. And no air conditioning. I’ve read that DC was considered a hard ship post for most European diplomats back in the days before central air. It’s hot, it’s humid. I think they had to drain a swamp to build the city. The country is still on the ropes and one branch of the elected hired help pretty much takes the month off.

Polls released last night and early this morning have a damning message for that branch of the elected hired help. The voters are not happy campers. I’m not sure this bunch is any worse than the reps that came before them. After all, nobody’s gone after their opponents with a walking stick since a member of the South Carolina delegation beat Charles Sumner senseless with his walking stick, in chambers, before the Civil War.

How could the members of congress make us a little happier? Well they could skip that August recess for starters. We’ve got jets now. You can go home on Thursday, shake hands with the voters and still be back to work on Monday. Plus you have cell phones, high speed internet and air conditioning. Cut back on the other time off that seems to coincide with major holidays. Take the same time off that most working Americans receive. Which isn’t very much.

It wouldn’t hurt to announce that the only pledge an elected official needs to make is made when the oath of office is taken. And it would also help to remember that just because you won it doesn’t give you the right to ignore the opinions of the voters who supported the other candidate. Especially in a three or four way race. Yeah, you got biggest total, but the combined totals of the other candidates is larger than yours, so a little humility would go a long way. Oh, and thank your lucky stars that we don’t run the country like a private business because right now your performance reviews would be bloody dismal.

Cross posted in Walking With Hope.


Lisa :-] said...

I really don't think they worry too much about the voters these days... All they have to do is spend enough money circulating the right combination of lies and half-truths among their mostly uninformed, apathetic consituency a few weeks before the election and they can count on swaying public opinion enough to keep their jobs for another 2 (or 4 or 6) years. It's really pretty pathetic.

JACKIE said...

Oh, but they're so quick to claim a mandate. Even if somebody started out on third base, they claim they hit a homer.

JACKIE said...

Oh, but they're so quick to claim a mandate. Even if somebody started out on third base, they claim they hit a homer.

sunflowerkat321 said...

A good business leader has an informed plan but has to be prepared to steer his company in light of ever changing realities in the business environment. No business can succeed if its leader insists on a dogmatic approach and is unwilling to consider the advice of his top executives, board members, stock holders, customers and the economic climate. And I think every business person realizes that if you don't have revenues, your business is going nowhere. Whittling a business to the bare bone allows it to hobble feebly along a little longer. Lisa, am I right? You don't bring in more customers reducing the menu from 10 items down to 4.

And in business...if you don't do your job, you don't get paid. Throughout the debacle as they talked about checks not going out all I could think was that the LAST checks to be cut should be those that go to Congress. Until they could pull their heads out of their butts and do the work we elected them to do...they had no right to be paid.

I was gratified to see the polls reflect an overall dissatisfaction with congressional job performance I'm afraid it will not precipitate any change. They don't view their job as working for the country and its people. They view their job as working to keep their job. As long as their major contributors are happy, they couldn't care less about the rest of us. The Tea Party got organized, mad and loud and affected change. I think it's time for the reasonable, thinking people to get organized, mad and loud.

JACKIE said...

And no business will succeed if it changes managing personnel every few years and they proceed to do the exact opposite of the people they replaced.

We went through the mess with term limits a few years ago in Oregon and it......didn't work very well. I suspect that what we went through a decade ago is what the country is going through now. At least the names on the checks are familiar; Dick Armey for one. And I suspect the ocuntry will come through. A little bloody, a little bowed, but still standing.

Yeah, my cup's half full.