The Night Before… What?

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the House (and Senate), not a creature was stirring, not even a lobbyist.

Congress has adjourned.  Congress members have returned home for their holidays.  So for today and tomorrow, the wheels of government are at rest.  It is time for rest and merriment.  It is a time to recall how fortunate the US has been and like the “Romes” before, the duties of elected officials carry large responsibilities.  A little rest and then back to work.

Guess again.

Based upon the collapse of the President’s grand bargain, and John Boehner’s DOA Plan B, there is something seriously wrong with Congress.  But what could it be?

Our two party system works because, in the past, Congress agreed to go with the majority decision and each side understood it could not get 100% of its wishes, in other words, compromise was necessary.  That does not seem to be apparent to the current crowd that occupy Congress.

Use of a “majority of the majority” to advance legislation in the House, and the reliance upon the “super majority” in the Senate have ground both chambers to a halt.  But why have our political parties forgotten the past and adopted these disruptive policies?

The price of being a Congress member has gone through the roof, that’s why.  This is a bit a “chicken and egg” argument.  Has the cost of campaigning driven elected officials to do what was necessary to induce special interests to support them?  Or has the flow of special interest money which spills freely into each Congress members’ office emboldened more and more members to steer more and more of that money into their own pockets, and they don’t want to get off that gravy train?

Maybe a couple days of rest might clear enough members heads that they will put the needs of all Americans ahead of their own interests.  Hmmm.  I guess it is me that is dreaming.

 

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