Look at the bustling chamber above. It looks like a lot of the people’s work is being done. Phooey! This photo must be staged. Turn on C-Span and watch The Senate and The House as they really are: EMPTY save a few legislators who have come to work that day to get their particular issue on the official record. The 112th Congress has been alive for 9 months, yet The Senate has only been in session 121 days and The House 125 days. Incredible! I know they have to spend a lot of time fundraising for re-election, but, we are paying them to do work! The Senate is not living up to this history capsule and deserves a “D-” rating:
U.S. Senate History
The United States Senate is often described as the world’s greatest deliberative body. Many of the most influential political leaders in U.S. history have served there. A total of fifteen senators later became President. Forteen incumbent senators were nominated for President. Twenty-two senators later served as Vice President. Twenty-seven incumbent senators were nominated for Vice President. Nearly one hundred senators later governed their respective states.
Nine governors even resigned in order to serve in the Senate. So did Vice President John C. Calhoun. The ranks of the Senate are frequently sought out to fill cabinet posts, ambassadorial appointments and even the Supreme Court [source]
- Could it be that the staff do all of the actual work and the men and women we stand in long lines to elect are just figureheads? Spokesmen? Someone to make “arrangements” with the myriad of lobbyists? We never see Harry Reid on TV and he is supposed to be running The Senate for the Democrats who are in charge. On the other hand, you can’t keep The Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell off television. He is the poor Johnny-One-Note whose repeats the Republican mission “to make President Obama a one term President.” (Yes, Michele Bachmann uses that refrain, also.) In his appearances on TV Mitch does not come forth with new ideas and legislation. He just spouts boring rhetoric. The Republicans run The House and their leaders John Boehner and Eric Cantor are on TV a lot detracting from the Presidents intiatives to get the country going. In both houses Republicans stubbornly oppose the President at every turn to make him seem weak and ineffectual. It must be said here that Boehner and Cantor are controlled by their freshman elected from various Tea Parties. However, on camera the Speaker and the GOP Leader act like they are making the decisions and wielding the power.
Before taking the weekend off, Republicans set up another possible shutdown of the government on Friday, September 30. Hopefully, when they return on Monday they will be reasonable and fund the government for a decent amount of time. Speaking of money, do you know how much we pay them?
Majority Party Leader – $193,400
Minority Party Leader – $193,400
Speaker of the House – $223,500
Majority Leader – $193,400
Minority Leader – $193,400
Wow! Nice work, if you can get it! Of course, they have to raise much more than that to win re-election. I hope you have been watching Dylan Ratigan’s reports on why we need to take money out of our politics. In a partisan decision the Supreme Court lit a match to the pyrotechnics which are our political system. [Citizens United] People, we will not get campaign reform unless we dmand it! Congress works to preserve itself as the status quo. Our war in Korea is still going on because we have not demanded a cessation. Likewise in Iraq and Afghanistan. These conflicts give our generals something to do, but, hurt the nation. You really need to write to Congress.
Well, to sum up, Congress gets paid a big bundle of money, spend almost no time in their legislative chambers, do not engage in debate but give speeches to an empty room, do not account for their work hours and get benefits and allowance that are not a part of this post. Surely, the Senate can no longer say it is the world’s greatest deliberative body. We need issues of the day debated like they do in the English Parliament. Then we would see which of our legislators really know the issues and are effective in getting laws enacted. It’s all up to you. Do nothing and you get the government you deserve.