Why aren’t we talking Congress in Election 2016?

Trump lies, Hillary is crooked!  And much like when Caesar fiddled while Rome burned, we are missing the bigger picture about the Election: CONGRESS.

The 113th Congress, which ended with the 2014 midterm elections, was seen as one of the most unproductive Congresses ever.  The 114th has been more “productive” by these standards, but it doesn’t pass the eye test.

  • Unsuccessfully attempted 62 times to repeal the same legislation passed in 2012.
  • Saw the Speaker of the House resigned over infighting amongst his own caucus.
  • Coverage of the 8 Benghazi hearings, over 4 dead Americans and a terrorist attack, lasted for years but produced no “smoking gun”of wrong doing by the Secretary of State at the time. By contrast, there was ONE investigation into the Financial Crisis of the mid 2000s which cost Americans more jobs and lost income than the Benghazi situation.
  • Seven months have passed since Justice Antonin Scalia died.  The White House produced a candidate within a month, but the Senate refuses to even hold hearings, which according to most Americans is a failure to fulfill their Constitutional duty.

Lest this be seen as a “partisan” shot at Congress, allow some clarification.  Whether or not a Congress likes a law, it has every right to repeal one.  But when there is no change in the President nor the make up of your body, attempting to pass a repeal is futile and a waste of taxpayer money.  One Benghazi hearing would have been plenty, and if you are a hard partisan, I’ll grant you a second investigation.  But when you continue to create them for the sole purpose of trying to bring negative press against a potential (at that point) presidential candidate, you waste the people’s money.

But don’t take my word for it. The American people have a horrible view of Congress, among its lowest ever, with barely one in five American feeling positive about the body. Congress is simply awful at the job they have been given by the Constitution.

And yet 95% of Congress will be re-elected without much of an effort. This falls at the feet of the TV media, who for whatever reason, feels the only political story worth chasing is about the Presidency.  Oh for a half hour on cable news ranting about Congress instead of baiting, attacking and supporting the Presidential candidate of your outlet’s leaning.

But this week, just like usual, the problem with Congress went under the radar screen.  They attempted to pass a bill that would allow Americans to sue Saudi Arabia over September 11th.  The President vetoed and Congress jumped to action and overrode that handily.  This was the first override in Obama’s 8 years in office.  But the very next day Congress said, hey… wait a minute… we goofed… and blamed the President for their actions.

Just one day after these lawmakers led the first override of a veto during Obama’s presidency they publicly called for making changes to the law. But even as they admitted they agreed with some of the White House’s concerns, GOP leaders quickly blamed the President for “dropping the ball” for failing to engage with Congress on the legislation before it passed. – CNN

So Congress wants the President to do their job too?  It must be easy to be a member of Congress. Just show up to committee hearings, nod your head, ask the questions that are prepared for you by your Caucus, then vote the party line. Then you go home and pretend to care about your constituents, knowing that your district was drawn in a way that will get you re-elected without much effort. Your campaign has been funded by corporations so that you will handily out-spend your opponent. Even if you are a terrible member of Congress, life will be good for you.

And why do we keep sending them back while putting the Presidency on a higher standard?

 

 

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