Adrienne BoettingerMonday,31 December 2012

The Snap:

As we hurtle gamely over the Fiscal Cliff (bottoms up!), let’s ponder this question: What is Congress actually supposed to do? Hold annoying press conferences, stall decision-making and run for reelection? If regular people spent all day looking for better jobs or canvassing for money to keep our jobs, we’d be fired immediately. Maybe the problem is that there’s no actual job description for the U.S. Congress; rather, members of Congress are allowed to set their own priorities and define their own duties.

The Download:

The two primary symptoms of my post-Christmas bout of Mongolian death-flu are that I’ve gone from sounding like Elmer Fudd to Kathleen Turner but without the sex appeal and that I’ve watched a ridiculous amount of The West Wing. You remember that show: pithy dialogue, dedicated federal employees (yes there are some out there), leadership and attractive, intelligent people actually getting stuff done. Yes, of course they were all pinko, liberal, granola types but as I am one myself I found it enjoyable.

The West Wing aired when I first started working for the feds. I didn’t work in the White House or do anything flashy or exotic, but the show colored my view of work. I thought it was about committing oneself to a higher purpose and giving your time and talents to this wonderful idea that is America. I know that I was incredibly naïve then but now, 13 years later, I have to say, Congress, what the hell do you do?

Sure you talk a good game: we’ll fix gun lawswe won’t let middle class Americans fall over the so-called fiscal cliff (doubles!), and we’ll take a hard look at how this country handles mental health. Now I understand we’re at the end of a lame-duck/lame-ass session, but I’ve seen nothing that gives me hope they’ll get their acts together come January.

Here’s the problem, folks. We elected these people. We keep them employed. Yet the vast majority of us don’t contact our representatives to let them know our positions. We don’t flood their offices with calls or emails and most amazingly we elect them year after year. Not to worry though because our silence isn’t noticeable amidst the yells of lobbyists and Super PACs, like my BFF’s at the NRA.

Although my TSD compatriots may not espouse New Year’s Resolutions, how about this one: if you have an opinion about a legislative matter (Gun Control, Health Care, 20% American children going to bed hungry, etc.), contact your representative and senator. Make them represent you. Get off your asses and hold them accountable. Watch their voting record and if you don’t like it, fire them. Check out: OpenCongress or Project Vote Smart to see their record and then contact them.

Check out this clip and this clip from the Daily Show for hilarious examples of the insanity that is our legislative branch.

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Please Tell Me This is Rock Bottom
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog The Daily Show on Facebook

Hat Tips:

CongressLinkHuffington PostCNNRoll CallOpen CongressProject Vote SmartThe Daily Show, Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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  1. […] as Adrienne Boettinger notes, the public, taken as a whole, largely ignores and fails to punish poor leadership: Here’s the […]

  2. […] and won, not in the streets, but in the courtrooms and state houses where we stand up and say that our voices will not be silenced no matter how deep the pockets of lobbyists. #bottom_links { position: relative; font-size: 19px; […]

  3. […] earlier posts, I’ve discussed my obsession with “The West Wing;” as Congress becomes ever more ridiculous, I watch President Bartlett open six-packs of whupass […]

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