It’s 10:00. Do You Know Where Your Congressmen Are?

By: Thomas Lindaman

One of my favorite talk radio hosts is Glenn Beck. On a recent show, he expressed his frustration at Congress and said that no one can understand Congress. Given the fact that Congress employs a lot of people who would be otherwise worthless in the real world, I tend to agree. But enough about the Senate Democrats.

Beck’s statement got me thinking about how the average person can understand how Congress works in today’s political arena. The simple answer is like a submerged Yugo: not very well, if at all, and all wet. If that doesn’t perfectly describe Congress, I don’t know what does.

But it wasn’t enough. A witty crack does not a level of understanding make, so I kept thinking. The more I thought, the less progress I made. So, it was pretty much like being in Congress without the sweet retirement package. I was getting frustrated, so I decided to take a break and head to my local WalMart because all evil conservatives shop there.

As I wandered up and down the aisles, feeling a little depressed that I couldn’t figure out a good way to express how to understand Congress, I found my description in the form of a little boy crying in the toy section because he wanted a toy car his mother didn’t want to buy him. He kicked and screamed and whined and cried, but Mom wouldn’t budge. He wasn’t going to get the toy car, which only made him kick and scream and whine and cry that much more.

That’s right. Congress is like a bunch of children.

If you think I’m being harsh, need I remind you of the flap over the type of airplane Nancy Pelosi wanted to have to fly back to her home district? Just because former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert had one, Pelosi or someone on her staff thought she deserved a bigger one? I used to fight like that when I was a kid when I thought my two older brothers were getting special treatment. So, stick a bib on Nancy and ask her if she’d like a high chair. (Is it just me, or does that sound strangely hot?)

Then, there’s John Murtha. He’s made quite a name for himself as a vocal opponent to the Iraq War, but since Democrats took control of the House, he’s been more vocal in other ways. When he made veiled threats to President Bush that unless the President starts playing ball with the Congressional Democrats by letting them dictate how much money is going to the war effort, he sounded a lot like a schoolyard bully shaking down a victim for his lunch money. Welcome to the Congressional Kids Club, John!

Republicans aren’t immune to the immaturity, either. When they controlled Congress, they would use their sheer numbers to exclude Democrats from having a say on procedure, and the Democrats whined about it. Now that the tables are turned, Democrats are excluding Republicans from having a say on procedure, and Republicans are whining about it. With attitudes and actions like that, the Capitol Building needs to turn its dining area into a Chuck E. Cheese. Don’t be surprised if somewhere in the near future you’ll hear this exchange on C-Span.

Democrat Senator: My fellow Americans, our country is moving in the wrong direction and it’s because of those stinkyheads in the Republican Party.

Subcommittee Chair: Senator, I must warn you against the use of that kind of language here. The preferred term for Republicans is “evil poopyheads.”

Republican Senator: Sir, I must object, you scum-sucking pieces of donkey dung.

Subcommittee Chair: Oh, quit your crying, you baby.

Democrat Senator: Yeah! You gonna cry, baby? Wanna have your ba-ba?

Republican Senator: If you don’t show me some respect, I’m going to hold my breath!

Now, compare this fictionalized exchange with any exchange over the Iraq War. Between the Democrats calling President Bush a liar and the Republicans calling Democrats unpatriotic, I’m not sure you can find much difference.

Of course, we brought this upon ourselves by electing these folks to Congress and keeping them there. Keeping them sequestered in Washington, DC, is like letting the kids run wild on the playground. Until there’s adult supervision in the form of us voters, things will continue to get worse and more childish in Congress. Until then, we’ll just have to put up with temper tantrums, finger-pointing instead of taking responsibility for misdeeds, and goofing off when there’s work to be done. And that’s just John Kerry.

Thomas Lindaman is a Staff Writer for the New Media Alliance, Inc. and The New Media Alliance is a non-profit (501c3) national coalition of writers, journalists and grass-roots media outlets. He is also Publisher of

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