ANN DAVIDOW FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
Doesn't anyone else wonder what elected members of Congress are supposed to be doing with their time in Washington? Apparently proposing and passing legislation isn't on their list of musts, while thwarting the administration and promoting a conservative agenda fills them with the pride of accomplishment usually reserved for tackling weightier matters.
It is more than discouraging that 'we the people' have so little control over how our government functions and are consigned to the housekeeping task of sweeping up the mess left by previous administrations. And it doesn't seem to matter that those of us with brooms and dust pans are willing to pitch in and undertake the menial tasks that have become our lot in the aftermath of partisan and profligate debacles. It seems the electorate doesn't care all that much about the fevered dialogue the right has cooked up, having long since decided not to spend its days on the minutia of partisan politics, even when things come to a boil and epithets fly.
Calling Attorney General Holder a paid liar and numerous other members of the administration liars as well is a sign of how little Darrel Issa and his team have to offer. Name-calling has its limitations, after all, and is a low-class exercise at best. Issa may think his tactics are a winning gambit but they are in fact a weak-minded attempt to bully opponents when rational arguments fail. Why is it considered acceptable for members of Congress to indulge in low-life behavior in the name of pursuing lapses of judgment on the part of fellow legislators? And how long can investigations be allowed to meander on while the work of the Senate and House languishes on the sidelines? There must be a better use of political time than what is currently on display in Congress, except of course when gotcha politics is the motivating force behind congressional action. Does it make sense that six separate investigations regarding the IRS are undertaken simultaneously as other crucial issues in Congress grind to a halt?
Certainly our 'leaders' spend far too little time sorting through real problems while they argue about their status, and make perfect fools of themselves 'defending' marriage and debating 'morality' as seen through an exceedingly narrow lens. In the name of financial austerity, is it moral to clamp down on the use of food stamps or to insist on offsets when providing disaster relief? At times the working poor have needed to expand their income level with food stamps, which means, of course, that public assistance programs are stretched beyond normal capacity. And public funds are required to pick up the slack.
Instead of investigating every turn of events trying to find culprits to punish, we should instead focus on what we must do to remedy what we have created with our greed and foolishness, and it wouldn't hurt to pay better attention to the electoral process and pick better leaders.
(Photo: Erik Christensen)