I dont really make predictions. But my prediction is in 10 years, we will all snidely refer to anything inept, broken, petty and lazy as being like the 112th Congress.
Coaches will yell it at their athletes when theyre falling behind, Do you want people to call you the 112th?! Do you? Then get up and get back in the game! A nasty burn in a breakup: Youre too 112th to live with, Darrel. This Congress should not have its jersey retired but quarantined nothing we ever like, respect or care about should ever be called 112th.
Out of 112 Congresses this batch of Brooks Brothers barnacles has managed to break the institution. Their public approval rating is hovering around the margin of error and thats only because some of the people pollsters called think the president is Martin Sheen.
Because of the abuse of the filibuster, the Senate can no longer function. The filibuster is a storied device to pause a vote with a Senators yammering. Now its used as a veto threat. Its as if the hold button was rigged to just hang up the call (and then block the number). Anything less than one party having 60 lock-step voting members means a stalemate. Without a super majority, nothing is now the only thing possible in this deliberative body. The same amount of votes it takes the Senate to amend the Constitution is now what it takes to rename a post office.
Speaking of which, thats basically all the 112th House has done for two years: re-name post offices. Naming things that already have a name. Thats what theyve been doing on our dime. Out of the paltry (and pathetic) 124 laws that have originated in the House, 27 of them have named post offices. Two have issued commemorative coins. That means of the two years this House has met theyve only originated 95 bills that have become laws.
How do they compare? Well the average number of laws originating in the House in a normal (not mind-numbingly obstinate) Congress is around 300. The 111th House, under Democratic majority, made 254. The 109th House, with a Republican majority made 316 laws. Going back to the 1970s, the 93rd Congress had 337 laws originate in their chamber.
What has the House been doing? Nothing would be something to aspire to. Theyve been introducing symbolic, go-nowhere bills that will never be brought up in the dysfunctional Senate and therefore never make it to the presidents desk. Their bills have mainly been to outlaw abortion and overturn the Affordable Care Act. Thats right: Not only have they been ineffective at making their own laws theyve been ineffective at unmaking other laws.
Theyve voted 33 times to overturn ObamaCare. As if the president was going to sign that piece of legislation. Ever.
Jobs, jobs, jobs? More like: Blah, blah, blah.
I asked a congressional staffer the other day if working in the lowest rated Congress in the history of counting was like being on the set of Gigli.
His answer? Pretty much.
Part of this is our fault. To paraphrase P.J. ORourke, we voted in a bunch of people who think government is ineffective so they have to prove themselves right once on government dole.
But really, Ill just quote congressional candidate Wayne Powell running against House Majority Leader Eric Cantor: In a debate last week the retired Army Colonel said, You dont like government. You should just resign and then Ill take over.
Indeed. But instead on October 5, 2012, Congress took (yet another) break. They will not resume their idle busy work until November 13. Theyre taking five weeks off so they can campaign to keep their jobs they dont really do.
Like I said: morally bankrupt.
© Copyright 2012 TinaDupuy.com, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Tina Dupuy is an award-winning writer and the editor-in-chief of TheContributor.com.