It occurs to me that the depth and scope of the scandal now brewing in Washington, DC, amongst our Nation’s Finest *eyeroll* (otherwise known as our Congresscritters and Senileators) is the product of our permanent, year-round government.
It used to be that Congress met for short periods to do the nation’s business — not to simply do the nation, as seems to be all too prevalent these days — and went home to tend their farms or businesses or law practices or whatever illegality they practiced that brought them to the attention of their state legislators (Senileators, before the 17th Amendment *spit*) or the Great Unwashed who balloted for them at the local polls (Congresscritters). In part, this was due to the genius of the Founders and Framers, who placed the national capital in a fetid, malarial, unlivable swamp in a day when air conditioning was unknown. If you think that wasn’t done on purpose, you may want to guess again. The Founders/Framers knew the danger of letting people spend too much time loitering in the corridors of power.
Damn Willis Carrier, anyway.
The fact that the people’s business has become a year-round, full-time job, with elected officials living in the Capital and (sometimes) not even maintaining a real home in their district, seems to have created and nurtured a class of elites with far too much spare time on their hands and far too much power to be trusted not to be tempted by the availability of all that…well, I hate to say, “free pussy”, because some of these soi-disant elites are female, and some of them of both sexes bat for the other team, as it were. And the perception of all of it being “free” is, of course, in the mind of the beholder — and as we are finding out lately, not so much in the mind of the beholden.
The fact is, our elected representatives are, with a few notable exceptions, vile and disgusting people who ought to be ridden out of the country on a rail. And if they didn’t spend all of their time away from home, their predilections (not to mention their depredations) would be a lot more obvious to the people who send them to Washington. On top of that, they’d have to actually work for a living, so they might better understand the plight of the “little people” (again, those who, you know, VOTE for them).
As an American, there is nothing that makes me more ill than a career politician. Unless perhaps it’s a career politician who thinks he or she is immune from sanction for activities that would get the rest of us fired from our jobs for even thinking about. Take that fat slob Al Franken, for instance — apologizing but not resigning from the Senate like any
decent reasonable guilty human being found to be compromised by such a situation would do. He’ll be lucky if the people he represents don’t do his resigning for him the next time he stands for election. (And here again, Franken becomes yet another poster child for the repeal of the 17th Amendment, right up there along with Elizabeth “Fauxcohontas” Warren and — much as I hate to malign a true American hero — that traitor to his party John McCain.)
Then there are Congresscritters like John Conyers who make term limits seem like an obvious addition to the Constitution — given that today’s voters can’t seem to simply toss them out like yesterday’s newspaper. In what actual Framer’s mind did the idea of spending 52+ years in the House of Representatives make a lick of sense? And Conyers isn’t the longest serving Congresscritter ever, either — he’s #3. John Dingell was in Congress for over 59 years. Jamie Whitten was in Congress for 53 years plus. Of course Conyers has #1 seniority for those currently serving in the House. Don Young is #2 with nearly 45 years. Jim Sensenbrenner is #3 with nearly 39 years. Hal Rogers, Chris Smith, and Steny Hoyer round out the currently-serving seniority list with over 36 years each.
That’s too fucking long. These people are ossified in place and cannot possibly have any clue about the people they actually represent. The Framers anticipated that a man might serve a couple of terms in the House, certainly no more than one or two terms in the Senate, and then go home to resume living his live — in the mold of our home-grown Cincinnatus, George Washington, who left office after two terms as President and WENT THE FUCK HOME.
People today don’t realize how badass it was for Washington to simply drop the reins of power, pick up the reins of his horse, and leave Philadelphia only rarely to look back. The only thing he did post-retirement was accept a commission as lieutenant general from John Adams so he could serve as Commander-in-chief of the armies in case of what looked like an imminent war with France. That commission lasted 17 months until his death and the war with France never materialized — and he delegated most of the work to Alexander Hamilton. His example of short tenure followed by a return to civil life was so revered that the two-term presidential limit held without need for codification until Franklin Roosevelt thought so well of himself that he broke the rule and ran for a third and fourth re-election. That quickly led to a Constitutional amendment formally limiting the President to two consecutive elected terms — it was said, to prevent Truman from capitalizing on Roosevelt’s violation of the tradition, and running for a third term (which would actually have been his second elected term, since his first term was most of Roosevelt’s fourth). The fact is, Truman probably just wanted to get the hell out of Washington and go back to Missouri at that point, but that didn’t matter to the Republicans who held Congress at the time.
Unfortunately, Congress didn’t see fit to limit itself at the same time. And today we have the mess that we have. On top of that, we have the 18-20 year old set voting, which I’ve thought was a mistake since I was old enough to vote. Nobody my age had any business voting in 1978, although it was nice to be able to cast a vote for Reagan just before my 21st birthday.
But what is most ridiculous about our system is that it enfranchises people who have no business voting because they are, to all intents and purposes, wards of the state. Nobody on welfare of any kind should be voting — they have a vested interest in preserving the status quo of bread and circuses, and because they vote, the people who created our modern welfare state are still in charge of it, and still expanding it. Nobody who doesn’t pay income taxes should vote — especially anyone who takes advantage of the Earned Income Credit or other dodges that help them avoid paying for the government services they receive.
Shoot, I’m not that many years from retirement, and I won’t be able to afford to live without Social Security payments, and I think anyone on Social Security should lose their vote, given that Social Security is nothing more than a Ponzi scheme rather than a real investment for one’s retirement.
If you subtracted out the people who receive government benefits from the eligible voter rolls, there would be a lot of Democrat ‘critters and senileators out looking for work, because there wouldn’t be enough votes to keep them in office. And we wouldn’t need term limits, because the voters who were left wouldn’t put up with the bullshit that poses as representative government today.
And without the bullshit, and with people in office who actually viewed it as a public trust and not as a personal wealth and power generator, the kind of sleazy crap that is coming out of Washington today wouldn’t be happening.
At least I don’t think it would.
No matter how wonderful you think your Congresscritter or Senileator is, if he or she has been in office more than a couple of terms, and looks like they’re going to just keep running, it might be high time to primary them.
We can’t fix the problems in Washington without draining the swamp. Trump gets that, and within his limited ability to man the pumps and clear the drains, he’s doing what he can.
Are you going to help, or are you just going to sit on your ass and keep re-electing the same failed, sleazy, lame-ass people to Congress?
The Framers left it in your hands. Don’t let them down.