Worst Congress Ever

Time to Go! Inside the Worst Congress Ever

There is very little that sums up the record of the U.S. Congress in the Bush years better than a half-mad boy-addict put in charge of a federal commission on child exploitation. After all, if a hairy-necked, raincoat-clad freak like Rep. Mark Foley can get himself named co-chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, one can only wonder: What the hell else is going on in the corridors of Capitol Hill these days?

These past six years were more than just the most shameful, corrupt and incompetent period in the history of the American legislative branch. These were the years when the U.S. parliament became a historical punch line, a political obscenity on par with the court of Nero or Caligula -- a stable of thieves and perverts who committed crimes rolling out of bed in the morning and did their very best to turn the mighty American empire into a debt-laden, despotic backwater, a Burkina Faso with cable.

To be sure, Congress has always been a kind of muddy ideological cemetery, a place where good ideas go to die in a maelstrom of bureaucratic hedging and rank favor-trading. [...] But the 109th Congress is no mild departure from the norm, no slight deviation in an already-underwhelming history. No, this is nothing less than a historic shift in how our democracy is run. The Republicans who control this Congress are revolutionaries, and they have brought their revolutionary vision for the House and Senate quite unpleasantly to fruition. In the past six years they have castrated the political minority, abdicated their oversight responsibilities mandated by the Constitution, enacted a conscious policy of massive borrowing and unrestrained spending, and installed a host of semipermanent mechanisms for transferring legislative power to commercial interests. They aimed far lower than any other Congress has ever aimed, and they nailed their target.

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14 Responses:

  1. king_mob says:

    Matt Taibbi rocks. There's an archive of his stuff here:

    http://www.alternet.org/authors/6535/

  2. fantasygoat says:

    Shh, I'm trying to watch the finale of Top Model.

  3. "...a Burkina Faso with cable."

    This is the line that really makes it for me. Burkina Faso is my favourite West African hellhole.

  4. dojothemouse says:

    I hate their print view, so here's my reformatted version for your printing double sided & folding in thirds & reading enjoyment:

    http://www.littleblur.com/dotmac/lj/worst-congress-evar.pdf

    • evan says:

      What'd you use to make that?

      • dojothemouse says:

        Word 2007. It's easy to make things all prettified like that by clicking for a few minutes, but the styles are too confused & macro environment is too unstable/braindead to automate it without hair pulling. So I gave up.

  5. wdr1 says:

    I don't get the fuss. If Foley's work on the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children saved just two children, we're still up by 1.

  6. "a political obscenity on par with the court of Nero or Caligula"

    I don't know about that... that's saying a lot...

  7. diggets says:

    I think even Republicans are going to look back on the Bush administration as being a complete and utter travesty. They'll be paying for that shit for years.

  8. legolas says:

    'Funny' thing this. In (some) computer games, there's a point where you find a 'trick', something that wasn't meant to be done like that, and that makes the game easy to win. I guess you could say you 'cracked' the game when you find it...

    I've been thinking lately, that democracy has become 'cracked' like that over the last few years. (Or maybe I've just started to understand it.) Here's the trick as I see it:
    - get to power. Generally not all that hard: pick a winning party, back stab your way through to the top.
    - Once elected to president/prime minister/.. borrow like mad, tunnel funds towards your friends/companies/... Wage war, subsidize building stuff, whatever sector you have invested in: make it flourish with government money. If nothing else, you'll get rich(er) at the very least.
    - put your friends in whatever positions become available. Bonus points if they can't be sacked by the next government!
    - if you can, get re-elected once by making key people happy with money.
    - at some time you are going to lose an election. You then leave your opponents with this whole mess, which they will have to clean up, by unpopular measures... And the friends you put in positions where they could not be sacked work against then from the inside. Which pretty much ensures your (party's) re-election.

    And I think the Republican party has really gotten this down to a real art right now. You just need to find someone with absolutely no shame and no conscience. They seem to have a found real winner right now...