There are reasons that pond scum is more popular than congress these days.
1] Do you expect them to solve problems?
2] Do you expect them to debate in good faith?
3] Assume responsibility?
1] Do you just want them to pontificate?
2] Just let their staff negotiate with the lobbyists to determine what becomes law?
3] Just let them worry about the next election cycle?
If you want the first set then there are sadly few that will meet your expectations.
The culture of Congress is the problem. It took more than three decades for this culture to evolve, and it is now deeply entrenched. That is why the current Congress is unable to function. It is revealing that the only issue now offering any hope for compromise is immigration — because many Republicans fear the political consequences of failing to act. Once again, politics trumps policy.Some observations from the article
This dysfunctional culture won’t be altered in an election cycle or two. Because of it, our Congress is broken.
The men and women who now run for Congress have special features. Most of them are much wealthier than their constituentsTheir views of what their constituents really want are distorted from lack of rapport, they tend to listen only to those who either have money themselves, or sometimes to those that shout the loudest.
Surprisingly few have strong policy interests or experience.With the current modi operandi they are unlikely to acquire either.
Most are willing to spend a day or two or three each week asking strangers for money on the telephone, a demeaning but obligatory exercise.Those strangers also tend to be from one sector of the population, those with financial clout.
Some might think that voters have low expectations when they turn out to vote. yet the most successful politicians are those that motivate large sections of the population to turn out yet again. Only to be disappointed yet again by the institution as a whole.
Perhaps this is why we expect so much from a President, too much in my opinion and this is not how the system was meant to function.
Nevertheless, I saw how Congress actively undermines the best of legislative practicesThe glaring example is the silent filibuster, but there are others
Overall, the big policy questions were mostly settled by the administration.Lack of curiosity in reality
Why? Because large, bipartisan majorities in both chambers never understood the arcane financial issues at the heart of regulatory reform, nor tried to master the subject.So the result
Ted Kennedy said as much in his 2009 memoir. “Ninety-five percent of the nitty-gritty work of drafting [bills] and even negotiating [their final form] is now done by staff,” he wrote, marking “an enormous shift of responsibility over the past forty or fifty years.”Who do these staffers turn to?
and hearing out the recommendations and complaints of hundreds of experts, lobbyists and affected parties.The conclusion?
Very few lawmakers left fingerprints on the legislation. Most of them voted for or against Dodd-Frank — nearly all along party lines — without remotely understanding its provisionsI would say this final point is deliberate, how can you be held accountable for something you had no hand in writing; leaving you free to obfuscate.
There is a reason why the President is three times as popular as congress as a whole, people like to hear clear and defined proposals to solve the problems of the day. Hence the continued rise of Executive power and the damaging obstruction and petty squabbling of congress. Hell if you vote for the same thing 37 times [repeal Obamacare] knowing it is going nowhere people start to see through the pretense.
We are not a naturally divided nation many of us can still see the logic within policies we don't agree with if they are based on data/facts and written in good faith; rather those that bring the greatest financial reward for the upcoming election.
We saw the greatest example of this when trying to extend the background checks for gun purchases. Financial concerns outweighed the logic.
The only way we can start to roll back this culture is through campaign finance reform and by holding politicians accountable through their real performance rather than how well they perform on stage.
Now congress has no interest in passing any such law [apparently begging for money makes them feel wanted/important] the only way is to make them feel threatened in their tenure. Gerrymandering needs to be properly addressed as it is also a root cause of the present dysfunction.
I expect the President to have a vision and fight for that vision
I expect congress to propose solutions.
The President/Executive should not have to do all the heavy lifting, nor be allowed to do so.
There is one group not fulfilling their constitutional obligations and Americans are well aware just who that group is.
The voter, if you see your congressperson just making noise and not getting anything done, vote for someone else, primary if necessary, however the white noise created by monied interests to polarize the population makes this ever less likely.
Money drives the corruption and dysfunction of our political system and needs to be controlled. Without real Campaign Finance reform the system will remain broken.
It is time to be honest, has your congressperson actually done anything worthwhile themselves except pontificate? If not, elect someone who will, if they in turn fail, try a new one. It is time to stop the gravy-train of reelection without performance.