A do-nothing Congress goes home

Congress got the hell out of Dodge last week, leaving behind an embarrassing amount of unfinished business.

No budget bill: The government must survive on continuing resolutions until these bozos come back to town.

No Homeland Security bill: The unions grabbed their Democratic cronies by the balls and squeezed, so the party of the Donkey stalled and stalled and placed politics above the security of the country.

About a hundred or so other bills, some to stimulate the economy, some to help victims of 9-11, some just to take care of business, still sit on the table, waiting for action by elected officials who would rather fight than act.

The bi-partisan, “lets pull together for the sake of the country” mood that marked Congress in the post-911 days a year ago, is gone, replaced by the highest level of political rancor that anyone has seen in modern Washington.

Both sides of the political divide in Washington play for keeps, as if there is no tomorrow. Their goal is not consensus or even coexistence but outright control. They want it all, control of both Houses of Congress and the White House.

Yet, historically, more gets done when power is split. Ronald Reagan accomplished a lot with a Democratic Congress. The economic prosperity of the 90s came with a Democrat in the White House and Republicans controlling both sides of the Hill.

A major part of the problem comes from the extremism of both political parties. The further the Democrats veer to the left, the further the Republicans feel they have to go to the right. Extremism eliminates any chance for reason and government cannot survive without the consensus that is most often found towards the center.

So Democrats put the security of the United States at risk to protect their union buddies and the huge campaign contributions that fund Democratic campaigns. Republicans stall budget bills by attaching non-germane amendments on abortion that had nothing to do with the issue at hand.

You can argue idealism until the cows come home but the result remains the same – a non-functional, partisan Congress where nothing gets done.

Now the partisans have put the country on hold and fled Washington to go home and campaign for office.

In a perfect world, the voters would say they have had enough and throw the entire bunch of the bums out on the street where they belong.

But this ain’t a perfect world and it wouldn’t do any good to can the whole lot.

Because all we would do is replace them with another bunch of partisan louts who wouldn’t be any better.

And what choice to we have? Winston Churchill once said that “Democracy is the worst form of government imaginable – except for all other forms.”