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Politics Congress - the body you love to hate

Discussion in 'Tilted Philosophy, Politics, and Economics' started by rogue49, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member Donor

    Location:
    Baltimore/DC
    I thought I'd put up a thread to bitch about the U.S. Congress.

    We talk the Prez into the ground.
    But what that other body that is supposed to be a part of our government,
    but always is raging...and seems to get nothing done?

    Some seem to despise them, many are frustrated with them.
    Few support them...or at least only a member or two.

    The House or Senate is up for grabs.
    What is your opinion. (all sides welcome :))

    I'll start it off with this nice article.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  2. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member Donor

    Location:
    Baltimore/DC
    See, I always find this interesting...

    Everyone has everything to say about the President. (good or bad)
    But no one really has anything about Congress.
    Except that they hate them. (or at least disappointed...)

    Funny, Congress is the one that actually can change things.
    Sure the Prez runs the ship and can influence it...but the Congress sets the rules.
    They budget the things...they are the ones we really vote for.

    But in truth, no one really knows what's going on with them.
    No one invests their time into getting into the details.

    They shout & scream about the Prez...or differing philosophies in general.
    But in comparison, a blip on the radar...a "meh".

    People don't really know their representatives or senators, mostly they just vote the party or who they are told to...if at all.
    Then they complain, they don't like what they get.
     
  3. Pixel

    Pixel Getting Tilted

    Location:
    Missoura
    It seems to me that the country is currently so divided that a moderate senator trying to compromise across the aisle is met with treasonous response from their party and their supporters. All republicans are seen as fat cat evangelical conservatives and all democrats are seen as big government socialists. There can be no moderates because the fringe of both sides are so vocal they control the message. It's a recipe for disaster.
     
  4. ASU2003

    ASU2003 Very Tilted

    Location:
    Where ever I roam
    When one person is blackmailing almost all of the Republican members of congress, it is hard to get anything accomplished.

    The problem is that the local news media does not cover Washington. There is no investigative journalism into the boring process of what the individual congressmen and congresswomen do weekly. Even the national news rarely covers it. I see more comments from the house floor on the Daily Show than on CNN/Fox News/MSNBC.

    Anyways, the bigger issue is that they don't represent the people of the US. There are too many lawyers, millionaires, and successful older people. And then there are the special interests and ' campaign contributors'...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Joniemack

    Joniemack Beta brainwaves in session

    Location:
    Reading, UK
    This has been going on my entire life, with a few respites here and there, a few years where compromise was effective and yielded real and meaningful legislation.

    But mostly, what we're seeing now is the way it goes, though I'll admit, it feels a bit more partisan now, than it's ever been.

    Though the Prez in office, is as you say, less a change maker than the Congress, the President can be the symbol each side rallies around or against. When a President is despised by a significant number of the American public it sets the tone in Congress. It's the green light to obstruct, bully, complain, and lie.

    I remember the Clinton impeachment trial in the Senate. All too well. What a show. Months wasted picking over the details about a cigar, a stained dress, and a blow-job in a desperate attempt to impeach (destroy) a President who had a proven record of being able to work with them and compromise on very partisan issues at the time. They didn't give a shit. When it comes to modern day Republicans, it's all about getting all the power for themselves. They want the HoR, the Senate, the Presidency, the Supreme Court, Fed Appeals courts, the governorships. They don't like to share. Compromise is a sign of weakness and will not get them re-elected.

    The Congress polls poorly. Democratic voters are angry that their representatives are allowing themselves to be bullied. Republican voters are angry that the bullying hasn't yet reaped the big rewards. Independents are the only voters angry about the partisanship and lack of compromise (a relatively small percentage of the polling)

    So, in a sense, we can blame ourselves.
     
  6. Plan9

    Plan9 Hard To Kill Donor

    Location:
    This Island Earth
    "When you make politics a career path, you make it a career of staying in office instead of a job of representation."
     
  7. redux

    redux Very Tilted Donor

    Location:
    Foggy Bottom
    Right. We're much better off with Tea Party types who dont know squat about public policy other than taking an axe to the govt and have no interest in compromise.
     
  8. Plan9

    Plan9 Hard To Kill Donor

    Location:
    This Island Earth
    I don't have a dog in this fight, bro. And my knowledge of the Tea Party is of the Boston variety. I think the point of that lowbrow quote is that our current system involves too much treading off office-time water and the related pandering. And you're joking about the compromise part, right?

    Again, I get the oddest feeling that TFP has be pegged as a Republican/Conservative because I like guns. Couldn't be farther from the truth.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012
  9. redux

    redux Very Tilted Donor

    Location:
    Foggy Bottom
    Compromise, civility and comity are no longer the norm in Congress.

    Maybe I just appreciate the days back in the 80s when I worked in the Senate, where there was always partisanship but also a genuine interest in finding common ground for the greater good.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Plan9

    Plan9 Hard To Kill Donor

    Location:
    This Island Earth
    So, uh, your big point about the current state of things is... ?

    The '80s was three decades ago.
     
  11. redux

    redux Very Tilted Donor

    Location:
    Foggy Bottom
    I'm an old fart who remembers the good old days.

    One of the myths about Congress is the notion of career politicians. In fact, currently the average length of service for Representatives is 9.8 years and for Senators, 11.4 years.

    http://www.senate.gov/reference/resources/pdf/R41647.pdf

    My point was that many running for Congress today are rigid ideologues who have a narrow agenda and dont give a fuck about compromise or consensus building and IMO, that is much more harmful than "career" politicians.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012
  12. Plan9

    Plan9 Hard To Kill Donor

    Location:
    This Island Earth
    It's all relative.

    Given that, according to the BLS, the average American holds a job for a median of 4.4 years (as of 2010), I'd say the Congress critters are doing pretty well. I'm not sure if that means that they do it out of the bottom of their hearts or if the compensation package is just that gnarly-righteous.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012
  13. redux

    redux Very Tilted Donor

    Location:
    Foggy Bottom
    I dont think you can compare Congressional tenure to data that includes the high turnover of high school and college kids working at places like McDonalds or the campus pub or the senior greeters at WalMart.

    But the bigger point is that the focus should be on good government. But when we elect ideologues who believe that "the only good government is no government," the result is the level of dysfunction that now exists, a relatively new phenomenon that will only get worse until the people demand something better.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Plan9

    Plan9 Hard To Kill Donor

    Location:
    This Island Earth
    Yes, all BLS numbers come from the beginning and end of the bell curve. Excellent observation.

    Government Disclaimer: No middle or upper class individuals were harmed during the collection.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012
  15. Joniemack

    Joniemack Beta brainwaves in session

    Location:
    Reading, UK
    I think there's a fallacy among the American voting public that senators and representatives who have been in office for 10 - 15 years or more have been co-opted into a system of rules and protocol which has little or nothing to do with doing the people's business.

    Every once in a while, Americans start believing that the old "order" requires an infusion of fresh blood into its ranks. The way it usually works is - freshman senators and representatives are taken under the wing of the more experienced members. They learn how the Congress operates and how it gets things done.

    I say usually because in 2008 something quite different happened. The fresh blood was not interested in learning how to cooperate on bill passage or in drafting a compromise budget. They were only interested in having their way and managed to get the veterans to bend in their direction. I don't know if it's unprecedented but I can't ever remember a time in my life when freshman congress men and women came in and upturned the place. It only takes watching John Boehner's cow-towed expression every time he's in front of a camera to realize how effective they've been.

    How can anything get done when the parents have allowed themselves to be dictated to by the children?
     
  16. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member Donor

    Location:
    Baltimore/DC
    Congress - It's going to get worse.

    and it doesn't help that this body isn't doing so hot either
    Supreme Court - Favorability Plummets

    Everybody hates everybody...well, at least there isn't a Civil War.

    Strange thing is...when you actually get down to literal voting...there is no such thing as Red States or Blue States.
    It's a media invention...It's actually shades of purple throughout, with voting trending slightly either way.
    And there's a big difference in City, County, State & National levels. (maybe Dems at one level, GOP at another...it's a mix, ping-ponging back & forth)

    Mostly it's the members of Congress themselves and other representatives, Governors and the such that are being incredibly partisan.

    Are we just being goosed on?
    Or just plain nuts?
     
  17. SuburbanZombie

    SuburbanZombie Housebroken

    Location:
    Northeast
    Oh there is my friend. Massachusetts is as blue as it gets.
     
  18. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member Donor

    Location:
    Baltimore/DC
    As Oklahoma is Red...
    But even then, it's not fully either or...just trending one way or another.
    Some interesting graphics
    As you can see...shades of purple...trending blue or red...Mass is a nice shade. :cool:
    This is from 2010, an election which trended more towards the GOP that year, less Dems seemed to come out to vote.
    [​IMG]
    Pure Red/Blue...but by county
    [​IMG]
    Then by population...doesn't it look like a pretty flower? :rolleyes:
    [​IMG]

    Interesting perspectives...it will make for an interesting race...especially as the demographics and districting has changed.
     
  19. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member Donor

    Location:
    Baltimore/DC
    Last edited: May 3, 2012
  20. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member Donor

    Location:
    Baltimore/DC
    Is the GOP going to lose seats in the Senate?
    Will we be able to go through at least 2 years without hearing the word "filibuster"?
    Can they actually pass something through then?

    These questions will be answered in "The Days of our Slimes" (non-partisan title :rolleyes: )