Friday, August 02, 2013

Sleazy Is As Sleazy Does

David Horsey makes a pretty strong point with his cartoon and column from August 1.  Weiner's behavior was indeed scandalous, but then so has the behavior of most members of Congress been (both sides of the aisle).

All but a few macho holdouts among the let-men-be-men faction agree that Anthony Weiner is not worthy of becoming mayor of America’s biggest city, but there is a perennial threat to our democracy that is far larger than the turgid tweets of the former congressman from New York. That threat is the ongoing whoredom of members of Congress who remain in office.

It is no secret that our senators and representatives expend a significant amount of time and effort every week of the year soliciting campaign donations from lobbyists for corporations and other special interest groups and from fat cat donors who have interests of their own. Most who take the cash will insist that they are not selling their votes and, in most cases, that may be technically correct. The reality, though, is that all that money drives the congressional agenda and buys an open door into the rooms where legislation is crafted. The votes automatically follow.

Certainly, there are a few men and women in Washington whose motives and philosophy are so pure that money does not sway them, but, too often, the money shapes the philosophy and justifies the motives. ...   [Emphasis added]

Congressional freshmen are told to plan at least four hours each and every day raising funds for the next election.  The amount of email requests I get the last few days of each month lends some credence to that assertion.  Raise the money, get re-elected, take care of your donors.  Unfortunately, small time donors like the 99% of us don't given enough to really get their attention.

And now our Congress critters are beginning their 5-week recess.  When they return they will be in full election mode for 2014.  Little has been done this past year.  I suspect even less will be done in the next year.

Well, they might be foolish enough to shut down the government, but that would require some action, and I'm not sure this congress is capable of that.

I am not optimistic.

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