Congress Issues: Games Congress Plays

by CJFosdick on March 26, 2009

Great Moment In Murdoch Journalism
Image by cogito ergo imago via Flickr

“Oh the games Congress plays now, every night and every day now,
Never saying what they mean now; never meaning what they say.
La-de-da, da-da-da-da, ta-da …”*

I have never been more ashamed of the members of Congress than this last week. (March 16-20, 2009) Yes, I totally agree, AIG should not be paying huge bonuses to employees. Yes, there should be accountability for how taxpayer money is spent. But this does not allow the members of Congress act like schoolyard bullies. They sure showed themselves to be rough, tough, oh so terrible mean — vindictive, and, frankly, ugly. Yes, ugly, as in nasty, not physically unattractive.

They showed themselves to be two-faced, double-dealing, browbeating scoundrels. These elected officials who represent America to the rest of the world. I wonder what their mothers, if still living, thought? Did they hang their heads in shame, thinking, “I didn’t raise this kid to act like this? I know if any of my adult kids acted this way, I would be ashamed. AND I ALSO KNOW THAT THE REST OF THE WORLD WILL RESPECT AMERICA THE LESS BECAUSE OF LAST WEEK. And all this because Congress was playing games, trying desperately to cover their own you-know-whats. In fact, as the week progressed and people like Chris Dodd lied, then lied again, and yet a third time, the whole play-by became more like a Shakespearean farce, than a serious legislative body tackling a problem.

Now, I realize that it was apparently just a few elected officials who acted this way. A few others suggested that to pass a law taxing 90% of bonuses would be unconstitutional, and maybe they better not do that. Most, however, sat in silence, neither objecting to the unseemly behavior, nor speaking up urging fellow members to act like adults and not like chickens deciding pecking order in a flock. It wasn’t necessary, for example, to suggest that the AIG employees who got bonuses commit suicide. The Congressional antics have inflamed Americans. AIG employees who have families are receiving death threats. A bus is going from Washington to advance upon AIG employees feeling like avenging angels for what purpose, I know not. Yes, Americans should be upset at AIG. But to have Congress ignite citizens to mob rule is beyond belief. I hang my head in shame as an American.

The irony of all this, is that Congress could have prevented the bonuses ever being given. The wording was in the bailout bill once, somehow got changed, and I don’t know what else muddied the waters, but when the bill got passed, the wording wasn’t there. Or maybe it was. I confuses easily. Remember, this is the massive 800 page bill that no lawmaker had time to read because it had to be passed IMMEDIATELY. You know, the bill voted on anyway by the Democrats with the help of three Republicans. Congress, you have only yourselves to blame!

“While they while away the hours, in their ivory towers.
Till they’re covered up with flowers, in the back of a black limousine.
La-de-da, da-da-da-da, ta-da …”*

*Taken from a song popular sometime around the 1980, “Games People Play.”

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