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To Congress, You Suck

by The Cranky Media Guy

I'm reading this news article about what exactly Congress accomplished before they went off on their six-week Christmas "recess" (by the way, isn't "recess" the word for when unruly little children get a break to go out and play? Just asking.). The article talked a lot about how big business was very satisfied with what was and wasn't voted on. Seems they're very happy that the Hill didn't raise the minimum wage--after all, who can't live on five bucks and change an hour nowadays?--and they're ecstatic that there's now a law limiting lawsuits arising from Y2K computer breakdowns.

Know what I didn't see in this article? Anything about how Congress passed some laws that might actually benefit the average citizen. You know, people like you and me. Uh, I guess that's because they didn't. So, being the analytical person that I am, I thought I ought to figure out why. Finally, after much cogitation, I got it. It's very simple really: We suck.

Yup, you and I suck. We suck really bad. Don't look at me like that. It's obvious, isn't it? Think about it. We live in a democracy, right? In a democracy, elected officials represent people, right? It costs money to get elected, doesn't it? Big money. Now, I don't know about you, but I'm not in a position to write any big checks to anybody's election campaign. Actually, statistically speaking, I probably do know about you. I'm guessing you aren't appending your John Hancock to any six-figure checks, either.

Ah, but there are people in this country who can do that stuff and not even break a sweat. They're Business People and they have Important Agendas. They have industries to run and factories to move overseas to countries where the labor is cheap so they can maximize the profit on their tennis shoes. It costs great steaming heaps of money to get politicians elected who will favor that kind of "business culture". You and me, we just have roads we want to get fixed and schools we want to teach our kids better and wives who need health care. We don't write checks. We don't hobnob. We don't have lobbyists. We aren't important.

Well, Hell, how do you expect to get the attention of Important People like members of Congress when you can't even write 'em a check? When we visit Capitol Hill, we drop in unannounced with our snotty-nosed kids in tow and we don't even leave something behind--you know, to "help the effort". We're like that white trash cousin of Chevy Chase's in the National Lampoon's Vacation movies. We're the neon green polyester leisure suit in a room full of tuxedos. No class at all. We deserve to be ignored. We suck.

Somebody important, I forget who, once said, "In a democracy, you get the government you deserve." There's another old saying: "You get what you pay for." See how those two go together? If you have money--in other words, if you don't suck--you get the government you pay for, the government you deserve. If you're poor, well, you're lucky you get any government at all, you deadbeat. That's only fair. What, you think you're as important and deserving of attention as the guy who gave the Senator $100,000 for his last election? Get real. You suck. He doesn't. Aren't you glad I'm here to clarify these things for you?

How can I know for sure whether I suck or not? you ask. Simple, if you have to ask, you suck. Trust me, people who do not suck know it. They know where they are in life and it ain't down in the basement with the likes of you. Can you call a Senator by his prep school nickname? No? You suck. Has a member of Congress ever called you at home, just to let you know where a piece of legislation affecting your industry stands? No? You suck.

There are only 24 hours in a day, even for Important People. You have to choose how you spend your time wisely. If you're a Congressman, you can have lunch with a lobbyist who can help you get reelected or you can listen to some constituent whine about how his kid's sick and he doesn't have any health insurance. The guy's kid'll still be sick tomorrow but the lobbyist might have a full schedule. Easy choice.

Bottom line: It's unlikely you'll ever not suck, at least not in this life, so learn to live with it. I know I have. Eat the crumbs that fall off the table reserved for Those Who Do Not Suck and enjoy. Be grateful for what you get. It's important that you never try to sit at the Big Table with the Important People who can write Big Checks. Last but not least, always remember:

Whoever you are, whatever you do,
Whether you be born again or Atheist,
Christian or Jew,
To Congress, you suck.




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