School’s out for the summer! Our wonderful Congress has taken their usual August recess. That is a normal thing this time of year. These politicians will go back to their districts and hold town hall meetings and espouse their wonderful achievements. Problem is, they don’t have any wonderful achievements to espouse.
The previous two Congresses were the least productive in modern history. The current Congress is on track to even beat those two in futility. I know it is hard to believe, but that is the fact. Congress has left town in a rush to get “reelected” to their meaningless position. There was a time when holding public office was an honorable endeavor held by people who wanted to make the country better. The current crop of legislators are anything but honorable.
As the children take their usual recess, huge problems still face this country. We still have a mess on the border. There are still thousands of undocumented children waiting for their “cases to be heard” as the 2008 law says they must. What has Congress done about this humanitarian problem? Nothing! Yes, the House passed a bill, but they added so many inhumane elements to it that it will never get through the Senate. That is once the Senate comes back in September.
Some of these elements do not even include anything to do with the humanitarian problem at the border. They deal with things that are best covered in a comprehensive immigration reform bill. But since the House has no intention of even talking about comprehensive immigration reform, they tack on objectionable amendments to laws just so those laws can be killed.
There are still millions of people working 40 hour work weeks for below poverty pay. There is still an attack on any religious beliefs that to not follow the “white” Christian beliefs. There is still no immigration reform. There is still no national marriage equality. There are still voter suppression laws on the books in several states. There are still millions of people without health care because Republican states refuse to expand Medicaid. There are still way too many people out of work. Our infrastructure is still falling down around our ears.
They did manage to pass a bill that will allow the VA help our veterans better. But, as usual, they have nothing in it that will address the over 1 million homeless veterans. Nothing that will address the fact that millions of veterans need food stamps just to survive, which the Republicans want to cut even deeper. They have basically put a band-aide on a gaping wound our veterans suffer from every day. They authorized about half of the money the VA really needs. They say they will address the rest in the “normal budget process”. Which means the VA won’t get any additional money they need because the Republicans will insist on cutting other safety nets to “pay” for any additional money for the VA.
The one piece of legislation the House is very proud of is the one authorizing the Speaker to sue the President. That is one bill that every Republican in Congress could get behind. Wasting millions of tax dollars on suing the President as a political stunt is something they are very proud of doing.
It has been often said that allowing the inmates to run the asylum is a bad idea. Yet, Mr. Boehner has allowed just that to happen. The inmates in the GOP are now running the asylum. Thanks in large part to Mr. Boehner’s inability to actually “lead”. As a result, a “junior Senator from Texas” has become the de facto Speaker of the House. Way to stand up to the inmates, Mr. Boehner!
If it was just the inmates in Washington that were running the asylum, I wouldn’t be so worried about it. But, the inmates are running the asylum in many of the states as well.
The party that says it wants “government out of our lives” are very willing to put government into our lives if it will force everyone to think as they do. They want “government in of the lives” of the poor by killing social safety nets and making sure they can’t vote because they believe the poor are just not smart enough to trust to vote Republican. They want “government in the lives” of women and their reproductive choices because they don’t think women are smart enough to make their own decisions. They want “government in the lives” of LGBT community because they must make sure they don’t have equal rights as the rest of the “normal” world as they see it. They want “government in science” so they can foster the myth of creationism as the “real” science simply because it doesn’t interfere with profit-making for their big donors. They want “government in the lives” of the working poor by saying that a Federal Minimum Wage is “hurting” their chances to move ahead. They want “government in children’s lives” by making sure they don’t learn anything while allowing for profit school companies to make millions in profits without having to actually teach anything viable.
In a time when the country faces many challenges, we are stuck with school children who cannot make decisions. We are stuck with a group whose only real concern is hate for anything that doesn’t look or think like they do. We are stuck with the inmates running the asylum. I have always been an optimist when it comes to the future of our country. I must admit, that with the current crop of school children in Congress, my optimism is shaky.
There is one bright side. With school out for the summer, they can’t pass anymore bills that harm the country. But, then, they don’t pass bills at all, so maybe that is a good thing too.