US Politics

The Arrogance of Power: Your Congress in Action

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It’s hard to evaluate who of these two departing members of the Congress is more clueless, the Representative decrying the shameful abuse of retiring members of the Congress, or the disgraced former Senator talking about himself.

Democratic Representative Major Owens:

Building superintendents and logistics administrators with no appreciation for the vision and purpose of an entity often assume dictatorial powers in revered institutions. The brusque discharge of departing members of Congress reflects this kind of crude mindset. Suddenly the moving, plastering, painting and wiring become fanatically urgent matters. Instead of sharing the inconveniences with those who are remaining and with the newcomers, all of the burdens of transition are dumped on the departing. This Neanderthal thinking appears to be inevitable, traditional and non-partisan – and thus the homeless and powerless retirees are expected to silently comply…

In closing, let me confess that I did consider organizing a departing members caucus; however, in view of the fact that even our miniscule amount of clout would be wiped out in January I chickened out. But it must be noted that I am among the few departing members who have had a long period to contemplate the separation date; therefore, I am in no way traumatized. Even more than for my own dignity I am protesting on behalf of my shell-shocked peers.

Just leave. Take your enormous pension and leave. P.S.: Is “shell-shocked really an appropriate way to describe the indignity of a small office during war time?

Republican Senator Bill Frist:

We have also borne witness to events that changed the face of our nation: the Capitol shootings, September 11, 2001, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the anthrax and ricin attacks on Capitol Hill, and hurricane Katrina. But through these challenges, we kept at it the best way we could, with hard work, with heart, and with a lot of hope…

I hope the example of a committed doctor who has been able to find purpose and fulfillment through public service will inspire others to seek elected office. Future citizen legislators will bring fresh perspective and new ideas that will make this country and this institution better.

I have to say I’m disappointed that Frist isn’t running for President. Watching his smug, self-righteous mug get kicked around would have been quite satisfying. Who writes about himself like this? And who thinks that the shootings and anthrax at the Capitol are among the top 100 events of the past 12 years, must less top five?

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a seventeen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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