During the American Civil War, twenty-some congressmen vacated their seats from both the US Senate and its Congress, but those who remained account for one of the most divided Legislatures in United States History. As portrayed in Lincoln, the US Congress is so partisan that it is but impossible for anything to be done. At the same time, a Confederate Legislature has been formed, but President Lincoln continues to recognize those who belong to the Confederacy as United States Senators and Congressmen. Only when those people completely refuse to serve is when they are no longer recognized.
Now, why am I talking about this? Because the 113th Congress is not an American Congress. It is a Congress of American’ts.
According to Tom Curry of NBC News, the 113th Congress is the second-to-least productive in US History, beaten out only by the Congress before it, also running under the Obama Administration. Now from those facts, this may seem to be some sort of fault of the Obama Administration — which it is not. The problem is that America’s Congress has stopped passing laws for moral reasons, they’ve stopped thinking about the good of the country.
Those who are elected seek only to continue their terms for as long as possible. If that means voting down every bill that has the word “Democrat” or “Republican” on it, the opposite party will do. They seek not to assist those in the Executive Branch in performing their duties, they seek only to prevent them from having a successful term. Here’s Mitch McConnell.
"OUR TOP POLITICAL PRIORITY OVER THE NEXT TWO YEARS SHOULD BE TO DENY PRESIDENT OBAMA A SECOND TERM."
In Do Not Ask What Good We Do, a book by Robert Draper — a freelance journalist and correspondent of The NY Times Magazine — Newt Gingrich is referenced in saying that on the night of the Inaugural Ball, in a building only a mile away, a group of Republicans met and formed the following four terms to apply in the coming years. Gingrich confirmed this during an interview with Al Sharpton on MSNBC.
SHOW UNITED AND UNYIELDING OPPOSITION TO THE PRESIDENT'S ECONOMIC POLICIES.
BEGIN ATTACKING VULNERABLE DEMOCRATS ON THE AIRWAVES.
WIN THE SPEAR POINT OF THE HOUSE IN 2010. JAB OBAMA RELENTLESSLY IN 2011.
WIN THE WHITE HOUSE AND THE SENATE IN 2012.
The 112th Congress, which, as I said before, is noted as the least productive in US History, has passed 283 bills total. In comparison, the 111th Congress passed 383 bills, and the 110th passed 442. Recently, crucial bills such as the Bipartisan Immigration Act, chaired by kingpins on both sides of the aisle was passed in the Senate but will undoubtedly be struck down in Congress.
The sadder part about all of this is that many people with Republican ideals are scared to recognize themselves as Republicans because the party has been overrun by patriotic zealots, and the real Republicans are too scared to stand up to these zealots due to the sheer amount of them in the party itself. What’s more ironic than even this is that Republicans tend to compare people in their party to Ronald Reagan. Reagan, as many of you know, was considered one of the best Presidents of recent history, and is Jesus to Republicans of 2013. Reagan, however, was a good President because he took ideas from both sides of the aisle. No one prominently in the GOP who will be nominated is a Reagan. Except, of course, Chris Christie, who has been thrown under the bus by his party due to the fact that he praised Obama for assisting him during the disaster following Hurricane Sandy.
The example of Christie’s situation is exactly what I’m talking about. Here is a man who could be a darn good President because he’s not afraid to work on both sides of the aisle, being called out by members of his party for what he is doing. Just in case you’re unaware, working on both sides of the aisle used to be a requirement of being a successful Congressperson, not a choice.
Aaron Sorkin, writer of many well-known HBO shows such as The West Wing, sums up today’s Tea Party perfectly in this video, an excerpt from The Newsroom, an HBO drama about Will McAvoy, a fictional managing editor of Atlantic Cable News.
And after all of this, I seem like a hardcore Democrat who hates the opposition party as much as the 113th Congress. I’d like to quote Dan Carlin, the voice behind Hardcore History (look up the podcast), when I say that I am part of the common sense party. Like it or not, The Tea Party and everything it stands for have demonized the very word Republican and forced those who are still out to do good to change their cherished views or face losing to different, more “patriotic” member of the GOP.
You know what I say? If this is patriotism, screw patriotism.