Democrats Spin Failures into Successes – Reward Selves

The Democrats took control of Congress in January and they planned to put their aggressive agenda into play. They had already promised America that they would be transparent and ethical. Since taking the reigns of power they have been neither transparent nor ethical. They have put billions of dollars of earmarks into legislation and often done so under the cloak of darkness. There are even earmarks for organizations no one can prove exist and those earmarks passed despite concerns that the recipients might not actually be around. The fact that Jack Murtha put in those earmarks should concern everyone as Murtha was caught on video tape trying to take a bribe.

The Democrats said they would go to a 5 day workweek. They have trouble with math because the day starts in the evening on Monday and they are done by noon on Friday. To these people, that is a 5 day workweek. Now the Democrats plan to reward themselves for all the “hard” work they have done by reducing the workweek starting next year. They claim that it is to give them more time in their districts but we all know it is so they can campaign and work to get a bigger control of the Congress. Everything they do is designed to get more votes and greater power. Rangel’s tax scheme is designed to have minimal impact on people making less than $150k (individual) or $200k (couple) because the Democratic base largely falls under those targets. The tax increase is designed to hurt people who generally vote Republican so basically, the tax increase is designed to make Republicans pay for government and social programs and to get more Democrats elected.

Many of the Democrats are justifying the short workweeks scheduled for next year by claiming that they worked really hard this year. Some claim they had to work hard to clean up the messes of 12 years of a Republican majority and some claim that they need to spend more time with their constituents. I want to know how they have not had enough time already. Every time there is a federal holiday they get the entire week off. They take the entire month of August off and they take time off whenever they feel a need to be in their districts or to attend a meeting paid for by some lobbyist. They are a disgrace and can lay little claim to success for this year. Their crowning achievement, to them, is passage of a minimum wage increase. They act as if this was some big deal and they did what they promised but the fact is, they attached this increase to a war funding bill that had nothing to do with a minimum wage increase. They did this because they could not have gotten it passed otherwise.

In reality, the Democrats have been dismal failures this year. But they still thump their chests and claim they did a great job so they want to work fewer days a week next year. They have complaints because they have not gotten a pay raise and they have families at home who they would like to spend time with. Well boo frickin hoo. The members of our military have families from whom they are separated and they do not get a week off for the holidays and they do not get a month off at a time. They do their jobs and they get paid a hell of a lot less than members of Congress, who are overpaid for the work they actually do.

I have an idea. Most people who have real jobs work about 240 days a year (excluding any vacation they might take). How about if Congress has a schedule where they must work 240 days a year to get paid. They can either work 3 weeks a month in DC and spend 1 week each month at home or they can work 4 days a week (days that must add up to at least 40 hours) and spend Friday-Sunday at home. They may also have off the normal federal holidays AND ONLY THOSE HOLIDAYS (not the entire week). Each member must spend 240 days a year working in DC on the job or they do not get paid.

Instead of patting themselves on the back and giving themselves rewards, Democrats should be asking why the approval rating of Congress is near single digits. Perhaps they should be worrying about why they are failing to accomplish anything that they are supposed to do as in approve a budget.

I think if they want to spend more time in their districts we should replace them in the next election so that the job will not be such a burden to them.

New York Times

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17 Responses to “Democrats Spin Failures into Successes – Reward Selves”

  1. Servius says:

    Nice idea but frankly I’d rather they didn’t work so hard. The more they do the less free I am.

  2. Big Dog says:

    Agreed! Was it not Twain who said we are safest when they are not in session? I use to agree with that but now, when they are not in session they are visiting our enemies and talking smack about our President and our country.

    Get rid of them all and replace them with young, fresh people with fresh ideas.

  3. Adam says:

    The House just broken a record for votes that hasn’t been this high in over a decade. Under the leadership of the Democrats this congress has done a hell of a lot more than the last session by far. They had pretty clear goals in their campaign to retake control and in their first 100 hours they made good on most of those promises. They had 6 major promised changes in legislation that they pushed through for sure. They haven’t done a darn thing about the Iraq war except rubber stamp Bush on it, and that is exactly why their approval rating is in the dumps. A majority of Americans like me want a new direction in Iraq, not more rope for Bush to hang us all with.

    I don’t think you even need to get started about the Democrats and their work week. The GOP is one lazy party. You got the Gipper who previously held a record of 335 vacation days. That was blown out of the water by Bush who if you think about the 240 days a year, has skipped 2 entire years of work during his terms as president, and that’s with many months left still to take off. Then you got the do nothing 109th congress that worked about 100 days a year. Now that times have changed there are reports that the lazy ass GOP has had several members talking about resigning because of the new work week. Poor babies.

    The bottom line with this is that yeah, the Dems have fallen short in several areas and they haven’t raised confidence in the work of Congress any, but compared to the 109th they’ve done a hell of a lot and that’s a step in the right direction.

    Finally, you bring up the Democrats talking smack about Bush like the Republicans toed the line when it came to Clinton because he was our leader. Give me a break. It was one partisan witch hunt after another day in day out for 8 years, so don’t even pretend to cry foul. The GOP pretty much set the standard for how a president gets treated by the opposition party and you’re just going to have to live with that my friend.

  4. Big Dog says:

    First of all Adam, they voted on a lot of items but tell everyone the truth, most was not meaningful legislation. 45 of the votes was on naming post offices. If that is your idea of progress.

    For a guy who claims to have been too young to remember much about the Clinton presidency you sure opine about it a lot. Witch hunts? Get real, Clinton was guilty of perjury, and of asking others to commit perjury. There was scandal after scandal that were largely ignored especially by the media until, like Monica, it became too big.

    Selling secrets to the Chinese, taking illegal contributions, Monica, Whitewater, the illegal messes when he was governor of Arkansas, it all adds up. No, there were legitimate reasons to go after what he did.

    You want a witch hunt, try Plame and that non-covert mess.

    If you want to say that because a president takes a vacation he is not working then you have no clue. No matter where they are or what they are doing they are still briefed every day and they are on conferences and such. As for Reagan, he did more for this country than any President since and more than any member of Congress could hope to.

    You can defend Congress if you want. I have often called on both parties to be replaced and I have called Republicans out on this issue. However, it was the Dems who said they would be most transparent and most ethical. Participating in a huge number of votes is meaningless, especially when it involves naming post offices and when they constantly vote on the same issue.

    They have worked no harder than anyone else and they were the ones who trumpeted the 5 day work week and how they were doing so much. Now that is too much for them…

    Adam, they are in session for about 100 days a year. Do you call that a judicious use pf taxpayer money? This Congress, under the Dems will have as few or fewer days of work than others and there are even more days off around election time.

    You can defend them if you wish but at least tell the truth about their record. They have done nothing more and nothing less than the last Congress. It does not matter what group is in charge, they are all a sham. And yes, there are some GOP who will retire because of the workweek and there were many Dems who complained about it as well. I wrote about it when that idiot Hoyer announced it.

    Like I said then, if they do not like the job quit and let someone else do it. The problem is, you took this as a personal attack and had to defend the Dems. I attacked the Dems because they have not done what they promised and they are now changing what they promised the people. I still attack the GOP but it is not they who are in charge. It is amazing to me that when they were in charge you would jump up and down about how bad they were and now you defend the ineffectiveness of the left.

    How partisan of you.

    And if you want a witch hunt look at what the Dems have done in the last 8 years and what they are trying to do now.

    Get rid of them all…

  5. Big Dog says:

    …and, only in Congress can 100 hours be measured from January until October. They will recess for the rest of the year and say how great they did. It is all smoke and mirrors, but then again, the informed knew that already.

  6. Big Dog says:

    On Wednesday, the House cast its one-thousandth roll-call vote of the year, the first time that it reached that mark since the Constitution was ratified. Democrats hailed the occasion, while Republicans sniped that only 106 of the votes were on bills ultimately signed into law, and that 45 of those bestowed names on post offices or other property.

    From the source of this post… (notice how in the NYT, the Republicans sniped)

    Great accomplishments here….

  7. Big Dog says:

    One last thing. If most Americans like you want the war to end why do the Dems not end it? They have the power to end the war and if most people like you want that then they should just end it and see what happens.

    The Dems do not have the stomach for it because if they end it and we are attacked again they will never hold another office. They are playing politics with the war. At least the president has had a vision and stuck with it. The Dems promised to end the war and they cannot. Even you choice for president, Shillary, said if she were elected president she would end the war and bring the troops home and then she back peddled and said that she did not know how long the troops would be there.

    Dems want to play tough with national security but it is all talk. All Dems who want the war to end should be willing to take a pledge that if we pull out and are attacked here again they will be executed for causing it. If they are so sure it will not end in disaster there should be no problem.

    I know that the Dems did not go to power because of the war. They claimed that it was but it was not. In any event, if they took control because of the war why do they not end it? Because they know that Americans will not tolerate defeat and will not tolerate another attack here and they do not want to be responsible.

    It just proves that Dems did not get power because of the war or most AMericans like you.

    Most Americans Like Me want us to win the war before we leave….

  8. Wild Thing says:

    Great post Big Dog, to know the Dems actually think they do good, any good at all is a joke. God help us if they get their way on everything that want to do TO America, they will turn us into a third world country.

  9. Adam says:

    The Dems can vote on post offices if they want. That may be kine or meaningless, but isn’t that part of their job? Take my job for example. A large part of my work week is spent checking and writing e-mail. That can look pretty useless but in the long run that’s part of my job since that’s how I communicate with my team. Saying they voted for a post office is not an argument that other parts of their job are as equally mundane.

    I’m hoping this is the last time you bring up my previous argument that I did not know much about the Clinton years. When we met I considered myself independent who favored some Democrats. I was campaigning for Dennis Kucinich, I was going to Ralph Nader speeches, I was quizzing Wesley Clark about DU munitions. But that was years ago. As the years and arguments have gone by, I have read a lot more, seen a lot more, and just plain old talked to people who are older than me about politics.

    You bring up Whitewater and other stuff like any of those things aside from the Lewinsky sex scandal were ever proven with hard evidence or lead to actual criminal charges against the Clintons. You can list and list the things you think they have done, but I’d argue that more recently a lot of that is single anonymous sourced stuff that the media runs with because they need drama to make money. Is there anything more to Hillary taping her opponents than the word of a single anonymous person who claims to have been there when it was taped? I tried to find out but I haven’t seen anything else.

    I agree with you that the Dems had the power to end the war but haven’t, and it’s what I’m most disappointed in since the Democrats took office. They have voted at least 6 times in both chambers to change direction on the war but this was put down by fillibuster most of the time. They just could not get it done and I think they may pay dearly for it in the next election.

    Look, I don’t take it as personally as you suggest, but I am very partisan. I think the Democrats have pushed through legislation that means something to me, and that pleases me. It obviously has the opposite affect on you since you care little about most of the issues important to me. The disapointing fact is that only one of their goals has become actual law, so to earn any respect from me in the coming months they need to keep on pressing to get that stuff through and past Bush. Unfortunately Bush cares very little about most of the issues important to me as well, so that’s a shame.

    I think there is very little evidence to suggest the Iraq war has done anything but make us less safe and less respected overseas. I think the fact that we haven’t been attacked since 9/11 speaks volumes about our efforts here at home to intercept and prevent attacks from happening on our land and our intelligence gathering abilities, but says very little about the work we’ve done in Iraq or Afghanistan.

  10. Big Dog says:

    Sure they can vote on post offices but to say they have accomplished more because of it is inane. They pushed the minimum wage increase through by tacking it on to a war funding bill because it would not have gotten enough support to go to the president otherwise.

    I think we agree on more than we disagree, we just see a different approach to getting there. I was not trying to insult by saying you are partisan (I am as well) at least you take a stance and stick with it, unlike many politicians from both parties.

  11. Adam says:

    “They pushed the minimum wage increase through by tacking it on to a war funding bill because it would not have gotten enough support to go to the president otherwise.”

    What’s wrong with that? The Dems acted like when they swept both the House and the Senate that they’d just do what they wanted without a fight, but of course that’s not true. A good politician knows when to back down and when to hold firm to get things worthwhile done. This is a perfect example. If everything they stood for was supported fully by the other side there’d be no need for sides.

    Which is close to some stuff I’ve been thinking about lately. One of the reasons Hillary Clinton doesn’t have 100% support of the Democrats is because she’s a good politician and this means having to make concessions sometimes. If you want an unwaivering politician you can go for Ron Paul or Dennis Kucinich but there’s a reason they’ll probably never make it out of Congress.

    I think the same can be said about Guiliani. He’s fairly moderate by Republican standards. This angers many people, including leaders from the Religious Right. But I while I don’t like him I think he’s much more suited for a national seat than Bush is. I digress though….

  12. Big Dog says:

    What is wrong with that? You cannot claim victory for something if you have to sneak it into a different bill to get it passed. They should have sent it up on its merits and this is just another reason why we need a line item veto. Most businesses pay more than the federal minimum wage (unless they use ILLEGALS) and if I owned a business and the government told me that I had to pay employees a certain amount that is what I would pay them.

    The free market should decide wages.

    As for Hillary, if you think she knows concession you are deluding yourself. She is all for her way or no way. She blows whatever way the wind is going and is a poll driven candidate but when she has her mind made up she will not concede. This is why people are afraid of her and afraid to talk badly about her. She is like the SS with her people.

    Why anyone would work for her is a mystery to me. One outburst to me and I might smack her head off her shoulders. She is fortunate not to have me working for her. She is Satan in the flesh.

    If America elects her we deserve what we get and I don’t want to hear “it is Bush’s fault.” I cannot support her in any way shape or form. I will not vote for Rudy either. He is a RINO and I do not trust him.

  13. Adam says:

    I think line item veto would screw both parties over. If there’s an item in a bill so bad that it needs to be taken out piece by piece then the Pres should just send it on back, and they have many times.

    The term RINO makes me laugh a little. You got a favorite candidate for president yet?

  14. Big Dog says:

    The problem is that they always attach junk to needed items. That is how they got GHWB to break no new taxes. We need rules that nothing can be added to a bill, no pork and no items not associated with the bill.

    Too early for me to pick one. I have not decided who to support but I know who I will not. They started this whole process way too early.

  15. Adam says:

    Christmas and elections, huh? They start earlier every year.

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