When you're out explaining to your friends and neighbors why our Republican representatives in Congress are so pathetic, consider drawing on this excellent column by Tom Teepen.
In his uphill election campaign in 1948, President Harry Truman not only ran against Republican nominee Thomas Dewey but against, as Give-'em-Hell Harry had it, that "do-nothing, good-for-nothing Congress." In fact, the 80th Congress had been about ordinarily productive. No matter. Truman won. Imagine the mincemeat Truman would make of this year's outfit.
While the neglected national job jar fills up with real chores, the current Congress, like a dog chasing a car, has been hounding after irrelevancies that it can't catch and wouldn't know what to do with if it could.
Congress wasted time trying again to hammer an amendment into the Constitution against gay and lesbian marriage. It wasted more time kiting still another constitutional amendment against flag desecration. Happily, both came up short. The Constitution deserves better than to be made to bear such passing fancies.
Both chambers staged fake "debates" about Iraq, the sole point of which was to maneuver Democrats into a position that would let Republicans denounce Democratic candidates in the fall elections for supposedly wanting to surrender to terrorists.
And the two chambers are making a perfect hash of the illegal immigration issue.
Best guess: no immigration reform this year, but every incumbent will be able to show that he or she voted for it.
But assuring future funding for Social Security, Medicare? Nothing.
Beginning to shut down the gases that are fueling global warming? Zilch.
Raising the miserly $5.15 hourly minimum wage, frozen now for nine years? Renewing the Voting Rights Act? Holding an out-of-control White House accountable for its abuses of law and the Constitution? Nada.
Not that this Congress is completely idle. It has voted still more tax breaks for our wealthiest, and is confecting another bonbon for them -- a boon that would exempt individual estates of up to $5 million and couples' estates of up $10 million from the estate tax. Estates of up to $25 million would get a big cut.
The federal debt deepens, the interest on it soars and foreign lenders are making out grandly. You and I are picking up the tab, and social programs that assist work-a-day households are being crimped.
From its serial defaults to its eager misfeasances, this Congress is running up a record that would leave even Harry Truman speechless.
North Carolina's Republican representatives in Congress are worse than useless. They are yapping little George Bush Lapdogs and they are part of the problem. One-stop voting begins in 103 days. We will finally be able to throw the bums out.