Today is a special edition of Odd Stuffing in honor of the One Hundred Sixteenth United States Congress, which includes the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It begins today and runs through January 3, 2021. With a new Democratic House majority and an expanded Republican Senate majority, we can expect our elected officials to do what they are the very best at – JACK SH!T!
Keep in mind this has less to do with what political party controls the House or Senate – or both – it has more to do with the goals, ambitions and willingness of the individual politicians who make up the parties to work together and with the Administrative branch. Both parties have made it abundantly clear they have no intention of doing anything bipartisan or in partnership with the President.
Separately, each party has displayed nothing but contempt for anyone other than themselves. The Republican Party, despite holding a majority in the House, Senate and having a Republican President hasn’t been able to get out of its own way for the past two years. Yes, they were able to confirm two new Associate Supreme Court justices, but look at what a fiasco those hearings were. The second one, instead of being a relatively clear process, was held up as much by individual members of the Republican Party as it was by the Democrats. Each one had to make sure the spotlight was on them instead of the job at hand.
So instead of being able to pass critical government reforms, the party in charge of both chambers clashed amongst themselves and with the Administration. No healthcare repeal and replace. No immigration reform. No border security. Of significance to those of us in the Second Amendment community; no Hearing Protection Act or National Concealed Carry reciprocity. And we have a partial government shutdown since nobody wants to take a stand for national security.
The Democratic Party for their part has had just one agenda item for the past two years – resist. Anything put out by the Administration or the Republican Party was opposed, even if it was something they previously campaigned, championed and sponsored legislation for themselves. Instead of finding common ground, if it came from the White House or the other side of the aisle, it was wrong. Facts didn’t matter, lives didn’t matter, just being able to stand up and say “I RESISTED” mattered.
Sadly, what we’ve seen the last two years has been the fully entrenched Washington DC establishment, lifelong politicians and career bureaucrats, who have been more interested in protecting the status quo against an outsider than working for the benefit of their constituents. This is the swamp.
So who is responsible for allowing this to happen? Guess what, it’s our own damn fault. You, me and every other citizen of this country who has allowed our government to become so completely unaccountable to us.
Where were we when our elected officials started passing laws that governed our behavior, which they were exempt from? Where were we when they set up special privileges for congressional members only, that we are not entitled to? Where were we when they voted for ever increasing pay, benefits and perks while voting against increased pay, benefit and perks for their constituents? Where were we when they set up a special process that handled sexual misconduct accusations against congressional members confidentially and paid out settlements funded by our tax dollars, for crimes we would have gone to jail for? Where were we when they violated their oath of office to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States – in it’s entirety, not just the parts they agreed with, when we are losing our rights at an ever increasing rate?
What should we have been doing? We should have been marching to their offices with pitchforks and torches demanding they start acting on our behalf instead of their own or we toss them out and replace them with someone who will. BUT NO! We’ve been sitting on our asses letting this bastardization of our government continue unabated.
History tells us that following the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia spoke to Benjamin Franklin and asked, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.”
Mr. Franklin was right to be concerned as a republic is the most difficult form of government to maintain. Despite this, our Founding fathers were well educated on the history of governments around the world and knew this would be the best for their new country. They knew we needed to be a nation of laws, from the United States Constitution down to the local level. They knew if the law didn’t apply to everyone, it applied to no one.
What can we expect for the next two years of the 116thCongress? We can expect partisan bickering, accusations and investigations, grandstanding and backroom wheeling and dealing. We can expect both parties to claim the other is standing in the way of progress and everyone pointing the finger at the Administration. We can expect the 2020 Presidential hopefuls to focus on bolstering their campaigns by doing everything they can to look like THEY ALONE are the leader we have been looking for, even if it doesn’t make any sense.
In other words, we can expect exactly what the denizens of the swap have been wanting all along, a chance to puff up and get into a mudslinging smack down with the other party, all the while knowing it will all end in a stalemate.
Welcome to the 116thUnited States Congress! It’s going to be a long two years.
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