The Congressional Con Game

I have heard from both sides about how masterfully the leaders of the House and Senate are at getting the stuff through Congress…..all that is media hype and fanciful BS…..

The truth is that it is autocratic rule….this coming from both parties….

There has evolved a highly centralized, autocratic system in the House and Senate that tolerates meaningful dissent from independently minded legislators in only the rarest and most unique circumstances. Nancy Pelosi and Newt Gingrich led the way in the House. Each extracted compliance from the members of their respective caucuses, Pelosi much more effectively and lastingly than Gingrich. Their demands – their entire strategy – have had one unifying theme: success in the next elections, an effective enticement to re-election hungry members. From selecting a new healthcare system to deciding if it is — or is not — time to impeach a President (remember, in addition to the lunges against Trump, the 2006 diktat against impeaching George W. Bush for starting the second Iraq War on false pretenses), there has been no decision in the Democrat caucus until Speaker Pelosi decided. Under Mitch McConnell, the tactics and goals are profoundly similar, just the positions are different and a little better articulated to the public. But also, of course, the reverses of past positions of declared principle are more than a little gob-smacking.

However, there are some activities that span the party divide: opposition to lifting the national debt ceiling when the other party has the White House, delaying appropriations until well after the start of the new fiscal year no matter who controls what, parceling out scores of billions of dollars for pork especially for compliant caucus members, and using the filibuster to kill any particular bill from the other side in the Senate.

Pelosi and McConnell disallow unapproved legislative alternatives with parliamentary tricks: they allow a vote only if the provision is harmless, sure to support their own position or guaranteed to fail if it is problematic. A controversial vote with an unknown, if not unapproved, outcome is extremely rare. Policy diktats are seldom altered, once decided. Determined nonconformists are isolated from positions of influence, have their pork requests vetoed, are denied party controlled campaign funding, and/or get “primary-ed.” In all cases, the point is to make examples and suppress dissent. The compliant will get goodies (a repaired bridge in the state, a legal loophole for a fundraiser’s profession outside the state, a big check from a formerly unhelpful PAC, or an invite to the White House — or for the Trump boot lickers Mar-a-Lago); whatever it takes to help the leader’s agenda.

Mystery Meat Congress; Clueless Mainstream Press

The illusion of a unified party is a construct of the media….they pretend that their is some sort of actual ‘come to Jesus’ moment…..

These ‘leader’ rule by intimidation of opposition….and as usual the only winner in their unified front is the corporations and the high dollar donors…..the people are of secondary importance .

Until the voter pulls their heads out of  of social media and start thinking like sentient beings this crap congressional record will continue.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”


18 thoughts on “The Congressional Con Game

  1. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    As I’ve said before, it’s up to ‘we the people’ … ‘THEY’ are both the same!! … “Until the voter pulls their heads out of of social media and start thinking like sentient beings this crap congressional record will continue.”

  2. From over here, it seems that Biden has made very little difference to people’s lives in America. His only claim to fame seems to be that he is ‘Not Trump’. The opposition appears to be running riot, and tying the hands of the Democrats.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  3. I’m not sure “evolved” is the right word. Both parties have “whips” who are officers who are responsible for keeping members in line. And I believe you have to go back to 1913 to find the most truly dominant Speaker of the House in US history, Joe Canon, Republican from Illinois. Compared to the past, the politicians we have today are corrupt rank amateurs, and that may be a good part of the problem.

      1. Thank you. The other thing to keep in mind is the party leadership is usually more extreme than party followers. That’s been true
        since it was first studied in the 1960s. It’s also why so many people classify themselves as independents even though they tend to lean to one party or the other. In fact not much is change since the American revolution, when 1/4 of the population was Tory, 1/4 was patriot, and the rest just wanted the fighting to go away.

      2. I hate to see the stagnation that grips the government these days…..the rest of us suffer while they play games. chuq

  4. My Republican Congressman’s latest e-mail accuses the Democrats of not being able to govern. I almost sent him a very vulgar reply, but realize he will be re-elected, unchanged, till he drops dead or decides he’s collected enough influence and bucks to retire back in the district or on K Street. I’ve given up on him. The pot calls the kettle black.

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