I get most of the usual mailings from various Democratic sources, and more than a few from Republicans. Every one of them implies an impending disaster that will sink the ship of state and all aboard. Republicans are especially fond of surveys that ask questions of dubious merit while offering multiple choice answers that would rejoice the hearts at any tea party. Democrats send out surveys too, but they are less entertaining and stick closer to real issues. Boring, but often important. I doubt that anyone ever tabulates the results. They’re just fronts for raising money.
Both parties assert a financial deadline that, if not met, will result in the other side’s catastrophic and irredeemable victory, if not the actual end of civilization as we know it. The monthly FEC reports they have to file are treated with the urgency of a dead heat on the final lap of a NASCAR race. It’s a monthly report, for crying out loud, just a lousy monthly report. Nothing of any significance comes from it or is linked to it except in the minds of the marketing geniuses in each party who are sure that we care.
In the meantime we are stuck with a bunch of elderly juveniles masquerading as congressional leaders, and enough incompetent legislators doused in ignorance and arrogance to keep anything useful from happening. And they are proud of it!
Don’t get me wrong. I think politics is important. I spent many years of my career involved in it one way or the other. Things could get nasty at times, but on the whole there was a shared intent to find a way to work things out, partly for the good of the country, partly for the good of states and districts, partly for the good of industries and corporations, and partly for the good of congressional egos. It was a mess, but it worked. Campaigning was important, but not a full time job. Money was important too, but the serious decisions before congress did not depend on who could raise the most for the whackiest publicity offensive.
They were not the good old days, and I do not want to go back to them, but today’s congress is most certainly the bad old days, possibly the worst since the late 19th century, or maybe the ‘20s, and the sooner we can leave them behind the better.