8/11/2005

The Huffington Post: David Sirota on Congress

Rolling Stone on the Courageous Fight Inside the U.S. House of Horrors

Rolling Stone magazine today released an absolutely awesome and epic piece that sheds light on how Congress really works - or doesn't work - these days... The narrative follows four bipartisan amendments authored by Vermont's Independent Congressman Bernie Sanders (a candidate for U.S. Senate in 2006) who the writer notes "is the amendment king of the current House of Representatives." That's right - "since the Republicans took over Congress in 1995, no other lawmaker -- not Tom DeLay, not Nancy Pelosi -- has passed more roll-call amendments than Bernie Sanders."

.. Congress.. now resembles a corrupt third world politburo. Only instead of an authoritarian ideological dictatorship running the place, it is Big Money that calls the shots on every issue.

What is particularly interesting is how these amendments actually passed by wide margins when they were brought to a vote. Yet, because the Republican leadership has hardwired ways to kill even the most well-supported bills, these amendments were ultimately stripped out behind closed doors...

The takeaway from this article is really threefold:

1) The U.S. Congress does not represent 'democracy' and to say it does is to insult the word 'democracy' and all of those throughout American history who have fought for democracy.

2) The problem with Congress is largely a problem with the corruption of the GOP. But, that said, the problem also involves Democrats, a powerful cadre of whom seem comfortable in the minority, and seem comfortable selling their souls to the highest corporate bidder. Unless Democrats really change, unify, and take up policies that challenge Congress's bought-off behavior, they will not be able to electorally capitalize on corruption.

3) Despite all of this, there still are some courageous leaders in Congress like Sanders and others fighting for ordinary citizens. The more we, the grassroots, can help them in their fight, the more we will start taking back our government

The Huffington Post | The Blog

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