The 113th Congress is on track to become the least productive Congress since the time our nation’s ruler wore a crown and lived in a large castle with a drawbridge. Due to the increasingly partisan and ideological tone of the current Congress, the two parties seem dead set on preventing anything the other side proposes from getting passed into law.
The record for fewest pieces of legislation ever passed by a session of Congress was 88, in 1995. Through August, Congress has passed only 15 pieces of legislation. That’s five fewer laws than the number of parental edicts I have proclaimed in the past year (my most controversial one being “no more TIVO-ing Duck Dynasty marathons. I am a tough but fair ruler).
Millions of Americans are outraged at the incessant bickering, stonewalling and filibustering, which have paralyzed our nation’s legislative process. This has resulted in the lowest approval rating for Congress in its history – with 83% of Americans disapproving of the job Congress is doing. In the latest public opinion polls, Congress’s approval rating now trails Anthony Weiner’s popularity by 27 points. On the bright side, their popularity is still ahead of Adolf Hitler and The Black Plague by 6 points and 4 points respectively.
So I thought: What can I do to help our beleaguered Congress improve its legislative track record and get some things done? And then it hit me, like a 350-page pork barrel amendment – help Congress pass laws that nobody could possibly oppose! So I came up with some brilliant ideas and ran them past a couple of local Congressmen, one from each party, to get their take: Democrat Congresswoman Joanne Dumbarton and Republican Congressman Bruce Assini.
Congressional Democrat Dumbarton response: I can’t support this. This film sends the clear, misogynistic message that baseball is an exclusive men’s club. A more appropriate selection is League of Their Own, about a women’s baseball team. We must promote gender equality. Besides, it got an 89% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Congressional Republican Assini response: Are you kidding me? No way will I back this bill. Kevin Costner can’t act his way out of a batter’s box. A much better pick would be Air Bud. That dog can act.
Dumbarton: Air Bud was about a dog that plays basketball, you doofus.
My idea: Create a new Cabinet-level post, naming Captain Sully Sullenberger Secretary of Airline Safety.
Dumbarton: While I concur that you can never have enough cabinet level positions or federal agencies with thousands of bureaucrats, I am not sure this is really where we should be applying our very limited resources in these tough economic times. Instead, I feel strongly that we should introduce three new cabinet-level posts: Secretary of the Spotted Owl and other Endangered Avian Species, Secretary of Gay Marriage, and Secretary of Kindness. There is not enough kindness in America these days – let alone toward gay spotted owls.
Assini: Secretary of Kindness??? What a load of crap, you bleeding heart. This is a classic example of creating mountains of governmental bureaucratic waste. We should dismantle at least 8 of the 15 cabinet posts and replace them with three much more vital Cabinet positions: Secretary of Military Drones, Secretary of Christian Affairs, and Secretary of Gay Conversion Therapy.
Dumbarton: Why single out a bunch of violent, testosterone-fueled women haters? I can’t support that. No way. But I would support a national holiday to honor our brave teachers and home healthcare workers. They know the meaning of kindness, I tell you..
Assini: Still stuck on this kindness fixation, I see. What – did you not get enough hugs when you were seven? We don’t need any more federal holidays. Besides, who would foot the bill? This is an appallingly bad idea. But I would support a national holiday in honor of Clint Eastwood. Now that’s a true patriot.
Assini: He served courageously in WWII in Flags of our Fathers.
Dumbarton: You do realize that was just a movie, right?
I was just about to give up when I came up with one last idea for a bill: Officially recognize America the Beautiful as the greatest song in history – with a rider amendment declaring America’s soccer moms the greatest moms in the world.
Turns out both Congressional delegates loved this idea and plan to co-present it next month. Then they got into a heated battle over whose name should appear first on the bill. In the spirit of compromise, they agreed to my suggestion to name it after a combination of their last names. Be sure to look for this Dumb-Ass piece of legislation to hit the floor of Congress soon.
I am very proud of what I accomplished here. I can sleep soundly tonight knowing that despite many fractious disagreements that still divide our great nation, I know one thing for sure: I am married to one of our country’s greatest soccer moms. No wait, she’s Canadian. And come to think of it, she’s not crazy about America the Beautiful either. But I love her just the same, flaws and all.
That’s the view from the bleachers. Perhaps I’m off base.
PS: If you enjoyed this week’s post, do your patriotic duty and let me know by posting a comment, giving it a or sharing this post on Facebook. Tell your Congressperson it’s time they passed some meaningful legislation to improve our country – starting with free ponies for every child in America.
© Tim Jones, View from the Bleachers 2013