For the past three years, as we’ve watched Obama try to deal with a lot of things that we can all agree are way above his pay grade, we’ve been constantly mindful of the fact that this schmuck has never really held a job in the private sector.
The good news is that we are now less than 400 days away from November 6, 2012, when we can fire his sorry butt. The bad news is that no matter who replaces him in the Oval Office, we will still be stuck with a House and Senate filled with men and women who, for the most part, have spent their entire adult lives sitting on their butts making uninformed decisions that dictate how the rest of us get to live our lives.
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Who, after all, do you think gets to decide all the regulations that often determine if companies succeed or fail, whether employers can hire more workers or have to file for bankruptcy? Who decides if people are allowed to turn a wasteland into a housing development or have to scuttle those plans because some wacko environmentalist has found, or planted, an insect that’s listed on the endangered species list? By this time, I suspect that this sacred text has more names in it than the New York City phone book.
There is a solution to the problem, though, but first let me share a couple of facts that led up to my insight. First of all, during the Iraq invasion, a large number of reporters were embedded with the American troops. The idea was that if they lived with the troops, they would come to identify with them, and they would shed the anti-military attitude that seems to infect just about everyone who works for an American newspaper or TV network.
For the most part, it worked. The only downside was that viewers of Fox News had to endure night after night of Geraldo (“I run with the bulls of Pamplona”) Rivera’s pathetic attempts to out-machismo our young G.I.s and their top sergeants.
Next, although in a completely different venue, there is a related example that will help me illustrate my plan. When it comes to the Academy Awards, it’s the people who work in specific arenas, be they writers, directors, composers or costumers, who get to determine the nominees in their category. After that, everyone gets to vote for the ultimate Oscar winners. However, when it comes to documentary films and, possibly, foreign films, the only people who get to cast votes are those who can prove that they actually saw all the contenders. It would explain why there is occasionally a miracle, as when “The Lives of Others” beat out “Pan’s Labyrinth” as Best Foreign Film a few years ago. On the other hand, these are the same clucks who gave Oscars to Michael Moore and Al Gore for Best Documentary. When it comes to Hollywood, one shouldn’t expect too many miracles.
In any case, I give these examples as proof that even if it doesn’t always help, it never hurts when people are as informed as possible on a subject they’d otherwise know nothing about.
So, inasmuch as congressmen and senators rarely know anything about anything except how to troll for votes and campaign contributions, and their aides, whose primary function is brown-nosing or sexually servicing their bosses, know even less, I would insist that before any legislator gets to vote on anything, he has to be embedded for at least a week in the business or industry that will be affected by the proposed regulation. After all, what does a congressman from Chicago know about the oil industry? Or, for that matter, what does a senator from Iowa know about salmon fishing?
I’m not suggesting that 435 members of the House and 100 members of the Senate all take off for a week in Texas or Washington state. Maybe only five or six of them would go. But they would then be the only ones who got to vote on that specific piece of legislation.
For years, we’ve heard about these pampered pashas jetting off on “fact-finding missions.” As a rule, what they come back with aren’t facts, but very nice tans and brand new golf clubs.
Because I wouldn’t trust any of these weasels any farther than I can throw Barney Frank, I would quiz them when they returned to Washington to make certain they hadn’t just stayed in their hotels for a week, boozing and chasing women.
If they didn’t like it, they could always resign. I just don’t see any reason why these crumbs should be paid about $200,000-a-year and yet get away with less homework than a typical fifth grader.
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