If Congress has no Mojo to Govern, let’s make it a Part Time Job

Renee Parsons

(Photo by Mark Reinstein/Corbis via Getty Images)

If the American public needs any further evidence that the US Congress is unable to function as an operating legislative branch of the Federal government in the ‘pursuit of happiness’ or to ‘promote the general welfare,’ look no further than Congress’s most recent public disapproval rating of 69%.

This is of course nothing new as Congress has been in ill repute with the American public for decades – and no one seems to know what to do about it.

To be fair to the lackluster, do-nothing group of flunkies who rake in the benjamins and perks that most Americans can only dream about, Congress actually hit its highest ever disapproval rating of 84% in September, 2011 and earned an 85% disapproval in November, 2013, during Barack Obama’s Hope and Change years which produced neither hope nor change.

During that time period, the Dems controlled the Senate while the Repub’s controlled the House, so voters might conclude that a partisan split is not favorable for the People Programs.

Yet during the 111th Congress when, as a result of Obama’s 2008 election, the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress, the disapproval rating hovered between 63% – 74% and during the 115th Congress when Trump’s coattails brought in Republican control of both houses, the disapproval rating varied between 69% – 70%. Some cock-eyed optimist might consider those numbers an improvement.

During their time in power the Dems produced the Affordable Care Act rather than expand Medicare which was a no-brainer except for the insurance industry. At minimum, the Dems could have expanded Medicare to include vision and dental coverage that they themselves receive but all 535 of them have consistently proven to be less than thoughtful employees.

And if the Republicans accomplished anything notable during the 115th, it has been lost to the recycling bin of history. After all the gnashing of teeth about Obamacare, the fact is that the R’s were at a complete loss to propose an acceptable health care alternative speaks volumes as to their level of compassion for those responsible for their election.

As a direct reflection of the lack of Congressional or Executive leadership, the Direction of the Country poll hit its highest disapproval in October, 2011 at 75% perhaps with the realization that the ACA was not what it was cracked up to be while today 57% of the country disapproves of the country’s direction.

President Donald Trump has a 53% disapproval rating while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is at 48% – both consistently hover around 50% – and clearly neither knows how to produce for the American people. Stock market buy-backs which should be illegal are not a guarantee of economic well being on Main Street.

Most recently, as an example of Congressional incompetence is its perpetual patronage for Israel when 79 Senators and 303 House members signed a letter to President Trump that was initiated and orchestrated by AIPAC.

Citing ‘overwhelming bipartisan majority,’ the intent was to pressure the American Congress and its President into continuing Israel’s unquenchable lust for military conquest and global predominance in the Middle East. Heavy-handed coercions are nothing new for AIPAC’s Zionist bullies. It can be assumed that all signatories of the letter are beneficiaries of Israel’s campaign largesse.

The letter was the result of a report that over 600 rockets had been launched from the Gaza Strip with 150 intercepted by the US-provided Iron Dome missile defense system while the majority landed in open areas. The Jerusalem Post reported that, in retaliation, the Israeli Air Force struck over 280 targets in Gaza and that the IDF had begun targeted assassinations against Hamas militants.

While acting as an unregistered agent for a foreign government, AIPAC’s clear intent in its three page letter is to direct US efforts spreading war throughout the entire Middle East. The fact that Israel ‘owns’ the Congress is not new news.

It is no secret that AIPAC hooks have been deeply embedded in Congress for decades by virtue of its generous campaign donations and Members of Congress who hold dual citizenships and that Israel is not required to register as agents of a foreign country.

The fact that AIPAC shrewdly avoided a Federal Election Commission decision to require compliance with US election law is further evidence of an untenable situation when people believe they are above the law, that they are superior beings and ‘entitled’ to special treatment.

Citing “grave insecurity”, the letter lays out “recommended steps to advance our regional priorities” for US intervention regarding Syria, Iran, Russia and Hezbollah. The letter’s marching orders are blatant for the US to step up and provide the manpower, the necessary armaments and equipment at US cost as if Israel as the right to demand a continuance of US forces to fight Israel’s battles that they themselves refuse to directly engage.

When has the Congress ever acted, repetitively, as one entity, in signing a foreign country’s letter of support for war and followed its dictates for US participation in that foreign war? The most current letter was not the first or only time Congress has acquiesced its power to Israel. Some might call that treasonous.

While Israel decries the existence and spread of ISIS, Al Qaeda and their affiliates, the Congress plays the pretend game that they are unaware of Israel’s history in 2002 creating Hamas which evolved from the Muslim Brotherhood, as an alternative to divide a strong and secular PLO or that the US had a relationship with bin Ladin and al Qaeda beginning in the 1970s.

The fact is that no presidential candidate has yet picked up on the reality that the old structure and form and institutions of government are no longer viable as they pretend to avoid the obvious, that all will be hunky-dory with a sort of spring house cleaning in 2020.

Four of the Senate Democrats running for president signed the AIPAC letter while Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) did not. Signatories were Sen. Cory Booker (NJ), Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand (NY), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn) and Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif).

On the House side, three of the Democratic Presidential contenders who signed the letter are Rep Eric Swalwell (D-Calif), Rep Seth Moulton (D-Mass) and Rep. Tim Ryan (D -Oh). Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) also a Presidential candidate and combat veteran, is running on a no interventionist war plank, did not sign the letter.

The real issue is that Congress continues to allow itself to be disrespected as Israel’s lapdog as it betrays its own constituents in favor of acquiescing US foreign policy to Israel.

Since neither party has shown the mojo to govern, the unpleasant fact is that the Congress itself, inept, irresponsible and corrupt, is in the throes of a full blown collapse of its own making for its failure to perform as democratically elected representatives committed to the People.

As there is a fundamental transformation underway with a political realignment occurring, the role of Congress, which has neither the ability nor the integrity to function, should be a 2020 campaign issue as they have earned the right to become a part time body with fewer staff and less perks.

Renee Parsons has been a member of the ACLU’s Florida State Board of Directors and president of the ACLU Treasure Coast Chapter. She has been an elected public official in Colorado, an environmental lobbyist for Friends of the Earth and staff member of the US House of Representatives in Washington DC. She can be found on Twitter @reneedove31


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Jun 10, 2019 10:32 PM

We should follow the lead of the Belgians and the Northern Irish. They didn’t have governments for a couple of years or more, and nobody noticed much difference.

Ben Trovata
Ben Trovata
Jun 10, 2019 9:31 PM

Parsons is wonderfully creative in the solution-space

Brian harry
Brian harry
Jun 9, 2019 4:50 AM

The USA is not “Free and Democratic”….The USA is a Client State of “The MONEYMEN”…..Socialism for the RICH, Capitalism for the POOR.
“It is not a coincidence that the century of total war, coincided with the century of Central Banking”…..Ron Paul.
“We shall have World Government whether we like it or not. The only question is whether World Government will be achieved by Conquest or Consent”…….Lord Rothschild.
“If the American people ever find out what we have done, they would chase us down the streets and lynch us”……GHW Bush 1992

Not if but when
Not if but when
Jun 8, 2019 10:41 PM

Isn’t about time for the world to declare the governing institutions in the US as Terrorist Organisations?

Why is this not happening? Will it happen? When would it happen?

Gezzah Potts
Gezzah Potts
Jun 9, 2019 2:39 AM

You could also ask why isn’t Tony Blair, George Bush, Obama, Donald Rumsfeld, etc sitting in jail cells in The Hague? And in answer to your question, the United States are above international law.

Jun 8, 2019 9:58 PM

Today is the anniversary of the attack by Israel on SS Liberty. 34 killed and 170+ wounded. On July 22nd, the anniversary of the bombing of king davids hotel, 91 killed and 46 wounded. With a friend like that you definitely have absolutely no need of enemies, but just in case you do, your friend will furnish an endless supply

Jun 8, 2019 9:22 PM

Congress has a 69% disapproval rating. I’m shocked. Does that mean that 31% approve of it? That’s 100 million people. Congress has the approval of all the people who matter. Adelson, Saban, Singer, Netanyahu. All those whores have to earn their shekels. “If we get caught, they will just replace us with persons of the same cloth. So it does not matter what you do. America is a golden calf and we will suck it dry, chop it up, and sell it off piece by piece until there is nothing left but the world’s biggest welfare state that we will create and control. Why? Because it is the will of God and America is big enough to take the hit, so we can do it again and again and again. This is what we do to countries that we hate. We destroy them very slowly and make them suffer for… Read more »

Jun 8, 2019 10:25 PM
Reply to  mark

10%: I don’t know
10% I don’t care
11% what’s “Congress”

harry law
harry law
Jun 8, 2019 8:36 PM

Someone said why doesn’t the US incorporate Israel into the US as the 51st state, if that was done Israel would only have two Senators whereas now they have all 100. That’s a little unfair since everyone knows the US Congress is ‘the best that money can buy’. Renee Parsons better not try and join the Labour Party her truthfulness is incompatible with membership.

Jun 9, 2019 6:30 AM
Reply to  harry law

The real issue is that the[two part] Congress being article I of the US Constitution and the only political body elected by governed Americans is, and always has been burnt toast as a political factor in American politics <= it really has no power. But it has evolved a deal with the all powerful Article II government.. and that explains the triparte government, I call it the CPI: congress appropriates money for private sector industry, President dictates the war and lets the contracts that keep the private sector rich and happy, while Israel stirs up the places that make the wars possible and officiates who gets the next big contracts. The Article one folks conduct the thefts (budget bills and authorizations) so the money earned by the governed Americans can be paid to those who are in on it. The Article II folks see to it that the folks the… Read more »

Jun 8, 2019 6:10 PM

Corrupt 2 Party System must end!!! 330 million people controlled by 2 political parties with crooked rules designed to insure no 3rd party can gain influence on a national scale. Corrupt 2 Party System has led to endless wars and a $22 Trillion national debt. In 2024, US Office of Debt Management projects the US Treasury will begin paying INTEREST ONLY on debt payments. Corrupt 2 Party System has led to prolonged, useless Congressional investigations which always seem to end up with no one going to jail and/or no serious consequences for violation of laws. We’ve had war criminals openly flaunting their pro-torture policies; yet nothing is done. We have the DOD with NO AUDIT for decades–and the 2 Corrupt Parties give the DOD more money every year (sometimes even more money for weapons than DOD requested). Corrupt 2 Party System allows Democrats and Republicans to trade their dirty laundry… Read more »

Jun 8, 2019 2:36 PM

If 69% of the population disapprove of congress why do they keep re-electing the same congress critters /
Unless the game has been rigged by voting machines.

Jun 8, 2019 4:05 PM
Reply to  Guy

If Mark Twain could write – a long time ago – that “If voting made any difference, they would never let us do it”, then it is downright irresponsible of us not to draw the obvious conclusion that things have certainly got even worse since his day.
Of course the game has been rigged by voting machines (and people).
Only election-fixing can account for the insanity we are seriously expected to tolerate today.
The author of this article mentions that “Some would call that treason”.
Of course it is treason.
And we are just expected to shut up and swallow it.

Martin Usher
Martin Usher
Jun 9, 2019 1:10 AM
Reply to  wardropper

We should treat Federal elections as just an exercise in damage limitation. Just throwing up your hands and saying ‘its corrupt, I won’t play’ hands it over to those who will. Meanwhile in the US the real action is in the state houses; its those boring races with the even more boring Secretary of State race that allows a stranglehold on redistricting — gerrymandering — and so frustrates the will of the majority. The states and, in turn, county and city government are also the power foundation — without this Congress and the Executive are just window dressing. So by all means treat the system with contempt — its your right — but whatever you do hold your nose and vote because if you don’t you’ve just handed power to those who definitely don’t have your interests at heart.

Jun 9, 2019 1:25 AM
Reply to  Martin Usher

I quite agree Martin.
Just for the record, I never just throw up my hands and say, “It’s corrupt”.
I do that as well as everything else I can do to educate people as to what is going on.
And I always vote.

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum
Jun 8, 2019 1:52 PM

Governments are like mantle pieces.
99% decorative and 1% (yeah them) functional.
Or should that be functionaries?

Fair dinkum
Fair dinkum
Jun 9, 2019 12:21 AM
Reply to  Fair dinkum

Thought that looked wrong.