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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Do Harm Congress

The 109th Congress disappeared into the history books early today -- thankfully. It will live for all time as one of the worst examples of "representative" government.

Contrary to the oft-applied label it was not a do-nothing Congress, although its work schedule would certainly suggest that to be the case. It was a do-damage body -- reflected right up to the last minutes when it passed tax breaks, created a political minefield for incoming Democrats by shirking its constitutional budget obligations and failed to face up to its own legal and ethical misdeeds.

This was a Congress that cheapened its own constitutional prerogatives by refusing the investigate a mismanaged war and all the faulty premises, war crimes, civil liberties violations and profiteering that went along with it.

It was a Congress that plunged its own children and grandchildren deeper into debt by reckless spending while pushing a reactionary social agenda that aimed to divide the country for the sake of political gain. It mocked the term democracy by refusing to allow the participation of an opposing political party that clearly represented half of a sharply divide country.

The Hall of Shame will induct many new members from this Congress: Delay, Cunningham, Ney, Foley as well as their Great Enabler, Jack Abramoff. Denny Hastert starring as the lovable Sgt. Schultz who "knows nothing" will be an apt image for the ages.

Starting with Delay's K Street Project right through to the end, this was the best damn Congress money could buy.

But it didn't stop there. It chose to debate Terry Schiavo rather than Abu Ghraib; fetal pain instead of weapons of mass destruction. It promoted its right wing agenda through the appointment of judges while mocking the courts when called up short on its own failure to adequate safeguard American privacy and civil rights.

The stench from this Congress will last a long time. Incoming Democrats may face a burden to prove they can lead but they will have a handy crutch by pointing the dysfunctional, disreputable and now thankfully dissolved 109th Congress.


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