Congress is Congress regardless of party

Franz Von Stuck - Sisyphus

Sisyphus - A king in classical mythology who offended Zeus and was punished in Hades by being forced to roll an enormous boulder to the top of a steep hill. Every time the boulder neared the top, it would roll back down, and Sisyphus would have to start over.

That seems to be a recurring theme for this administration. The myth of Sisyphus was brought up last year by actor Bill Cosby, primarily as a characterization of Obama’s first term. Well, that plea for understanding the concept that it is an uphill battle to get anything done in Washington apparently was heard loud and clear, but probably not in the way that Cosby, or anyone in the Obama administration would like.

Now, it seems the public thinks it is Sisyphean task to get anything done in Congress, because they simply don’t believe the people there can do their jobs. And this isn’t a party-line thing either - the people have spoken, and they say neither party can accomplish anything. Monmouth University ran a poll, and found that there is one thing people from both parties can agree on, and sadly, they agree that Congress is broken - is beyond repair.

While the statistics are interesting, the underlying problem is far more engrossing. Yes, this poll points out that there is a growing problem with both apathy, and lack of faith in government. No doubt there is agreement that the former really does need to be addressed, but the latter could be a good thing. Well, that whole lack of faith issue would be downright wonderful, if it wasn’t for the rampant apathy, that is being fed daily on a diet of backbiting, temper tantrums, and extracurricular scandals that have turned what should have been a dignified occupation into nothing more than a nightly freakshow for the masses. Remember, we’ve been saying for years that Washington has been aspiring to be Hollywood east. Maybe they’ve gotten their wish, but unfortunately, it’s looking more like 24/7 marathons of Jerry Springer, as opposed to award-winning films.

Of course, the Monmouth pollsters only dug as deep as figuring out whether or not people were happy with the performance of Congress (no-brainer that they’re angry), and whether or not there was a difference in opinion along party lines (as in there isn’t a difference). That last one was a little surprising for some folks apparently, but for political wonks that have been paying attention for the past several years, this is an anticlimactic statement.

Let’s be honest. There have been plenty of commentators that have been saying, particularly on the right, that we need to tone down the infighting, because we need to focus on the real opposition from the left. Maybe it would have been better if those warnings went out with statements that eventually we’d scare the “normal” people, that don’t live and breathe politics - you know, the ones that are nowhere near the political echo chambers.

Make no mistake - this poll is a message that can’t be ignored, particularly by the right. The people are fed up with the nonsense. It took them long enough, but it finally did happen. All the talk about party loyalty, electable candidates, and the establishment party being the ruination has apparently seeped through to the masses, one way or another. They’ve figured out that the movers and shakers in party leadership have no bloody clue what they are doing, that there is no such thing as properly vetting candidates anymore (if there ever was), and that it doesn’t really matter which party they pick at the ballot box anymore. Either way, they know they are screwed.

If ever there was a time for a third-party to emerge, this is it. Remember the “throw them all out” campaigns that people would laugh off? I’m not saying that this is going to happen overnight, because it won’t. I am saying that this general distrust in politicians and political parties today can be used to the advantage of “something new” - provided that it is built up for the people to choose within the next 8 years or so.

It’s an idealistic suggestion, but it is necessary to mention. Otherwise, campaign managers and consultants need to put their thinking caps on - how do you sell your candidate to masses that don’t give a damn who fills the seat in question, because they don’t believe it will made a damn bit of difference either way? When you figure that one out, be sure to drop me a line. I’d love to hear your ideas! Seriously.

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