Three Cheers for Congress — YAAAYY!!!
When you think of this current session of Congress, you probably imagine a group of passive Democrats sitting there helpless — paralyzed with terror — while a small group of corporate prostitutes (formerly known as Republicans) blocks their every move.
Would you believe, this 111th Congress has been the most productive congress since the mid-1960s.
Congress passed Medicare and some major civil rights legislation in the mid-’60s. Just like today, there was a huge backlash against “Socialism!” In the ensuing midterm elections (1966), Republicans gained 48 seats in the House and four in the Senate.
If Republicans gain 48 seats this coming November they’ll capture the House. In 1966 the Democrats had a larger majority before the election so they kept control of the House.
This 1966 parallel doesn’t bode well for this year, does it. We’ll have to hope that the trouncing in two weeks will be just a temporary setback and not a permanent shift to the Right, like the teawads are predicting.
Also in the mid-’60s, America was getting more and more quagmired in Vietnam. Democrats caught most of the backlash, being the party in power, even though the Vietnam War had been inherited from previous administrations. Hmmm, does that have some sort of eerie parallel with…oh, nevermind…
According to Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute, the 111th Congress is:
“At least on a par with the 89th Congress” of 1965-1966. “A world dominated by bickering and epithet-throwing and bomb tossing in Washington obscures accomplishments.”
This article mentions three landmark bills passed by Congress: the $814 billion stimulus package, which prevented us from repeating the Great Depression of the 1930s; health care reform; and legislation to rein in Wall Street.
Other “smaller” accomplishments include: Cash for Clunkers, federal hate crimes legislation, more consumer protections for credit card users, curbing some of the worst interest rates for college loans, and tax credits for first time homeowners.
Just imagine how much more could have been accomplished if Congressional Republicans cared as much about people as they do about banks and insurance companies.