17 August 2011

If the US Congress was an ice cream shop, they would carry flavors ranging from vanilla to French vanilla

The in-laws were in town last weekend. We headed down to the Capitol to do some sight-seeing. The shiny new (and expensive*) Capitol Visitor Center was lackluster. The security was even ruder than the TSA, if you can believe it.

(* The facility took twice as long to construct as planned and cost 234% what it was projected to.)

Because this is the government, everything was proceeded by waiting in line.  Things started far behind schedule.  Everyone got "important information" once inside, like the fact that you can't bring food or drink inside.  Yes, we were informed of this in writing after we had been made to leave food and drink at the door.

Before the tour there was a little movie titled "Hooray for Congress! Aren't We Great?!"  One particular idea was repeated several times, and it really ground my gears.  It was the notion that Congress is a place for everyone to be heard, for every idea to be voiced, for every point of view to be aired and considered and deliberated upon.


Congress is a place for two camps. And those two agree on more things than not. How much time is Congress spending hearing from people who think that locking up marijuana users is useless?

How about people who think buying something from a guy in China is morally equivalent to buying it from a guy in Ohio?

How about people who think corn farmers aren't superior to the rest of us and do not deserve to have their butts kissed?

How about people who think risk is a fact of life and we need to learn to accept it rather than screaming "There ought to be a law!" every time something bad happens?

How about people who think we should respond to terrorism with investigators and -- sadly -- ambulances, and not Marine Expeditionary Forces and TSA goons?

How about people who think that just because no one should be required to sell a kidney does not mean they should be prohibited from doing so?

How about people who think that if two people want to trade money for labor or lodging, it's no one else's business what the negotiated price is or what nation either is from?

How about people who think that "the savior who wants to turn men into angels is as much a hater of human nature as the totalitarian despot who wants to turn them into puppets"?

How about people who think politics is a nasty, violent business and want dearly to go home and tend their cabbages?

How about people who think DC shouldn't be running a VC firm, be it the Ex-Im bank or a "green jobs" program?

How about people who think the tax code is a blunt and ineffective way to reform society?

How about people who think I don't need to be saved from myself?

Where are all those people? When are those ideas being debated in this august deliberative body which rules our fair land from under their pretty iron dome? Where are they?