The Busy Bees of Capitol Hill

As anyone who has worked in pretty much any job knows, "working" and "getting things done" are most assuredly not the same thing. Take Congress, for instance. These days, do they get things done? No, not if by getting things done you mean passing laws, which is ostensibly their job. Now it's true that members of Congress do other things—they conduct investigations, they help constituents track down errant Social Security checks, and so on—but they're lawmakers first and foremost, and we've seen few Congresses that have done less in the law-passing department than this one.

What's strange, though, is that this inability to pass laws is often transmuted into the idea that members of Congress are lazy. I was glad to see Alex Seitz-Wald point this out today, because it's bothered me for a long time:

When the House releases its calendar for the upcoming year, as it did for 2014 a few weeks ago, it inevitably elicits headlines like this: "Congress Working Less Than 1/3 of Year in 2014, Getting Full Salary." One blog offered a faux recruiting pitch: "Want a job with 239 vacation days? Become a member of Congress." Another was more blunt, calling Congress the "laziest sacks in history of being lazy sacks."

But you might want to think twice before running for Congress in the hopes of getting a cushy desk job. According to a survey by the Congressional Management Foundation, a nonprofit that for the past 35 years has worked as a sort of consultancy for lawmakers, members of Congress work on average 70 hours a week when they're in town and almost 60 hours a week when they're not.

Politicians come in all flavors—the committed and the cynical, the compassionate and the cruel—but I've never encountered a lazy one. You might not think of meeting constituents down at the senior center and raising money as work, but for them it is. The fundraising in particular, though it does nothing to benefit the public, is incredibly grueling and unpleasant. Almost everyone who decides to run for office, whether liberal or conservative, is driven and ambitious. So whatever else you're going to say about members of Congress as a strange and sometimes disturbing sub-species of homo sapiens, don't call them lazy.

Comments

The priorities of Republicans in Congress are not CONFUSED. They are PERVERTED. Their mission is to protect the strong from the weak, the wolf from the mouse, the powerful from the powerless. They represent a PREDATOR viewpoint of life, not a NURTURER viewpoint.

The difference between the zoo and real life, is that OUTSIDE the zoo, the REST OF US have to do tricks for the PEANUTS that the ELEPHANTS throw us.

To ALL Patriots and other wannabees.

I', Robert David Hummel, a Combat Veteran and Servant, To Preserve, Protect, and Defend, the Freedoms of Our Great Nation, am enduring with wanton TOLERANCE, My din and angst of the DEVASTATION now being OPPRESSED upon OUR AMERICA, by the DEMOCRATIC SENATE and OSAMA>OBAMA

We are no doubt enduring a "Civil COLD War", in America..."I pray Our Lord in Heaven, will Continue to Bless, Lead, Guide, and Direct", "The FEW", of Our Nations Leaders...That are in TRUTH, attempting to CORRECT the FAILED LEADERSHIP of the Many, in our three branches of government...

The continued FAILURE of our LEADERS to return WITH Do Diligence, of Deference, DISCERNING Prudence, and Accountability, to the RULE of LAW, inculcated with-in The Constitution, The Bill of Rights, and The Declaration of Independence, ...WILL RESULT in "We The People", reaching the Boiling Point of a Revolution...That may CHANGE the FREEDOM of America FOREVER....PERIOD.

I invite ALL PATRIOTS to JOIN with me in Membership with,... "The OATHKEEPERS,... "Which may be OUR ONE LAST BASTION for AMERICA'S SURVIVAL"...PERIOD

PSSST', Teacher's, and other detractors...please do not give me a poor grade for my ,Run-on Sentences.

Robert David Hummel USA RET, Inverness Florida

You do realize that President Obama has only three more years in office, and that anything he does can be undone by future Congresses, right?

You guys act as if he's dictator for life, and that nothing he does can ever be changed or repealed. If you don't like the way things are going, hash it out at the ballot box. If you win, you get your way for a while. If you lose, the other guys get their way for a while. That's how it works in this country.

Meanwhile, relax, and breathe.

FYI, I'm a veteran too. Nothing is ever set in stone.

The bees may be busy, but from my perspective, all that effort is going for naught.

You can work really hard at digging a ditch, but if the mission was to build a bridge, all that hard work is useless.

"We're not lazy, we're just unproductive" is not a ringing endorsement.

You need to be logged in to comment.
(If there's one thing we know about comment trolls, it's that they're lazy)

Connect
, after login or registration your account will be connected.
Advertisement