Back in our school days, it was common for people to want to be part of the “in” crowd.
The members of Congress apparently went through the same thing, only they never got over it.
Based on their actions, it is clear that they are still desperate to be part of the “in” crowd and one has to admit they have succeeded.
They have proved that they are INcompetent, INefficient, INept, and INcredibly irresponsible.
Let’s recap their antics in recent months.
Earlier this year, their political shenanigans took the country to the brink of disaster, and only a last-minute deal to raise the debt ceiling averted a situation in which the country could have defaulted on its debt payments.
At issue was the INability (or unwillingness) of the Congress and the president to agree on anything, including cutting the federal deficit, which is spiraling out of control in the neighborhood of $15 trillion and growing.
Then, these distinguished statesmen employed a strategy that has become all too common in government they passed the buck.
They refused to do their jobs, and instead formed a US Congressional joint select committee on deficit reduction, or “super committee” of six Republicans and six Democrats to do it for them.
This brought about another epic failure of the sort that only Washington could engineer.
The group of 12 political fatheads proved to be just as INeffective as the larger group they represent, and, last week, the “super committee” announced that it, too, had failed to do its job.
This latest failure will trigger the automatic cuts that Congress put in place last summer.
Has this stirred up any sense of urgency among our dim-witted leaders? Of course not. Republicans in Congress are already posturing and talking about trying to overturn the automatic cuts, and the president is threatening to veto any attempt on their part to do so.
What is it going to take to get these clowns to wake up?
Are they going to wait until this country sinks into the kind of catastrophic mess that some countries in the European Union seem to be facing?
How is it possible that these senators and representatives are so far out of touch with reality? Why can they not see that this is no time for playing games?
Ordinary citizens are painfully aware of the problems that we all face, on a national, state, and local level.
Working people have been struggling to make ends meet in the face of rising costs, stagnant wages, unemployment, declining housing values, and evaporation of savings.
Small businesses have been battling over-regulation and crippling taxes, as well as rising costs and declining revenues.
While all this has been going on, the oblivious scaramouches in Congress have been madly fiddling away while Rome (or rather Washington) has become engulfed in flames.
If those who are IN office are too INcompetent to do the job they were elected to do, it is time to give them the boot and give some new people a chance.
There are no easy answers to our problems, but refusing to take action is not an option.
We need elected representatives who will take responsibility and make the tough decisions.
At the same time, we, the voters, need to take some responsibility, too. If we continue to elect extremists who care more about themselves, their parties, and the special interest groups that finance them than about their constituents, we deserve what we get.
Why has Congress become so ineffective? It used to be composed of a few extremists on either side, with a large group of moderates in the middle. This facilitated compromise.
Today, the middle has disappeared, and we are left with nothing but extremists who refuse to work together.
It seems that the only way we are ever going to break the cycle of partisan gamesmanship under which each party tries to undo the work of the other, instead of everyone working together, is to do some good old-fashioned housecleaning.
Perhaps the place to start is by forming our own super committee of voters who will roll up their sleeves, lace up their work boots, and boot the in crowd out.