Playing the Lame Game

As of the time of this column’s writing, it has been just a little more than a week since what might be described as a “voter revolution” took place and turned our U.S. House of Representatives literally upside down. That same election also significantly shifted the balance of the U.S. Senate and the composition of the nation’s gubernatorial offices. Cable news network anchors sound like hyenas in a feeding frenzy discussing just how significant the change will actually be. Party heads, depending on which side of the aisle they call home, are either squawking like roosters about the “referendum on the administration” or downplaying the election as little more than mild voter frustration, or even apathy. Regardless of the spin, however, one thing is certain.

There are a lot of politicians now calling themselves “lame”. Not that they weren’t before, mind you, but now they are officially members of a lame duck session.

Political analysts have debated for decades the true, lasting impact of a lame duck Congress. Rarely, though, are any monumental decisions made: the political risks to a particular party—especially if that party has lost its majority—are just too high.

So, just to make sure we are on the same page, let’s summarize this for perspective. There are 435 Congressmen on the taxpayer payroll—sixty or so of whom have already been voted out—that, for the most part, are sitting on their wealthy Armani-clad buttocks doing absolutely nothing for the next two months.

And these are the men and women we trust to balance our federal budget!

I cannot begin to tell you the grief this causes me. Nearly ten percent of the American workforce (at least the part of the workforce that actually gives a rat’s hind parts about having a job in the first place) is unemployed. Yet that same workforce is expected to shoulder the burden to pay their idle representatives. I’m sorry, but that doesn’t fly with me. You work, you get paid. You do nothing, you are paid accordingly.

Therefore, in order to ensure that our fine Congresspersons can feel confident that they have indeed earned the inordinately large salaries that they continue to vote for themselves, I am formally petitioning that all lame duck sessions be heretofore deemed “continuing education periods” for our representatives. To support my petition, I propose the following curriculum be adopted and used until the seating of the next Congressional session:
  • Basics of Economics – Refresher Training: The “refresher” term would imply that our fine Washington whiz kids had at least a cursory understanding of economic behavior to begin with, which I am lead to doubt based on some decisions made in the past couple of years. Key points of learning for this training would include 1) understanding that the terms “save” and “spend” are direct negatives of one another; 2) price support for any product, service, or industry does in fact undermine the foundations of free enterprise and slows economic growth; and 3) there has never been an uninhibited economy which did not behave according to the law of supply and demand.
  • Comprehending the U.S. Constitution: Since when did the Senate and Congress get a pass on understanding the most influential document in American history? (If you want to debate our representatives’ comprehension of the Constitution, ask yourself why so many bills end up in the laps of the Justices of the Supreme Court for ruling.)
  • Bill Writing for Dummies: I really wish this one had been a requirement for the seated 2010 Congressional session. Regardless of your position on taxpayer-subsidized health care and no matter how sweeping the impact might be, a thousand pages is too darn long of a document to define a piece of legislation. As my pal Buford J. Beaufort—the pride of Sunflower, Mississippi—likes to say, “That many words turns a piece of legislation into a piece of…”
  • Fat-Free Bill Writing: Supplemental to Bill Writing for Dummies—reference the aforementioned health care bill—this course is intended to be an intervention for those Congresspersons addicted to pork. WARNING: Withdrawal symptoms are expected, including landslide reelection and voter satisfaction! 
  • Vocabulary for Career Politicians: Has your Representative or Senator forgotten what “constituent” means? Does he or she not seem to understand that “deficit spending” is, in fact, an oxymoron? Perhaps “ouster” does not register as a word he or she can grasp. Demand that Mr. or Madam Congressperson complete this course!
 Are you with me? If your and my hard-earned—and I put emphasis on “earned”—wages are going toward lining the pockets of men and women charged with representing you and me in Washington, shouldn’t it be you and me that get to dictate what they do while there? If I am paying, then I am an employer. That is the way I see it. And I think this short curriculum will go a long way toward helping our legislature repair its horrible image. But of course, there is one more course to be thrown in, just in case the others don’t carry enough weight:

Lame Duck Flying Lessons – Helping a Crappy Representative Make a Quick and Graceful Exit


  1. I'm gonna have to submit this to my girl Megan Kelly!!!


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