The Worst Congress in History–Should We Look in the Mirror?

I think we just lived through the worst United States Congress in history. Since the American Republic has been around for 234 years now, that is saying something.

Of course, I wasn’t there to observe 177 of those years, but I’ve kept a pretty close view on the past thirty or forty–and nothing compares to the deception, ineptness, radical nature, and horrific policies of the 111th United States Congress.

The 80th Congress (1948) was called the “Do-Nothing Congress.” The 109th Congress (2006) has been labeled the “Vacation Congress” because they only met for 100 days. Various congresses in the 18th and 19th centuries were either extremely raucous or bitterly divided (such as over slavery).

But nothing trumps the just completed 111th Congress.

They should be named the “Destroy Everything” Congress.

I believe we need to open our eyes–and also look in the mirror.

We elected these people.

What does that say about us?

It wasn’t that long ago that you didn’t hear much about the US Senate and House of Representatives in the daily news. They weren’t much of a factor or presence. Yes, every twenty to thirty years they made a controversial decision or passed a bad bill.  But that was the exception, not a daily occurrence.

Of course, 24/7 cable news and the Internet have greatly increased the spotlight on national governance. But technology does not determine the character of those who lead.

During my lifetime, most senators and congressmen were decent people regardless of party. I generally vote Republican because of the GOP’s general commitment to Judeo-Christian principles which bring liberty. But I’ve liked and supported many Democrats as well including Senators Scoop Jackson and Henry Magnuson, and President John F. Kennedy.  Sam Rayburn was a heck of a House Speaker and Tip O’Neill was a decent guy who shared a congenial, after-hours relationship with President Reagan.

So the issue is not partisan. It relates to the people in office.

The elected representatives of the 111th Congress were the worst national legislators we’ve ever had. Don’t believe the spin of the past couple of week. It’s just a desperate attempt to resurrect the discredited progressive agenda. The majority of Americans aren’t buying it.

Take a look at the most recent Gallup Poll on the 111th Congress. The graph is quite enlightening:

“PRINCETON, NJ — Americans’ assessment of Congress has hit a new low, with 13% saying they approve of the way Congress is handling its job. The 83% disapproval rating is also the worst Gallup has measured in more than 30 years of tracking congressional job performance.”

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“The prior low approval rating for Congress was 14% in July 2008 when the United States was dealing with record-high gas prices and the economy was in recession.”

“For the year, Congress averaged 19% approval among all Americans, tied with the averages for 1979 and 2008, and one percentage point above the 18% average for 1992. Those years were all marked by difficult economic times for the United States.”

Gallup asked another question in a July 22, 2010 poll. It had to do with which institutions give people the greatest confidence. The poll found Congress ranking dead last out of the 16 institutions rated this year. Eleven percent of Americans said they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in Congress, down from 17% in 2009 and a percentage point lower than the previous low for Congress, recorded in 2008.

So according to Gallup, the 111th Congress approval rating is 13% and confidence rating is 11%.

That’s pretty bad.

Why?

Let’s first look at the people and then at the policies they’ve enacted.

THE PEOPLE OF THE 111TH CONGRESS (just to name a few)

Nancy Pelosi – She will probably go down in history as the worst Speaker of all-time. From ultra-liberal San Francisco, she ruled as if everybody in America wanted to move to her progressive haven. A blank slate on America’s heritage and principles, she drove her own Congress into the electoral ditch with the greatest turnover of seats in sixty years. Her most famous quote (among many)  referring to Obamacare: “We need to pass the bill so that we can find out what is in it.”

Harry Reid – The Senate majority leader from Nevada. He strong-armed Obamacare through the Senate by altering the rules and making back-room deals against the express will of the American people (Louisianna Purchase, Cornhusker kick-back etc.). Reid’s Senate didn’t pass one budget item during the past year while giving full vent to vast liberal wish lists of spending. His most famous gaffe among many: “The War is lost!” (When our fighting men and women were in harm’s way and the surge in Iraq was working.)

Barney Frank – His lack of regulation over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (which continues to this day) was one of the major factors in the collapse of the real estate market and the financial difficulties we’ve experienced since 2008. Frank is a foul-mouthed, militant homosexual whose “partner” once ran a gay prostitution ring out of his D.C. apartment. 

Responding recently to President Jimmy Carter’s assertion that America is ready for a homosexual president, Franks bellowed: “It’s one thing to have a gay person in the abstract. It’s another to see that person as part of a living, breathing couple. How would a gay presidential candidate have a celebratory kiss with his partner after winning the New Hampshire primary? The sight of two women kissing has not been as distressful to people as the sight of two men kissing. And because of the Defense of Marriage Act, it’s not clear that a gay president could use federal funds to buy his husband dinner. Would his partner have to pay rent in the White House? There would be no Secret Service protection for the paramour.” 

Yuck.

And this man was one of the powerful men in Washington, D.C. during the 111th Congress?

The list could go on and on–but I think you get the point.

POLICIES OF THE 111TH CONGRESS

First, they wastefully threw an 800 billion dollar stimulus program at the nation that did nothing to create jobs. The unemployment rate continued to climb because government spending does not stimulate capital creation and entrepreneurship. This was the biggest pork barrel bill in the history of the nation. Much of it went to prop up liberal causes, state governments, and unions. It was an utter waste of nearly one trillion dollars.

Then they spent an entire year going against the will of the American people and finally jamming through Obamacare last Christmas–the first step toward socialized medicine in the United States. This nearly three thousand page monstrosity is probably the worst single piece of legislation ever enacted on American soil. As a result, doctors are vowing to retire; Companies are raising rates; Over 250 groups have been exempted from the program because they’re favorites of the Administration; And this is a giant take-over of one-sixth of the  American economy.

Because of the radicalness of this and other income re-distribution programs, the Tea Party Movement was born and swept many state houses, legislatures, and Congressional members out of DC in the November 2 elections.

After the election, the chastened 111th Congress should have humbly returned to their D.C. offices, voted to keep the tax rates in place, funded the government, and gone home. They had been soundly defeated and told they were taking the nation in a wrong direction.

But in a brazen, in-your-face manner, they did just the opposite. First they pushed to raise taxes on the wealth creators in America, lost, and finally capitulated. Then they pandered to their homosexual base and sent shock waves through the US armed forces by callously rescinding the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy–again against the wishes of the people and especially those on the front lines.

They also tried to slip in a controversial immigration bill, and pushed for a major nuclear arms treaty with Russia that is hurtful to the United States. They have no business even treading in these waters.

But this Congress doesn’t care. They have an agenda–and they stuck it to the American people.

Rush Limbaugh described the 111th Congress this way in his radio commentary on December 16, 2010:”The damage being done by this Congress is disastrous. They are hi-jacking our country right before our eyes. We are in the middle of being raped and they know it. We said “No” in November but they are still destroying and hijacking our country right in front of our eyes. They don’t care about the country.”

That’s why I call them the “Destroy Everything” Congress.

Fortunately, in a few days, they will be gone and the 112th will take their place.

But their destructive rampage should lead us to some necessary introspection.

Many of these people, including Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Barney Frank were re-elected in 2010. They will be diminished, but are still in office.

What does that say about us–that we could elect people such as this to guide the affairs of our nation?

In olden times, God used prophets to explain to people why they were given good kings–when they followed God and lived right–and why they were sent bad kings as judgment for their sins.

We don’t have unelected kings in our day. We don’t need an explanation. We live in democratic times where our leaders are a reflection of us.

We the people–elected the 111th Congress. They were the worst in history.

But that consequently means that we, too, just might be the worst generation in American history who elected the worst leaders.

We need to change, live good lives, and elect good leaders.

Start with yourself. Look in the mirror.

Humble yourself. Ask God to forgive you, and live a changed life.

If enough Americans do it, we just might turn our worst time into one of our best .

 “If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will from heaven , forgive their sins and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

   

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