Shorter Terms For Congress on Docket


(Washington) When the Congress meets again the members will be chatting about more than the coming election. They’ll be talking about campaign financing and where to get some. They’ll be arguing about foreign policy and where to get some of that too.

They’ll be talking about term limits.

Before the break it had come down to common sense (and where to get some). Define the problem: Pork barrel promises kept, and all those years to fill pretending to accomplish something while out campaigning to get elected again. Good money…good working conditions. Shake a few paws, kiss a few babies. Power.

“What about two week terms?” asked one rookie Congressman still wet behind the amendments.

Two weeks? Wasn’t that a movie with Mickey O’Rourke or somebody?” was the response.

“It’s concise,” offered one supporter, “and it would give us more time to spend campaigning.

“Yes, I think you’ve got something there but will the public buy it?” asked a third.

“They’ve bought it so far. Just throw in a few mentions of democracy and wave the flag…maybe a brass band and free tickets to the coliseum… I mean circus…”

“Let’s put it to a vote…Aye or Nay,” said a veteran of these things. “The last thing we need is a filibuster. I’m not willing to miss dinner again. These Washington pizzas just aren’t as good as the ones back home in New Jersey.”

Finally the Speaker restates the proposal for those who have not already nodded off the sleep:

“Bill Number 48839 proposes that all Congressional Terms be limited to no more than two weeks. This will create a time period of inactivity (5 years and 50 weeks for Senators and a substantially shorter term for Representatives). Is there discussion?”

An ancient Senator is helped to the podium.

“I forget what I’m doing here,” he starts, his aide whispering the issue into his one good ear. “Oh, yes, term limitations…Will they interrupt my nap? Back when I was in the Electoral College girls and boys didn’t live in the same dorms…”

Another Congressman snaps: “This is another waste of the taxpayers’ money! I have questions for the legislators assembled here: Will there be enough time to placate the special interests in just two weeks? Will the sacred pork barrel runneth dry?”

Everyone in the body looked at each other blankly.

“Yes, and will we get a chance to ride around Washington in our Congressional limos? Can we expect to make the contacts necessary to land a lucrative lobbyist position in just two weeks? Can we hope to vote ourselves another pay raise in that time period?”

The Speaker interrupts.

“These are pertinent questions that we must answered before further pursuing a final vote,” he stressed. “But in today’s arena we cannot simply withdraw to the proverbial smoky room like before. It’s politically incorrect. The voters will think we’re backing the tobacco lobby.”

After a few minutes a vote was taken and the amendment passed. Two-week terms with long recesses and more fact-finding trips to places like Monaco and Fiji. Salaries unaffected. Retirement packages quite substantial. Power.

“I’m confidant the House will go along with this. Now if we can only convince the President to follow suit…” said one member of Congress, “we might finally a responsive government.”

– Kashmir Horseshoe


Filed Under: Fractured Opinion


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