Friday, January 29, 2010


As I watched last Wednesday's State of the Union address by President Obama, I was struck by the body language of the Republican congressional delegation. It is said that actions speak louder than words, and the actions of these conservative Republicans, though they were perfectly silent, roared louder than an auditorium full of shouting, fanatical Tea Party members.

There sat stuffy Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, looking bored and completely out of it. I also saw a stern-faced Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, a sullen-looking Senator John McCain of Arizona, and a pensive Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia. All appeared restless and unhappy to be there. They remained silently and listlessly seated whenever Democrats rose to cheer and applaud the President's words, and most of these Republicans applauded only once, and then very timidly, tepidly, and briefly when tax cuts for small business were mentioned. And these same Republicans - all of whom opposed even the President's Economic Stimulus Plan of early last year, which provided work for some of our unemployed and prevented our sinking into another Great Depression - sat as lifeless as wax figures from Madame Tussaud's when the President mentioned taxing the biggest Wall Street banks which caused the downturn to begin with. When the President suggested taking that money to give to smaller commercial banks for purposes of lending to small businesseses for further job creation, there were only cold, emotionless stares from the Republicans. But the behavior and facial expression which summed up the current conservative Republican attitude best was that of Representative John Boehner of Ohio. His steady, sneering, and hateful glare toward the President spoke volumes.

These Republicans behave like rotten, spoiled little children who haven't gotten their way and will not cooperate with anyone in the least as a result.

It has become obvious that they are united in a policy of total opposition to everything - ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING - this President or his party proposes. They are convinced that stalling his agenda, and making both he and the entire federal government ineffectual, will cause his defeat in 2012 and will result in their regaining total control of the White House and Congress, just like they had under the first six years of George W. Bush's regime. That's all they care about. Achieving political advantage and regaining total control.

The Republicans don't care about the unemployed. They don't care about ever-rising health insurance and pharmaceutical costs, or that 1 in every 6.5 citizens has no health care coverage. They don't care about the poor. They don't care about the struggles of the shrinking middle class; that the rich are getting richer and are leaving everyone else far behind. They don't care that the tax system they put into place has the middle class subsidizing both the poor AND the rich. All the Republicans care about is their return to total power. What a thoroughly disgusting, myopic, and self-centered party.

It got me to thinking: these congressional conservative Republicans are wasting our time AND money. We pay each of our Representatives and Senators a hefty $174,000 per year, plus they have the best health care and retirement benefits in the entire world! But are we getting our money's worth from these Republicans? Have YOU ever been paid $174,000 per year for doing nothing but sitting, pouting, complaining, and producing nothing of value for YOUR institution? I didn't think so. Why should THEY enjoy such cushy treatment?

Consider this: Republicans never submitted a real economic stimulus plan of their own. They never submitted a health care reform package of their own. They never submitted an infrastructure-renewal plan of their own, either. What are they good for, anyway? All they keep repeating, like a mantra, is "lower corporate taxes, keep the Bush tax cuts [for the wealthy] in place, and regulate business less. "But those are the policies which caused our terrible recession! Face it, folks: the Republicans have nothing to offer this country, and they, the supposed fiscally-responsible party, are WASTING OUR TIME AND MONEY!

I think it is time that WE, their EMPLOYERS, start holding congressional Republicans and blue-dog Democrats accountable. I propose that each and every one of us taxpayers INVOICE UNPRODUCTIVE AND OBSTRUCTIONIST CONGRESSPERSONS! That's right: send your least-liked Representative and/or Senator a BILL for the money of yours they have wasted! Hit them with an "OBSTRUCTION FEE" if applicable; a "SPECIAL INTEREST FEE" for voting for the best interests of lobbyists or concentrated capital instead of voting for YOUR best interests; a "MISINFORMATION FEE" for lying to the media, and for lying about and distorting the positions or bills sponsored by progressives; a "BROKEN PROMISES FEE" for lying to the voters, saying they'll vote one way and then actually doing the opposite; and a "GRANDSTANDING FEE" for making dramatic and exaggerated statements like "death panels" or "throwing grandma under the bus" for the sole purpose of getting media attention and photo opportunities. JUST MAKE CERTAIN THE INVOICE'S TOTAL IS EXACTLY $174,000 TO MATCH THEIR SALARY, AND BE SURE TO NOTE THAT THEY SHOULD MAKE THEIR CHECK PAYABLE TO YOU, THE TAXPAYER WHOSE MONEY THEY HAVE WASTED!

I'm serious about this, folks: invoice templates can be downloaded for free. I encourage all of you to send a bill to every waste-of-time-and-money Congressperson who needs one. Doing so will definitely get their attention; at the very least, you'll feel a lot better after you've sent it.



BigmacInPittsburgh said...

I expect nothing of substance from the GOP,the joke of the day is ,how can you tell when a Republican is lying? Answer:when their lips are moving.

Holte Ender said...

The history of western society is riddled with the word "class," Upper class, working class, middle class, the ruling class, in recent years we have gotten ourselves as new class. The political class. A bunch of career politicians who are hell bent on bettering themselves and doing what it takes to be in power. They have the nerve to call themselves "public servants" and their work "public duty." In reality they are white collar criminals. Republicans epitomize this political class.

TRUTH 101 said...

Bd news for you Jack. If this works and the damn republicans have to give us our money back, they'll propose paying for it with a tax cut. Then they will demand bonuses. Republican math screws us every time Brother.

Jack Jodell said...

LOL---I get you loud and clear, brother! :-)
Holte Ender,
You're absolutely right. But wouldn't you love to wave your invoice in, say, John Boehner's face, slam it down on his desk right in front of him, and feed one of his scalding looks back to him as you stand there indignantly demanding immediate payment? Ahhh---such fun!
Ouch! I'd never considered THAT! But being even more bull-headed than they are, we could then turn around and tax THEIR tax cut! There's more than one way to skin a stupid elephant!

TRUTH 101 said...

"Tax their tax cut." Priceless!

MadMike said...

LOL Truth. Great post Jack, but they always are.

Lisa G. said...

Great post Jack. They're being paid not to do their job. In the corporate world, they would be summarily fired.

Jack Jodell said...

Thanks. It's high time we started getting our money's worth!
Lisa G,
Thank you. What you say holds true in the corporate world for all but CEOs---they just resign and get golden parachutes. No wonder this country is so screwed up!

Marc McDonald said...

Hi Jack, great piece, as usual.
And note that, as generous as Congress's pay packages are, that's not where the real money is for these legislators.
After all, members of Congress have what is likely the world's most lavish pension plans. Nothing remotely like this exists anywhere in the private sector (outside of the Top 1 percent/CEO class).
But even THAT is not where the real money is. The fact is, once you've served a term or two in Congress, you can then work as a lobbyist and pull down millions of dollars a year. Indeed, this is clearly why most candidates these days seek higher office---because of the lucrative lobbyist opportunities that it offers.
Most other First World nations prohibit, or place heavy restrictions on, this sort of outrageous behavior. But here in America, it's business as usual.

Jack Jodell said...

You're absolutely right. We ought to encourage all of the Republicans and Blue Dog Dems to leave Congress immediately to become lobbyists---and then have their replacements vote to outlaw all lobbying right after they're sworn in. Siggghhh---if only it were that easy! I'm there'd be an immediate challenge to that, and the SCOTUS would overturn it at breakneck sneed...

Manifesto Joe said...

I think you can afford to be as childish and arrogant as this when you're sitting on so much money. Money has a spectacularly transforming effect. It can practically raise the dead. It keeps repeatedly discredited ideas alive. It keeps raving sociopaths and semiliterates in high office. One thing our Republican chums have never lacked for is money. They had plenty even back in the '60s, when they were a 40% or less minority of officeholders. And now that the Supreme Court has ruled that, in essence, money rules, left-leaning bloggers will be in business forever now! Unless, of course, zey dezide to come for us. In that case, Jack, I don't know you, and never have!! Easy with those cuffs...

Jack Jodell said...

You've said a mouthful, Manifesto Joe. I've always maintained that the major source of poverty was corporate greed. I would amend that now to say "the major source of poverty is the greed of corporations and their self-serving politicians."

We live in a Dark Ages of corruption and self-interest worse than it has ever been. I am grateful for the tiny beams of light found among the commenters on this page. May we all grow in brightness and number, and some day bring about a new era of enlightenment and common sense!

Lisa G. said...

They don't behave like spoiled children, they are spoiled children. I know toddlers who could do a better job.

Jack Jodell said...

You're totally correct, Lisa G. They need daddy Obama to give 'em all a damn good ass-whuppin'! They can't be reasoned with.

mud_rake said...

Jack- you ought to have put up a DISCLAIMER to warn us that the first thing we would see as we began to read your post were these four putrid Republican mugs!

How disgusting!!

Jack Jodell said...

LOL---sorry about that. You never know WHAT you'll see on this site, but I promise I'll never feature Michele Bachmann or Virginia Foxx in a bikini here! :-)

Beach Bum said...

That's all they care about. Achieving political advantage and regaining total control.

Saw John Boehner on some political show the day after his repubs met with the president. After all the crap that issued forth from him and his lackeys on the Sunday show Boehner spoke only of standing on "principle" and offering better solutions to the what the democrats offered. The little words "compromise" and "negotiations" was not mentioned once.

The president will get no bi-partisan action from him or any other person from that party.

TomCat said...

Dang, Jack! I could swear I commented oin this tweo days ago. Frumping Blogger!!

It has gotten so extreme, that Republicans are now opposing their own proposals.

Jack Jodell said...

Beach Bum,
You're exactly right. We've heard the Boehner song and dance before, most notably when he waved a counter-stimulus plan in front of the cameras that contained no numbers. That guy is as phony as his spray-on tan!
Yeah, they are so utterly childish and ridiculous. But you and I and everyone else know that what they're really opposing is ANYTHING Obama looks favorably upon. This conservative bloc does not deserve to be on the public payroll in the least!

TomCat said...

Jack, a great idea, but I can't help. I do not have a single Repuglican representative. Both Senators and my rep are Democrats as are my Governor, State Senator, and State Rep. Catch up, people! ;-)