The 112th Congress: Bang and Whimper
WORST CONGRESS EVER.
Seriously, the 112th Congress came to a close today and as we have learned it was the least productive congress in over half a century. That might be the silver lining for this Tea Party dominated Congress – its complete inability to do anything but rename post offices kept the United States from returning to the gold standard or nuking the UN’s Headquarters.
Of course, no one leaves this Congress smelling worse than America’s cat-herd in chief, John Boehner. Even Mitt Romney looks like a skilled politician compared to Boehner, who managed mostly to shepherd his caucus from one PR disaster to another. Indeed, given the mix of out-sized personalities and demented, self-destructive tendencies of the Tea Partier that dominated this Congress, the 112th would have been better run by Kardashian Momager Kris Jenner than John Boehner. At least we could have gotten a signature fragrance out of it!
The recent deal to avert the Fiscal Cliff was really the cherry on top though. Ezra Klein suggested today in Bloomberg that this Congress was like “Wile E. Coyote with his endless supply of Acme products” and when the Republican leadership “set a trap, the only sure bet was that it would explode in its collective face,” which is exactly how the fiscal cliff played out. Republicans got nothing they wanted and nearly all the blame. And, best of all, in the process Boehner managed to tell his negotiating partner Sen. Harry Reid to “go fuck himself” (Republicans have a long tradition of telling Democrats to go fuck themselves. Most recently, we saw Vice President Dick Cheney engaged Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) in this time-honored tradition, which dates back to 1894 when Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge (R-MA) told Sen. Zebulon Vance (D-NC) to “sally forth and thus unto himself perform the dubious act of self-coitous.”)
So this is how our first ever Tea Party dominated Congress is going out: not with a bang, but with a whimper. The Fiscal Cliff deal kicked the can of spending cuts and the debt ceiling down the road (allowing for ~hooray~ another spending crisis!) and a lot of these fools like Allen West can say they spent their one term in Congress accomplishing little more than savaging small amounts of discretionary spending and, umm, letting taxes go up?
113th Congress, you couldn’t have come any sooner…