During the month of December, five of our honorable United States senators were jetting around the country doing everything they could to get people to not only vote, but to vote for them for their political parties' presidential nominations. While they were doing that, the United States Senate had 30 roll-call votes, some of them providing billions of dollars of appropriations for thousands of politically motivated pork-barrel projects.
Three of the four senators that are Democrats, Joseph Biden, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, missed 28 of the votes. The other Democrat, Christopher Dodd, and the Republican senator, John McCain, each missed 27 of the 30 votes.
But nothing was done to make sure these Senators came to work as provided for in Article I, Section 5 of the United States Constitution, which states: "Each House... may be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner, and under such penalties as each House may provide.".
The Hypocrisy: "Your vote is important because it gets me elected so that I can have a platform from which I can seek higher office, but my vote isn't important because being on the job to which I was elected could hinder my chances of achieving that higher office. After all, it's not about what is good for the country, it's about what is good for me and my party."
The Slight of Mouth: "If elected I promise to get rid of all of Washington's excessive pork-barrel spending and did not vote for any of the legislation that included that type of wasteful spending." (What goes unsaid is that they didn't vote against them, either).
The Quid Pro Quo: The current United States Senate, controlled by Democrats, is not going to exercise its Constitutional authority to "compel" its members to attend because if they do, the next time the Democrats do not control the Senate, the Republicans might seek retribution. It is more politically advantageous, to both parties, to allow its members to be absent when it comes time again to battle for control than it is to conduct the business of the federal government.
Is this country great or what? It is a place where you can not report to work, not do your job, and not only continue to get paid and not even get fired, but earn income and medical care for life.
Ted Hood Jr.
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