Thursday, March 13, 2014

Quality Time

Earlier this month, NV-04 G-O-TEA hopeful Niger Innis fell into some very hot water over comments he made about making "the ultimate sacrifice" when he decided to run for Congress. Hello, when did a glorified paid vacation become "the ultimate sacrifice"? And what made this comment sound even worse was the reminder of his party's "leadership" committing to an agenda of nothing. So far, the only sacrifices House Republican "leaders" are making involve burning sound policy at the stake.

Wouldn't it be nice if these politicians (especially the "TEA" drinking ones) could learn about real sacrifice? Perhaps they should try following the lead of Rep. Jackie Speier (D-California). Last month, she spent a night in a homeless shelter. And instead of lecturing the other guests there on "moral values", she listened to the stories they had to tell. And she learned about the real sacrifices they had to make just to survive.

While Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) blames poor lazy black people for poverty and extols the virtues of child starvation, he continues to neglect the reality of poverty in America. News flash: Poor people work hard. And those who aren't working can't find work.

Perhaps it would help if Rep. Ryan and other privileged Members of Congress take up Rep. Speier's challenge and spend some quality time with the underprivileged Americans who are bearing the brunt of the American austerity regime. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut) did. During the holidays, he spent a day with a homeless constituent and followed him as he looked for work and housing. This person was caught in a "Catch 22" situation where he couldn't find a job because he didn't have a home... And he couldn't find a home because he didn't have a job.

This Connecticut man lost his unemployment insurance (UI) when Congress failed to extend it. Even when Senator Dean Heller (R) and a few other Congressional Republicans urged their colleagues to pass UI extension, those G-O-TEA colleagues tried to filibuster it to death. And in doing so, they made life that much harder for the impoverished Americans Senator Murphy and Rep. Speier recently spent time with.

We can't help but wonder if more in Congress would be more responsive to the real needs of America if they were to follow the example set by Rep. Speier & Senator Murphy. It's almost inexplicable to think that it's taken this long for Senator Heller to reach a potential deal on UI extension. And it's completely inexcusable to think that Senator Harry Reid (D) had to shame his & Heller's Republican colleagues until just enough of them agreed to #RenewUI.

This is the least we can do for those who have the most to lose. And it's too bad & so sad that so many on Capitol Hill fail to realize this. While they're cozying up to the Koch-topus of dirty money, they fail to notice their own constituents, especially the ones who may not have enough money to pay the rent and buy groceries.

We can't help but wonder what would happen if more of those G-O-TEA politicians were to step away from Capitol Hill more often to see how all the rest of us are living. Would it have taken them this long to realize what all of us knew from the start?

No comments:

Post a Comment