There is such a thing as “constituent service,” but it’s hardly a priority these days:
[W]hen you go home from work for six weeks — although the assorted members of Congress will doubtless engage in some campaigning and constituent service, so they’ll sort of work — you only do so if there’s nothing coming up in those six weeks that you think will require your immediate attention. So either President Trump is the greatest threat to the Republic since Jefferson Davis and must be stopped — in which case you stick around and maybe heft a bale or two in the cause of stopping him — or you’re just making noises with your mouth in order to get you and people like you elected to office again by providing sound bites to stir up the people to pull the lever for you like the government-goodie-activated robots that they are.
You may say I’m a cynic, but I’m not the only one. Today’s Friary cynicism may be born of middle-aged grumpiness, but it was learned early on in one of the humblest of settings: newspaper coverage of small-town city and county government. It was there the belief in the idea of public officials as public servants ran smack into the idea of public officials as manipulative meatballs who would say whatever they needed to say and do whatever they needed to do in order to preserve these tiny little ponds in which they could pretend they were larger-than-average fish. And if those two “whatevers” were to oppose one another? So what.
What do we do about this?
We could say that we’d be better off if we threw them all out and started over. But the problem then would be that we’d be left with the people who want those jobs and already tried to get them. And failed.
Mark Twain concluded that “There is no distinctly American criminal class — except Congress.” Another argument for this approach, I’d say.