Getting Congress To Compromise

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Editor:

This solution might be a little “tongue in cheek,” but I bet it would work!

Here goes. Let’s send all of the enemy combatants to the Illinois prison. That would put a bunch of our citizens to work.

Now, since Congress just loves junkets, I propose giving them one. Let’s put them all (including VP Biden) on an Air Force C5A cargo plane and give them a free trip to Guantanamo. On the plane ride there they would have to alternate seats, Republican, Democrat, Independent, etc. — that way they could get to know each other a little better. They could even look at pictures of each other’s kids/grandkids — talk about a kumaya moment.

Now, when they get to Guantanamo, they will live the lifestyle the enemy combatants did — eat the same food, an hour a day of exercise, sleep in the same beds, etc. The rest of their days would be spent conducting the business of Congress, writing laws, setting budgets — you know, the mundane stuff we hired them to do (like a balanced budget, fixing Social Security and Medicare without using accounting gimmicks, banking and Wall Street reform, equal health care for all, earmark reform, lobbyist reform, etc).

Only this time we would expect results — a little compromising would be a requirement. Here’s how compromising would be encouraged: If a subcommittee would meet and then vote along party lines, they would be water boarded. Now some people might think this is a harsh measure, but a large group of Congress categorically denies it is torture and besides I would insist they get five-star treatment, we would only use Perrier water.

I’d be willing to bet that none of them would last as long as the enemy combatants before they would decide that maybe compromising might be a good idea. Oh, by the way, the laws they write would have to be in English that we could read and understand, with no earmarks, and something less than 2,000 pages long.

Since all good junkets have to come to an end sometime, after six months I would let the American people vote on the job Congress is doing and since they seem to be so enamored with filibuster (super majority) rules, I would require that it would take a 60 percent majority vote that they have done a good job before they could come home. If the vote comes in at less than 60 percent then they get to extend their junket another six months. Think of all the pompous sound bites that we would miss every day — from Congress and Rush (right) and Rachael (left).

Dean Martinson

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