Go home, Congress

The Buffalo News - - OPINION - Pitts­burgh Post-Gazette

CRAW­FORD NOTCH, N.H. – Ye are a fac­tious crew, and en­e­mies to all good govern­ment. Ye are a pack of mer­ce­nary wretches, and would, like Esau, sell your coun­try for a mess of pot­tage, and like Ju­das be­tray your God for a few pieces of money. Is there a sin­gle virtue now re­main­ing amongst you? Is there one vice you do not pos­sess? on the left as well as on the right have cited across the gen­er­a­tions. To­day’s cit­i­zen law­mak­ers, if in fact that is what they are, need to be ex­posed to the rest of the cit­i­zenry as of­ten, and as deeply, as pos­si­ble, and an­other two weeks in Wash­ing­ton is not the pre­scrip­tion they need.

I can­not re­press from my mem­ory a re­mark from a mem­ber of the in­ner cir­cle of the late Gov. Mario M. Cuomo of New York, an­other du­ti­ful soul who, on a speech visit to Dis­ney World in Florida, spent the en­tire time in a ho­tel room with the blinds closed. The great­est char­ac­ter flaw Cuomo had, this as­so­ci­ate said, was that he never took a va­ca­tion.

The point here is that the na­tion’s law­mak­ers would be bet­ter served by spend­ing some time in moun­tain­side con­tem­pla­tion or lake­side leisure – both avail­able here, in the moun­tains of New Hamp­shire – than by spend­ing an ad­di­tional fort­night hear­ing mind-numbing leg­isla­tive mum­bo­jumbo, fight­ing over rules of or­der, ful­mi­nat­ing at ca­ble hosts, ob­sess­ing over pres­i­den­tial tweets and prepar­ing state­ments seek­ing to ex­plain the in­ex­pli­ca­ble to the in­cred­u­lous.

Nor would it hurt mem­bers of Congress to walk the streets of their home­towns and en­counter the mem­bers of the pub­lic who sent them to Wash­ing­ton only to see them bicker among them­selves and be­lit­tle each other. Yes, they just re­cently had a re­cess. But truly they can­not be amid the peo­ple too of­ten.

So, mem­bers of Congress: Take a swim. Take a hike. Awaken to the sun­rise and gaze at the sun­set. Hold a town meet­ing or two, and keep your ears, and your mind, open. Lis­ten, too, to Cromwell: “Go, get you out! Make haste! Ye ve­nal slaves be gone! So! Take away that shin­ing bauble there, and lock up the doors. In the name of God, go!”

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