Go home, Congress
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!”