(Article changed on February 6, 2013 at 17:30)
There are almost no words by which to describe this current U.S. Congress but stench and cesspool seem to fit quite well. From the ruthless, despicable Republicans to the cowardly, spineless Democrats (with some exceptions) it is a disgrace to our democracy. Ethics and integrity have no place in this institution infested with corruption, deceit and twisted political ideologies.
Look at those who currently occupy positions of leadership in this Congress; Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, and Eric Cantor. Does anyone think that these pathetic politicians are the best and the brightest that America can offer? These are the pseudo-leaders of the "Do Nothing" Congress. They might better be described as what's left at the bottom of the barrel; it's spelled d-r-e-g-s.
Then we have the Tea Party segment of the Republican Party, closely aligned with the Koch Brothers; a party that despises government and disagrees with everything it is does but doesn't have a clue on how to do it better. This party should have been named after the "Know Nothing Party" of the 1850's. Its views are so extreme that even Republican Party regulars, those who we have labeled conservative wingnuts, can't figure out how to deal with them.
The Blue Dog Democrats are those who we might refer to as closet Republicans because they represent Republican controlled districts and, to retain their jobs, they often align themselves with the GOP. A list of the current group of 14 Blue Dogs U.S. Representatives who currently serve in the House can be found at this link. The Senate Democratic membership doesn't include Blue Dogs per se, but there are those who closely resemble them.
How about those war hawks and chicken hawks, led by Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham? These are people who learned absolutely nothing from the military debacles of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan; and now they, along with the Israeli government, are thirsting to attack Iran. The facilitation of war is in their blood, it's an obsession and addiction -- they are very comfortable with wars as long as other Americans fight them.
The U.S. Senate is the place where innovative ideas and solutions to problems go to die. For example, the ban on assault weapons was initiated in 1994 and died in 2004 when it was not renewed. When Obamacare was being readied for passage, the public option, which would have created a form of universal health care, was cast aside by, believe it or not, the Democrats and President Obama. The real beneficiaries were the insurance companies who gained millions of new customers. And, of course, we are fully aware of how Republicans have used the filibuster as a weapon to kill numerous legislative attempts to create jobs.
The Senate is simply not representative of this democracy; there are 100 senators, two from each of the fifty states. California with a population of 38 million and New York with a population of 19.5 million each have two senators. Idaho and North Dakota with populations of 1.6 million and 700,000 respectively, also have two senators. That's not democratic representation, it's a backward system that gives small states the very same power and the same influence as the largest states. In this system, the majority does not rule and one senator from one tiny state can block or filibuster critically important legislation.