Eight Reasons Why Congress Offers the Worst Job in America

Welcome to a life of mooching, meetings, and trying not to get caught making out with your aides.

"Even members of Congress hate Congress," says an aide. "It's just that they each believe themselves to be the exception to the rule. Congress is not a team with a collective identity. It's a collection of individuals guided almost exclusively by ruthless self-interest."

1. The least among you will get the most attention.

In one sense, "Congress is a microcosm of the country," says former representative Bartlett. "There's going to be 15 to 20 percent who do nothing, 15 to 20 percent who do everything, and the rest in between."

Former congressman Tom Tancredo: "As I drove to work, I'd get a knot in my stomach, and it would just start to grow."
Former congressman Tom Tancredo: "As I drove to work, I'd get a knot in my stomach, and it would just start to grow."
Connie Morella:  "Children had to sacrifice to be in political families."
Connie Morella: "Children had to sacrifice to be in political families."

The problem is that those who do nothing are celebrated the most.

To be a fixture of the green room requires special bombast. You'll need tales of villainy. High-decibel outrage. A prevailing sense of victimhood. If you can't do it with a straight face, forget about making Sean Hannity's guest list.

The same skills apply to courting donors. "One of the ways you raise money is by appearing to be very adamant and unforgiving," says Bob Graham. "The more strident you are, the more likely you are to be successful in the financial returns."

Yet ceaseless shrieking, as you may have guessed, can make you deeply unpopular with colleagues. They may name a post office after your ex-wife.

"A successful member of Congress is not going to talk like Rush Limbaugh, blasting away," says Bartlett. "There are some members who do, but they're not going to be successful. If you're attacking all the time, maybe you incite the crowd, but not many members are going to vote with you."

Yet as Tancredo tells it, a good chunk of Congress is perfectly happy being hostile to success — as long as they can moonlight as TV pundits. You still get the private sauna, the small army of supplicants, and powerful people gathering outside your door, waiting to bathe you in flattery and tribute.

"That was the most aggravating thing, looking around and seeing so many people who just wanted to be in Congress," Tancredo says. "You got your paycheck. You got your perks. What the hell? It's better than driving a cab."

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4 comments
DRAKEMALLARD.0
DRAKEMALLARD.0 topcommenter


The fat cats in DC need to cut their OWN salaries, benefits and
pensions while they are at it. I know, I won’t be holding my breath for
that one!!. (They vote on their own raises, healthcare, and pension
plans, and we are left with the bill) while millions of Americans saw their incomes decrease, their job opportunities dissipate and their home values drop as the economy dipped, the 535 men and women they elected to represent them in the U.S. Congress were not only shielded from the economic downturn but  gained during it. The average American’s net worth has dropped 8 percent during the past six years, while members of Congress got, on average, 15 percent richer, according to a New York Times analysis of financial disclosure. The median net worth of members of Congress  is about $913,000, compared with about $100,000 for the country at large, the Times’ analysis found 

miss4588
miss4588

So how come the writer left out the most important part where you come in penniless and leave a mullti- multi-millionaire?

edisontvteacher
edisontvteacher

Now lemme get this straight: people are supposed to read this and agree that becoming a politician, a US Representative in particular, is a crappy job. Presenting the work of legislating as downright disgusting is certainly going to have a positive influence on a population already fed up with the process of lawmaking. As two of our most important jobs go down the tubes--teaching and legislating--where does that leave us as a society and nation?

DRAKEMALLARD.0
DRAKEMALLARD.0 topcommenter

@edisontvteacher 

 
There's a reason for this, there's a reason education sucks, and it's the same reason it will never ever ever be fixed. It's never going to get any better. Don't look for it. Be happy with what you've got... because the owners of this country don’t want that. I'm talking about the real owners now... They’ve long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, the city halls. They got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies, so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying. Lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I’ll tell you what they don’t want. They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking.

George Carlin

 
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