No, this is not a book plug.
But it is a column about a new book called, “Confessions of Congressman X.”
I don’t think you need to buy it and read, though go ahead if what I am about to tell you represents a revelation to you.
An unidentified Democratic member of Congress has written a tell-all tome about the worst parts of serving in the House of Representatives – among them that his main job is to raise money for re-election leaving no time to read the bills he votes on.
What does Congressman X have to say?
- “Most of my colleagues are dishonest career politicians who revel in the power and special-interest money that’s lavished upon them.”
- “My main job is to keep my job, to get reelected. It takes precedence over everything.”
- “Fundraising is so time consuming, I seldom read any bills I vote on. Like many of my colleagues, I don’t know how the legislation will be implemented, or what it’ll cost.”
- “Voters are incredibly ignorant and know little about our form of government and how it works.”
- “It’s far easier than you think to manipulate a nation of naive, self-absorbed sheep who crave instant gratification.”
- “We spend money we don’t have and blithely mortgage the future with a wink and a nod. Screw the next generation.”
- “It’s about getting credit now, lookin’ good for the upcoming election.”
Is the book for real?
I have no idea, but what I can tell you from 40 years of covering politics from Sacramento to Washington, it’s TRUE – every bit of it. I don’t know anything about the authenticity of the book. I don’t know if it’s an artful work of fiction designed to further outrage voters or whether is it a clever, risk-free way of making some of the money a real-life Democratic Party member of Congress “needs” to keep his job.
But I do know that these are not merely sensational allegations. The quotes above may be made up, but they are exactly what I have heard from dozens of other members of Congress over the years. I also heard it from state legislators in California before that.
If you want to read a genuinely real account of this problem, you should get “What Makes You Think We Read the Bills?” by H.L. “Bill” Richardson, a long-time member of the California Legislature and founder of Gun Owners of America. He also challenged former U.S. Sen. Alan Cranston for his seat in 1974. He was something of a mentor for me as a young journalist. What he told me made total sense. He was forthright, a visionary and honest.
Of course members of legislative bodies don’t read the bills they “write” and upon which they deliberate and vote.
No. 1, there’s just too much legislation introduced to read it all. Most of it is junk. Most of it is intended to fool voters into thinking legislators are working on their behalf. Most of it is intended to empower government at the expense of citizens. Most of it represents ways to confiscate your wealth.
No. 2, almost all of it represents a diminishment of your individual liberty and personal rights.
Not only do they not read the bills, they don’t write the bills. That’s the job of staff, usually with the help of lobbyists. Sometimes, it’s the job of lobbyists with the help of staff.
But my point it, you don’t really have to read this new book. The Cliff Notes version I just gave you is all you need to know. It’s all I need to know.
Washington is not part of the solution to our problems. It’s the problem.
What we need to do is to limit its power as the Constitution requires.
Then we could chuck out 95 percent of all the legislation before any of it ever came to a vote.
Media wishing to interview Joseph Farah, please contact [email protected].