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Robert Brustein Headshot

Busy Obama, Lazy Congress

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Since his presidency began, and as of June 14, 2014, President Barack Obama will have made 36 international trips to 47 different countries, in addition to the Vatican and the West Bank. This, in addition to his frequent visits to domestic sites such as tornado and hurricane disaster areas, not to mention such institutions as the West Point Academy, Andrews Air Force Base, the Worcester Technical High School, and local bars and restaurants, makes him the busiest president in American history.

By contrast, the 111th Congress may be be the laziest political body in American history. For the past six years, it has been composed of no-accounts who collect huge sums from the government (not to mention free handouts from large corporations and wealthy businessmen) without doing any work besides campaigning for their second term. This Congressional session will break records for the number of bills it has not passed, the presidential appointments it has not approved, the political advances it has tried to reverse. No wonder Obama is now governing largely by executive order. The shiftless good-for-nothings in the House often don't even show up for their jobs, letting their empty seats collect dust, while tooling around in federally-financed limos blaring Church music through open windows.

As for the Senate, its main activity now is filibustering. Filibuster is a term derived from the Spanish "filibustero" (or privateer, pirate, robber) -- in other words, a kind of black market verbosity that substitutes for persuasive speechifying. Americans did not work all their lives to see their hard-earned tax dollars lining the pockets of political rappers, or providing free tea to the Mad Hatters on the Hill. Like a lot of law-abiding taxpayers, I don't think these welfare cheats should be supported any longer by honest, patriotic Americans. I realize this may sound like racism, but when you compare President Obama's dedicated example with the parasitical weakness of the 111th mostly-white Congress, you begin to wonder whether Caucasians still have the energy to tote that barge or lift that bale.