19 May 2007

You Bring the Dog, I'll Get the Pony

One-term Congressman Chris Murphy is in the news this week calling for an independent, nonpartisan, citizens panel to "vet, initiate, and conduct Congressional investigations" (Muprhy Press Release 5/16/2007). Dirk Perrefort of the Danbury News-Times quoted Rep. Murphy as saying, "We have to make members of Congress accountable for their actions."


Mr. Murphy's inititative sounds so simple that you would think someone would have already thought of it. As it turns out of course, someone already did and they wrote it in here, the United States Constitution. The fine folks who came together to enshrine a new nation were about 200 years ahead of Mr. Murphy when they wrote that the people of the United States should get together every other year, whether they wanted to or not, and vote on their leaders. Murphy called the idea an independent, bipartisan panel of citizens to hold Members of Congress accountable. The Founding Fathers called them elections.

And you know, its not a bad thing. The good people of this country are already seeing through the empty rhetoric promises that Congressional Democrats made in order to get elected. Remember that favored "100 Hours" talking point from 2006? When Americans headed to the polls on Election Day 2006 to send Democrats to Washington, they thought they were getting folks who were going to change the tenor and roll up their sleeves. Instead, the "100 Hours" was subjected to a fresh coat of paint reminiscent of Squealer. Instead of ethics and honesty, the House Democrats this week tried to change 185 year old rules so that their Members don't have to actually vote for their tax hikes. Instead of solutions and results, a whopping 29% of Americans approve of the job that Congress is doing.

Back here in the Constitution State, we've got the Democratic Leadership in the General Assembly proposing a whole host of new taxes and calling it a tax cut - as long as you don't shop on the Internet, buy clothes, or die. Speaker Amann has only reluctantly, and with much pontificating, given up on shaking down lobbyists for cash. Hartford Mayor Perez can't stay on the right side of election laws. It seems that too often, the folks that are in power in this nation and in this state have grown far too comfortable with the power they wield. Republicans at the national level did, and we paid a heavy price for it. At home here in Connecticut, its high time for some serious accountability. Sluggish job growth, a strained transportation system, and high health care and energy costs are heavy burdens on the state's vitality. And what are Legislative Democrats working on? In-state tuition for illegal immigrants.

As for Mr. Murphy's suggestion, it all seems to be a bit of a dog and pony show to "propose" empowering independent citizens to hold Members of Congress accountable. But not to worry, Congressman - we'll be sure to hold you accountable for your actions next November.