Stein finds people who (sort of) like Congress

Joel Stein’s latest TIME column involved the difficult task of finding people who actually like the job Congress is doing.

Once he found some volunteers, you might not be surprised to learn why those people like our federal government’s legislative branch:

I eventually found five people, two of whom wouldn’t let me print their names because they didn’t want people to know they think Congress is O.K. I’ve printed the names of pornographers, music pirates who were being hunted by the FBI, writers for the Weekly World News, men who get Botox and the woman who’s married to me. But these people I could not convince.

We met for brunch at the Alcove Cafe. Three of the five were Tea Party enthusiasts. “A Congress that doesn’t get anything done delights me,” said CongressLover1, a doctor who was afraid his patients would leave him if they knew he liked the work of the American government. Janet Fuchs, a housewife with a Ph.D., said, “I might be the only person who was happy when Newt Gingrich shut down the government.” I wondered whether liking Congress because it can’t get anything done counts as approval, until I realized I could not afford to be picky.

Worse yet, when I returned to our table after picking up beverages, all five were complaining about Congress. They talked about pork-barrel spending, lobbyists and how Representatives are constantly running for office instead of governing. This was the kind of discussion I could have had simply by sitting at any other table in the restaurant.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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