Quote of the Day: Congress and its Discontents

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In an interview with Ezra Klein, car czar Steve Rattner tells us what he thinks about America’s lawmakers:

EK: Tell me about dealing with the Congress.

SR: When you actually deal with them to try and get something done? It’s impossible. It is so divisive, so parochial and so petty. If you look at the auto rescue, the only time Congress really got involved was over the dealers. Here we are, laying off thousands of workers and restructuring these companies, and the only thing that animated Congress was the dealers. In terms of the body as a whole, they were just obstructionists.

I think that if we didn’t have TARP, the whole economy could have imploded before Congress figured out what to do. They hated TARP because it gave the Treasury a $700 billion check, but it wouldn’t have worked any other way. I think every president gets tagged negatively by the American public for things that really, they should be tagging Congress for. Everyone talks on the morning talk shows about the president’s approval rating, it’s 45 or 44 or 46, and Congress is 22. People should be focused on Congress. It’s really important. It’s not on top of the Hill by coincidence. It’s not Article I of the Constitution by coincidence.

I recommend we replace them all with a randomly selected bunch of sixth graders. They might not get any more done, but at least they’d be better behaved.

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This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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