Suggestions on How We Should Treat Our Congressmen
Eh. That sounds hard, and I don't think it's really necessary. It's not like being a legislator is some super complex job we need the best of the best for. Most of the job is voting yes or no on bills as the representative's district wants (or Obama's favorite, voting "present," if yes or no is too hard). You could literally teach a dog to do it, and the dog would probably be more reliable and listen to us better.
But the Constitution says you have to be twenty-five to be a representative and thirty to be a senator, so it's pretty unlikely you're going to find dogs that old (what did the Founding Fathers have against dogs?). And since being a legislator is a pretty simple job, it's not like we need smart, upstanding citizens for it; we're comfortable with felons doing certain simple jobs, like making license plates and cleaning the sides of roads. The big difference is that we need people to watch over them and for them to understand their place in the scheme of things. The reason we have people like Rangel dodging tax laws and Bob Etheridge shaking kids who ask him questions is that they think they're above other people, when really the complete opposite is true.
The first thing we need to do, when someone becomes a legislator, is to give him a number, and that's how we know him. Instead of Representative John Smith, he's now Representative 24601. And instead of suits, representatives will wear nice assigned jumpsuits; they don't have to be bright orange, but they should allow us to easily identify these people who plan to spend all our money so we know to be careful around them. And we’ll treat them all just like known mafia members; we don't have the evidence to send them to prison just yet, but we'll keep the FBI constantly on their tail and looking because we're sure they're up to something.
And to help with that, they'll all wear ankle bracelets, so we'll know where they are at all times, and every place they go will be bugged so everyone will know what they're doing and who they're talking to and what they're saying. You want to spend trillions of dollars of other people's money, the tradeoff is that you lose all rights to privacy … though there will probably have to be some exceptions to that for classified briefings (but is it really wise to be giving these people important classified information?). And if we ever catch a legislator doing anything illegal, he automatically gets double the maximum sentence. They make the laws, so we should hit them even harder if they break them.
It's pretty simple: We treat all legislators like lying crooks, because they self-identified as such by running for office; normal people don't desire to spend other people's money. Right now, being a representative or a senator is a high-paying, prestigious job that any idiot could do (and some exceptional idiots have done it for years), but if there were a few more drawbacks to being a legislator, maybe the worst of them would stay away. And if they don’t, at least maybe they'll stay in line more if we let them know we consider them to be the worst of the worst and are keeping an eye on them. Then perhaps they'll listen to those of us who really are supposed to be in charge in this country, the ones who actually work for a living.
This is America: We don't let tyrants push us around; we push them around. It’s time we remember that.