The pick of the litter

5 Nov

Those that measure such things say this current Congress is the most divided and dysfunctional ever.
We tend to agree.

There’s enough blame to pass around, but one list is floating around the Internet that points out eight who have done more than their fair share to make things the way they are.

We present someone else’s idea of the eight worst congressional members in 2012 from both parties.

Michele Bachmann
Minnesota

Listing all of Bachmann’s conspiracy theories, loopy misstatements, and outright lies is impossible in the space we have available. Now Bachmann has her first serious opponent — a self-made businessman who accurately says that Bachmann “epitomizes everything that’s wrong with Congress and this country — a lack of civility, a lack of bipartisan or nonpartisan approaches to problem solving.” Bachmann is like the crazy uncle in every family. Voters like her around because she’s entertaining.
Everyone thinks she’ll win re-election.

Steve King
Iowa

People in Iowa are known for their manners their civility, intelligence, and common sense. That makes one wonder how Steve King ever got in office. The guy has claimed that Joe McCarthy was an “American hero,” he was the only congressman to refuse to recognize the role of slaves in building the US Capitol, defended Joe Wilson and dog-fighting, doubled down on claims that Hilary Clinton aide Huma Abedin is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, voted against Katrina-relief funding, or spoke out against Hurricane Sandy-relief funding, The guy is an affront to reason. Four years ago, he also predicted that if President Obama were elected president, “then al Qaeda, the radical Islamists, and their supporters, will be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on September 11th because they will declare victory in this War on Terror.”
His re-election is a toss-up.

Laura Richardson
California

Sometimes political goodbyes are said with pity and disgust rather than anger. That applies to Laura Richardson, who is just not very good at her job. She seems to have a hard time keeping her own life in order let alone looking out for the best interests of her constituents. She got a sweetheart deal on a house then didn’t make her payments or provide basic upkeep. Neighbors are not happy. She’s accused of taking an undisclosed loan from a strip-club owner. She raised only $7,000 in the last quarter and was scolded by the House Committee on Ethics for using congressional staff to try to infiltrate an opponent’s campaign and then obstructing the investigation, which she claimed was racially motivated. Her staffers have accused her of “attempts to intimidate them on a regular basis.” Richardson is running against a fellow Democrat, Janice Hahn, thanks to California’s top-two primary format.
She’ll probably lose.

Louie Gohmert
Texas

This guy is a terrible congressmen. His speeches range from birther conspiracies and “death-panel” fantasies to talking about “terror babies” and comparing the president to Hitler. Gohmert hangs out with Michele Bachmann and Steve King. As nutty as he is, his Texas district hasn’t put up the kind any serious competitors so his insult-comedy routine will most likely go on.
Looks like he’ll win.

Scott DesJarlais
Tennessee

Hypocrisy is the unforgivable sin in politics, and freshman Representative Scott DesJarlais from Tennessee shot himself to the top of the sleazebag list. It started when it was discovered that the anti-abortion advocate had in fact pressured a mistress to get an abortion while he was still married to his wife. What makes it even worse is that the one-time doctor met his mistress when she was his patient. When tapes of their incriminating conversation came to light, DesJarlais immediately played the victim, calling the information an attempt at “character assassination.”
What will happen?
It’s a toss up.

Jesse Jackson Jr.
Illinois

We’ve talked about this Chicago congressman before. He clearly needs help and he’s entered a second stint at the Mayo Clinic to receive it. What’s unclear is why he should be reelected to what has become a no-show job. Jackson’s been MIA from work in Congress for months. His treatment for bipolar disorder is no laughing matter — the healing process requires time and space and respect — but the treatment he needs shouldn’t detract or distract from his constituents’ right to active representation. The possibility that he was wrapped up in the Rod Blagojevich scandal doesn’t do much to increase confidence in his capacity. But Jackson is nonetheless cruising toward reelection without campaigning because of a safe district and a famous last name. His place on this list is not made lightly – is a common-sense request. Get the help he needs and then run again for his seat if he still feel he can actively contribute to Congress. Otherwise, do something else.
There’s a world of possibilities outside Washington.

Joe Walsh
Illinois

This guy isn’t ready for prime time. Walsh loves to be in front of TV cameras, and his loose lips keep getting the Tea Party freshman in trouble. For example, his opponent, Tammy Duckworth, lost both legs serving in Iraq — but Walsh has criticized her for talking too much about her war record, questioning whether Duckworth is “a true hero” because she speaks so often about her wartime service. He ran on a platform of personal responsibility and then settled with his ex-wife who claimed he owed more than $115,000 in child support. He also took heat for defending his opposition to abortion in all cases by saying that “There’s no such exception as ‘life of the mother’”, saying advances in science and medicine have changed all that. Doctors disagree. Walsh has become a personal lightening rod who’s the wrong fit for his Illinois district.
He’ll probably keep his seat.

Alan Grayson
Florida

This former congressman is running for his old post after being dumped in the 2010 midterm elections. He gets on this list based on seniority. Grayson is beloved by some on the far left as a no-holds-barred fighter, but his steady string of ugly incitements. Examples are comparing Republicans to Neanderthals and Nazis, and referring to a senior official at the Fed as a “K-Street Whore”. Then there are his far-over-the-line ads calling his opponent “Taliban Dan”. All of that are part of the problem in our politics, a poisonous influence who will only further polarize the next Congress — precisely the opposite direction we need to move in as a nation, no matter who is elected president.

You can add your favorites in the comments.

Don’t forget to vote tomorrow.

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