Friday, December 08, 2006

The Work Week

This is in response to this post, over at Consul-@-Arms.

While the sentiments of this post are right-on, it's still not a good idea to have congress sit around in DC all week. Most of the congressmen go home on the weekend - not just to hang out with their families, but to check into regional offices on Friday, and then attend events all weekend. Obviously this isn't true for the Alaskan and Hawaiian reps, but you'd be surprised how many west coast congressmen go back to their districts. This is a good thing, for three reasons.

First, they need to be with their consitutants.

Second, the longer they're in washington, the longer the lobbyists know exactly where to find them. This also places them outside of the more watchful eyes found back home.

Third, it just isn't a good idea for congress to spend more time making laws - have you seen what they've done already? I mean, do you really want them to do more of this "work"?

I'm actually a fan of a decentralized congress - one where the representatives work from their home districts. This is easily possible with available technology, and will be even easier as more effective video technology comes into play. This spreads the representatives out and makes them a more difficult target for two different kinds of vultures - terrorists (or rather, the issue is security in general) and Lobbyists. You only need to visit the capital once to know that the national teamster's union is but a block away, along with many, many other groups that vie for the attention of our representatives.

Many people say that spreading the congress out will not help them get work done, and would in fact make it harder to do any worthwhile legislation. While I've already mentioned that less is more from the congress, in my opinion, this is actually a valid point. However, every representative we elect is quite capable of getting things done through e-mails and phone calls instead of face to face contact. They may not be the smartest members of society, but they are certainly capable. (as are their staffs)

So, don't be so quick to disparage the three day work many ways it's a good thing.

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