Thursday, September 29, 2011
The Lawyers Rule
By Alan Caruba
If one looks back over the history of the members of Congress, the occupation that dominates is lawyers. It is reasonable to assume that those in charge of making laws would attract those who practice it to public office.
I got to thinking about this while considering the current 112th Congress, one that has imposed Obamacare on an unwilling majority of the population with former Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, telling us that Congress had to pass this abomination in order to find out what was in it.
President Obama is a former lawyer with zero experience in the world of business and commerce. His current obsession is with “millionaires and billionaires.”
According to data from the Congressional Research Service, the dominant profession of Senators is law, followed by politics—also called “public service.” In the House, most members come from business, followed by public service, then law.
In the Senate, 49 had previous service in the House. In the House and Senate, 81 members were educators. There are two medical doctors in the Senate while the House has 15, plus two dentists, one veterinarian, one ophthalmologist, and one psychiatrist.
In the entire Congress, there is only one physicist, one chemist, six engineers, and one microbiologist.
Given the appalling financial condition of the nation, there are only seven accountants in the House and two in the Senate.
There are only five current members of Congress who served in the military Reserves, three in the House and two in the Senate. Four are current members in the National Guard; three in the House and one in the Senate. Four Representatives and one Senator are graduates of the U.S. Military Academy. Two Senators and one Representative are graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy.
In the 112th Congress, the Senate has a former comedian.
The 112th Congress has tossed aside its primary function to address the financial stability of the nation by authorizing a “super committee”, equally divided between Republicans and Democrats despite the fact that Republicans control the House where the authorization of all funding is a Constitutional mandate and the Democrats control the Senate by a bare majority of one vote.
There is extreme partisanship in both houses of Congress because the nation is sharply divided along liberal and conservative political preferences regarding its proper governance.
The 2010 elections moved the House in the direction of conservatism. For forty years Democrats controlled the Congress until the 1994 elections gave power to Republicans. It has seesawed back and forth since then, but both parties did little to address the issue of “entitlements”, Social Security and Medicare, or the looming housing mortgage crisis that imploded in 2008.
The 2008 election gave the nation its first president who, despite flowing rhetoric about bringing together the opposing factions in Congress, has not served from a center-left position, but has plunged totally into a far Left takeover of large portions of the nation’s economy from health to auto manufacturing to financial services.
For those who despair of the present and future, it is worth noting that the Founding Fathers created a Constitution that was designed to deliberately slow down the process of legislation with checks and balances that included presidential veto powers and a Supreme Court to determine issues of constitutionality.
The last time the nation was this divided, it fought a Civil War over the issues of slavery and states rights. This time, Americans are patiently waiting for the 2012 national elections to vote in a new president and rearrange the seating charts in Congress to favor conservative legislators. Who says so? All the polls.
The Tea Party movement was the direct result of the rejection of Obamacare which has been repealed in the House and is headed to the Supreme Court. The uncertainty surrounding it continues to have a profound and negative affect on the economy.
Like moths to a candle, the power vested in Congress has drawn lawyers as the group most interested in holding high office. That remains the case today and raises the question of how a group of men and women trained to lie on behalf of their clients can be trusted to make informed and intelligent decisions about the conduct of the nation’s affairs.
“It has been said that Democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried”, said Winston Churchill. In a private moment, he is quoted as having said, “Americans can always be relied upon to do the right thing — after they have exhausted all other remedies.”
We have been exhausted by the socialism of past Congresses and the remedies that President Obama has tried to impose on an unwilling nation. It is time to do the right thing.
© Alan Caruba, 2011