Frank Rich quotes historian Alan Brinkley who points out that Congress is entering its fourth decade in which it “has failed to deal with any major national problem from infrastructure to education.”
Rich, sometimes the master of understatement, goes on to observe that, “There is also a gaping leadership deficit. A closer look at either Pelosi or Reid shows that there is, not just a leadership vacuum; there is a gaping leadership hole down which meaningful legislation disappears to reemerge diluted to the point of nonexistence.
The Senate Majority Leader chair once occupied by Lyndon Johnson is now a child’s potty seat. Rich notes that Johnson was “able to transform a sleepy, seniority-hobbled, regionally polarized debating society into an often-progressive legislative factory.” And that was with a slim majority and a Republican in the White House.
Much as we may miss a Johnson at the Senate’s helm, the truth is we will never see the likes of him again until we wrest control of Congress away from its corporate masters. No member of Congress can hope to achieve a leadership role unless they have been vetted by the oligarchy.
The days of congressional leadership are over. Corporate managers of the Pelosi/Reid ilk have replaced them. These managers create nothing. Rather, they implement the assorted corporate policies mandated by their masters. And their masters are not going to allow a potentially strong leader near anything that resembles a position of power.
In his column, Rich implies that a repressed Congress is thwarting Obama’s raging, progressive hormones. The truth is that there ain’t none. Obama’s as repressed as Congress when it comes to bucking the country’s corporatacracy. His rhetoric is sound without fury. And that’s the best we can hope for until corporations are stripped of their personhood and constitutional rights.