There are not many ways in which I agree with Michelle Bachmann, in much the same way that there are not many ways in which I could relate to a giant squid. This stems mostly from Bachmann’s predictably tenuous grip on reality, as well as her propensity to lunge to the far right at the sight of any issue and the collection of historically extremist positions that she totes around in a big ol’ grab-bag of crazy. But – and this is a sentence I never thought I’d write – she has had a good idea.
In response to Obama’s preposterous and horribly-timed decision to issue Congress a pay raise through executive order at the very end of December, Bachmann proposed legislation to rescind the pay increase. As reported by the Huffington Post, she said:
And it would be this: When there is massive uncertainty, unfinished business, he would decide, that he would unilaterally give a pay increase to the United States Congress, exactly when the public is uncertain and doesn’t know what’s going to happen. Will their taxes go up? Will they no longer be recipients of a spending program? And so now Congress is going to get a spending increase?
This was a cynical, planned move, Mr. Speaker, on the part of our president. He brought great drama to this effort. Unnecessary drama. Because you see this House of Representatives already did the job to avert the fiscal cliff. We did this work. It was completed last August. We said that no one’s taxes need to go up. And we were able to offset any spending cuts. The work was done.
I cannot know or understand – or, really, fathom – the intricacies of the inside baseball involved in stipulating a Congressional pay raise, or the circumstances that would necessitate one. So I took this news the way any layman would: at face value, and thus badly. Very badly. Seeing as how Obama neglected to divulge the “merit” on which the raise was based – which would have surely been laughable – it stands as a despicable aberration in, and revolt against, the universally-accepted laws of common sense, decency, prudence, physics, karma, and space-time. The aforementioned laws, which almost everyone is genetically predisposed to understand innately, stipulate, among other things, a few natural, iron-clad truths. One of them, near the top, says very clearly that ridiculously poor job performance should never be rewarded. Common sense, right? Everyone knows this without thinking about it. Average job performance should be rewarded with an average salary, while excellent performance should be rewarded with a raise. Poor performance should be given time to improve, and if it does not, should be rewarded with a demotion, a pay cut, or a dismissal of the employee. The despicable, disgusting, infuriating, reprehensible, continuous, and worsening job performance we’ve seen from the 112th Congress – which is in the process of slithering into the ether of history as the least productive session in more than six decades, and has attained a deserved 18 percent approval rating – and by which it has been judged almost as useful to the American people as a lifetime supply of ear candles, should be rewarded with, if anything, definitely nothing more than a lifetime supply of ear candles. They should certainly not be receiving a pay raise for, at best, a nearly unprecedented dereliction of duty. Just common sense.
And the worst thing about it is, this situation has forced me to write the following sentence: Michelle Bachmann – along with a growing number of Congresspeople – is right, and I support her idea.