Bush 34, Congressional Democrats 14

Worst. Congress. Ever.

Putting the Defense Authorization Bill on hold will surely help, though. Maybe they could have a slumber party or something.

The Democrats campaigned that they’d bring change to DC. We just didn’t know how soon it would take effect. We keep thinking ‘it can’t get any worse’, but then it does.


  1. In my mind, which is full of feverish, nut ball conspiracy theories, the Republicans purposely tried to keep the results of the Congressional election close. I don’t think they wanted to lose both houses, but I think they wanted the result to be close so they would have a good excuse not to do anything. After all, the same people own both parties. If they wanted something other than the status quo, they’d buy what they wanted from either party. Both have made it clear they’re more than willing to accommodate them. That’s why the Democrats were so hot to get back in power, not to change things (obviously) but to get first choice on the money being passed around. Not that they’re alone on that one. Here’s a nice story about that jerk loser Cunningham. They’re all that way.

  2. I beg to differ. Judging by results, clearly the worst American congress ever was ipso facto the one that passed the so-called ‘Declaration of Independence’. Clearly the misdeeds of the present one rest on the foundation erected by that, even if you do not acknowledge the self evident truth that the world as a whole would now be a far better place if only the British Empire had then prevailed, e.g. the ringbarking of British hegemony in the Middle East after Suez would not have occurred, nor would the collapse of the Baghdad Pact and all that followed from that – which includes both Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and today’s Iraq with each their several problems for themselves and for others. I do not contest that the USA itself would not be so well off – indeed it would not exist – but as against that, more than one hundred per cent of its gains have been at others’ expense, and much of its population would now be better situated than geographically in North America and emotionally US citizens. Unlike the British Empire, the USA has not been a net benefit for the world as a whole, compared with the realistic alternatives.

  3. Speaking as one who is not a descendant of the British, I am fortunate for the political entity that is the USA. My parents came from an insignificant part of Europe that was insignificant during the height of the British Empire and would have remained insignificant under British hegemony as it has to this day. I for one am better off here than back in my ancestral European home.

  4. spacey, I did say I was talking net benefits, not benefits to US citizens. Survivor bias mucks things up a lot. Also, I was being a bit tongue in cheek there, but only a little. If British hegemony had remained, the resources that the USA provided to the allies between 1917-18 and 1943-45 would theoretically have been on tap far earlier, and in fact most probably any wars wouldn’t have escalated into world wars. The fears expressed in the US Declaration of Independence wouldn’t have come to pass – we now know, with the benefit of hindsight, that there was no evil plot inherent in the British Empire (very different from the French, of course – the USA was very lucky that France didn’t get the chance to encroach; compare and contrast most 18th/19th century liberation struggles once outsiders got involved, e.g. Corsica’s liberation from the Genoese by France, Hungary’s liberation from Turkey by Austria and Poland’s liberation from Russia by Napoleon). So, your ancestors would have been better off than they actually were, and you yourself would have been better off if they hadn’t emigrated under those circumstances than under these – though not as well off as you now are. That’s the net benefit thing.

  5. I will give the British credit as being the ones who most positively influenced the USA. Just look at the New World. Ony the USA and Canada, British influence, have succeeded. From Mexico on down, those countries are and have been basket cases. When I said my parents came to the USA, nothing stopped them from going South. In fact, check out the high numbers of Europeans in Argentina for example. Yet those new countries with untapped resources and fresh immigrants have generally failed. Why? I think it is because the British imparted to us a knowledge and respect for political, legal and economic issues the Spanish and others did not have.

  6. Hmm. I believe that in most things I’m as pro-Brit as anyone, but HOLY FUCKING SHIT!!!! Of course, that may be just my bias speaking.

  7. Those English sure knew how to set up a successful colony, pity they couldn’t apply that knowledge to stopping their own country going down the tubes. Or so it seems right now, anyway…

  8. We got sidetracked on this post. It was originally about the worst congress and I ended up responding to the comment about the British. Responding to MO, I definitely think we benefited by Britain being our mother country. They were decades ahead of others in the industrial revolution, legal system, political thinking, maritime abilities among other things. They also were the largest investor in the US during the 19th century. Bottom line, I am glad they were our mother instead of Spain whose only purpose in life was to hoard gold. Responding to Nicholas, it troubles me that the United Kingdom is going down the tubes. However, I feel the same could be happening to us. Even murdoc has stated he home schools his kids.

  9. Nicholas, the English knew sod all about how to run a successful colony (see how successful Ireland was). Luckily for them, in most places there was considerable input from the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish. There was a saying that you could find three things anywhere in the Empire: gin, Scotsmen, and sixpences. The USA mainly benefitted from the way the music in Europe stopped during the Napoleonic Wars, while Britain kept European troubles from spilling over much. Endogenously, which means from internal causes, the Supreme Court got packed just before a long term political shift, which meant that the people on it only had probity to rest on; without that, their natural corruption would have come out, and precedents wouldn’t have built up. It’s no use having common law without interests that support it – look at all the too-quickly independent British colonies in Africa to see what can go wrong. British investment in the USA wasn’t as important as the way the USA rigged the game, basically making a wealth transfer (‘sovereign risk’). It has been estimated that as much European capital flowed to the USA in the 19th century as flowed out under Marshal Aid. I made my earlier comments with hindsight, knowing that the American rebels were fleeing from fancies. However, without hindsight, most sensible people at the time thought that they would lose without outside help, or would fall prey to the outsiders if they did call on outside help. They really were lucky that the second didn’t come to pass, and the only reason it didn’t was events in Europe. As it is, they fell prey to something subtler, that also was really foreseen: they made their own stick to beat them. While there is a lot of point fighting for freedom, there is no point fighting to make a harsh master nearer to home. They really did need to do something, even if only a forceful remonstration, a show of force, or in later generations cock-ups rather than conspiracies would have made them suffer. But a great many loyalists who stayed with congress that far wouldn’t go any further, once they had shown that slow encroachment wouldn’t work.