DeConcini recently visited a Republican friend in Congress. "He told me how terrible it was," he says. "He said it was just awful, even in his own caucus. There's a gotcha feeling."

He then visited with a liberal Democrat. "He told me the same thing about the Democrats: 'I gotta have my way, and I gotta show that I'm tough.'"

But since everyone in Washington is busy being so not Washington, the toxicity of the job is always someone else's fault. Yes, crowing about "personal responsibility" plays before the cameras — yet only amateurs dare practice it.

Scott Anderson
Former U.S. Senator Dennis DeConcini (D-Arizona)
Former U.S. Senator Dennis DeConcini (D-Arizona)

"Even members of Congress hate Congress," says an aide. "It's just that they each believe themselves to be the exception to the rule. Congress is not a team with a collective identity. It's a collection of individuals guided almost exclusively by ruthless self-interest."

1. The least among you will get the most attention.

In one sense, "Congress is a microcosm of the country," says former representative Bartlett. "There's going to be 15 to 20 percent who do nothing, 15 to 20 percent who do everything, and the rest in between."

The problem is that those who do nothing are celebrated the most.

To be a fixture of the green room requires special bombast. You'll need tales of villainy. High-decibel outrage. A prevailing sense of victimhood. If you can't do it with a straight face, forget about making Sean Hannity's guest list.

The same skills apply to courting donors. "One of the ways you raise money is by appearing to be very adamant and unforgiving," says Bob Graham. "The more strident you are, the more likely you are to be successful in the financial returns."

Yet ceaseless shrieking, as you may have guessed, can make you deeply unpopular with colleagues. They may name a post office after your ex-wife.

"A successful member of Congress is not going to talk like Rush Limbaugh, blasting away," says Bartlett. "There are some members who do, but they're not going to be successful. If you're attacking all the time, maybe you incite the crowd, but not many members are going to vote with you."

Yet as Tancredo tells it, a good chunk of Congress is perfectly happy being hostile to success — as long as they can moonlight as TV pundits. You still get the private sauna, the small army of supplicants, and powerful people gathering outside your door, waiting to bathe you in flattery and tribute.

"That was the most aggravating thing, looking around and seeing so many people who just wanted to be in Congress," Tancredo says. "You got your paycheck. You got your perks. What the hell? It's better than driving a cab."

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22 comments
tomjones121216
tomjones121216

Don't touch this email, unless you want to lose your money. They send an email from etoydublin6@gmail.com recommending that they confiscated package and want money. They make you send money  to  a different country and try to make you pay more saying it was confiscated

Doug Cleland
Doug Cleland

I thought Phoenix Arizona was ran by the Teabilly party.

xxxxx2
xxxxx2

More and more people are leaving PHX due the far right conservatives here in our state.  That is not good.

ricksteinheiser
ricksteinheiser

Great article. It's a wonder we've made it nearly 250 years as a country

RobertGraham29
RobertGraham29

I can think of many reasons why Obama must be impeached for breaking the law.

xxxxx2
xxxxx2

@RobertGraham29

There is absolutely NO reason whatsoever talking about a Pres. Obama impeachment!

xxxxx2
xxxxx2

@RobertGraham29

The president has not broken the law.  But guess who has?   The Republican-led Congress by Weeper John Boehner.

fsmith3
fsmith3

Tancredo was one of the most notorious nutcases in Congress.  He ran for president for a few weeks where he was most noted for saying he didn't believe in evolution.  He was more anti-Hispanic than Sheriff Joe.


DiConcini until very recently was a board member for the corrupt for-profit prison operator Corrections Corporation of America, resigning only when he began to get picketed.

xxxxx2
xxxxx2

@fsmith3 Absolutely.  Nut case is a mild word for Mr. Tancredo.

Imagine this man plus all the other half baked Republican politicos like this being voted in office and running our country.  

It is due the Republican tactics these past 6 years that have brought our country down.

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

Public F-ing leaches is all they are.

Cris Cross
Cris Cross

Poor little f-ing Crooks. They should all be fired

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

It seems that much of the time wasted is on lobbyists.  Take the money out of politics and you immediately excise the lobbyists.  


Meetings are not evil and a waste in and of themselves.  People are the time wasters.  Short, efficient, concise and purposeful meetings require a no nonsense leader and a specified time limit.  


Washington can be fixed.  We need to stop electing lawyers and other bloviators and start electing business managers.  But we better do it soon.


Electing more inept and clueless obamas will lead us down the road to destruction.  I only hope the country and the world survives the next two years.      

fsmith3
fsmith3

Simple solutions for simple minds.

fishingblues
fishingblues topcommenter

@ConcernedCitizenAZ


Just out of curiosity, do you ever post anything that is not bat-shit crazy?


Damn, no one I know liked the Iraq war.  Do you think you own that issue?


I've heard obama and the loony libs blame Bush for every failure, now you are saying it was Bush's fault that obama was elected?  


Jazus!  

Electrica
Electrica

@fishingblues Go blow yourself up in a fake war you bastard. Go suck Rush Limbaugh's big fat cigar. You deserve it.

Electrica
Electrica

@fishingblues "People are the time wasters." WELL! Don't waste your time talking to people you space alien fuck!

 
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