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How Congress Makes Decisions

Picture of the face of a magic 8-ball taken by...

Magic 8-Ball - Wikipedia

I have just been granted access to a secret congressional document that lays out in detail how Congress members make decisions. The document is stunning in its simplicity, while allowing for incredible latitude in the actual implementation.

In a flow chart fashion it breaks down complex decisions into a series of Yes/No options leading ultimately to a thoughtful, reasoned conclusion.

Below is just a sampling of this testament to democracy:

  • Will voting for this issue get me reelected?
  • If “yes” then:
  • Will this bill require me to actually do something?
  • If “Yes” then vote “No”
  • If “No” then:
  • Will it help me raise more money to get reelected?
  • If “No” then
  • Can it be ignored until after reelection, or more donations appear?
  • If “yes” then
  • Will it get me press coverage, which will help with my reelection?
  • If “Yes” then:
  • Is there a cute child (preferably disabled) that can appear at the press conference with me?
  • If “No” then:
  • Will it actually make sense and help the economy?
  • Input error
  • Will it help or hurt the average taxpayer?
  • Who?
  • Can I trade for a vote on bill to increase Congressional pay and benefits?
  • If “No” then
  • Can I trade for a vote on increasing Congresional retirement benefits?
  • If “No” then”
  • Will changing parties get me better benefits, pay and retirement?
  • If “Yes” then
  • Call a press conference. (Be sure to mention reelection campaign)
  • Did I write the bill?
  • If “No” then
  • Can I claim credit?
  • If “No” then
  • Can I delay the issue while appearing sympathetic and get reelected?
  • If “Yes” then:
  • Call a press conference indicating support. (Be sure to mention reelection campaign)
  • Have I contacted the appropriate lobbyists for their input into my decision, and to remind them about reelection fundraising campaign?
  • If “yes” then:
  • Was the liquor they provided a premium brand?
  • If “No” then:
  • Do they have access to pictures from last overseas junket?
  • If “Yes” then:
  • Promise Support. Remind them about upcoming reelection, and stand there until they cough up a donation.
  • Have I consulted the Magic 8-Ball or will this require the dart board?
  • Have I asked that cute page for their opinion over drinks and dinner?
  • If “Yes” then drink cheap lobbyist booze with them.

There you have it.

American politics at its finest!

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