April 23, 2007
By Jim Babka
A few weeks ago, I was chastised in messages from Downsizer-Dispatch subscribers for writing that there were 535 miscreants on Capitol Hill. The complainants suggested that either there was at least one good person up there -- and generally they named their favorites -- or that this was unprofessional ad hominem. My first instinct was to apologize and, apologies were issued to the complainers. I don't wish to offend. And I want to be liked, just like you do. And, generally, I don't think name-calling is professional or particularly effective. One should make factual claims and back them up with data. Name-calling and straw-man arguments are generally the tools of losers. However, all that said, the verdict is in. I was wrong -- wrong to apologize.
"It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress" -- Mark Twain, 1885
There are 535 miscreants on Capitol Hill. Now, I could fudge and say that this is the minimum number when you count delegates or add in staff or whatever. But my claim is more precise than that. First, anyone who wants to grow the government, despite protestations that they're for "limited government" or are "civil libertarians," is a miscreant. Well, that nets nearly all of folks on Capitol Hill. Second, anyone who won't sponsor or co-sponsor the Downsize DC Agenda items: the Read the Bills Act or the Write the Laws Act or our coming One Subject at a Time Act (OSTA) is a miscreant. Do you notice the "ors" in there? Just pick one! I'd even be willing to let them off the hook if they backed our longest running agenda item, a complete repeal of the surreptitiously-passed Real ID Act -- and did so by introducing a bill we could endorse here at But no one in Congress today has done ANY of that despite your requests. Oh, they will, sooner or later. But true to their miscreant nature, they're resisting. Miscreants and Member of Congress -- one in the same (with my apologies to miscreants, who, perhaps, don't deserve to be so smeared). "Wait a minute," some might say. "Are you saying [fill-in-the-blank] is a miscreant?" No, they that are saying they are a miscreant and they are doing so by their actions (or in this case, the lack of action). ANY member of Congress is free to prove me wrong. My case is made. Don't write me. Send messages to them instead. Tell them to stop being miscreants. Tell them to pick any one of these proposals, and sponsor it.
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