By Jake Rossen
By Jesse Marx
By Michelle LeBow
By Alleen Brown
By Maggie LaMaack
By CP Staff
By Jesse Marx
"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."
Sorry...Not going to pull at any heartstrings here or get any sympathy from the American people on this one (you know - those people who elected you and whom you claim to represent). I really hope it's the worst place to work in the country because it's painful to watch how little you actually care or know about your constituents. Just waiting out these career politicians lives at this point.
This article is nonsense.
If the job were so bad, why does almost everyone who gets elected run again for term after them after term, 5, 10, 15 terms, and more.
This is totally against what our founding fathers had in mind when they wrote the constitution.
From everything I have ever read about it, they intended the common person to take leave of their job and run run for an office, serve for a short while, and then return to their previous life. Common man or woman, knowing what things are like, knowing what needs to be done, representing common man or woman.
Career politicians are so out of touch with most peoples everyday lives and needs it is beyond belief.
Just think how much greater our great country would be today if only one single line more would have been added to the constitution: "Single Term Limits For All Elected Officials".
uhhhhh more like the best job in america! Do you guys have any clue about this, you buy into the soundbites about their awful jobs
US congressman is pure luxury... paid exotic trips, 10/10 women at your whim, POWER
the finest foods and accommodations, respect from everyone
read a fucking book, US congressman is best job short of being a senator
oooo meetings... ooooooo
Hey, your next article should be about how much more difficult it is to be a billionaire because of all the bank accounts you have to keep track of.
Getting paid a six figure salary to sit on your butt and do nothing? I'll take that job in a heart beat!
Wait, is this really congresspeople telling the rest of us not to run, because, we totally wouldn't like it anyway?