The public's approval rating of Congress hovers in the mid-teens, and it's not hard to see why, especially when the GOP-controlled House seems insistent on wasting time with ridiculous bills that are purely symbolic rather than effective. It's no secret that the House has tried to repeal Obamacare over 40 times, which is a travesty when there are so many issues in this country that aren't getting anywhere near the amount of time, effort, and resources they deserve, but the waste doesn't stop there.
Last Wednesday, the House discussed (and eventually shelved) a bill related to transportation and housing funding, which sounds perfectly legitimate. However, the bill also contained a provision to defund ACORN, the anti-poverty group.
If the last time you heard about ACORN seems like it was years ago, that's because the group is no longer in existence. After a vicious but false video by conservative James O'Keefe in 2009 suggested that ACORN provided advice on tax avoidance for prostitution and child smuggling, the group fell into infamy, regardless of the fact that several state attorney generals and the Governmental Accountability Office cleared them of all charges. Further funding bans by the GOP caused the group to officially disband in 2010.
And yet, in the past three years, the GOP has made not one, not two, but 13 separate attempts to shut down the defunct group.
That's 13 separate times that a completely unnecessary provision has been tacked onto a bill. Thirteen separate times that a useless addendum has taken up precious congressional minutes and dialogue. Thirteen times that other issues, like the persistence of educational inequality in America or the inability to pass a comprehensive federal budget or even a legitimate Republican alternative to the Affordable Care Act, have not been discussed.
It seems that the new tactic in the House is not to actually get things done by passing legislation (the rate of "congressional productivity" is actually at an all-time low) but to merely present symbolic legislation to indicate an ideological stance. Prove you're a "real" Republican by continuously proposing a repeal to Obamacare, no matter how many times it hasn't passed before or how ineffective it actually is. Keep those RINO charges at bay by proposing reduced funding for ACORN, a notion that everyone can get behind even though it means literally nothing.
This kind of governing, if it can even be called that, is just political posturing and rhetoric. Its only purpose is to bolster the ideological credentials of those proposing and supporting it, and what's worse, it creates absolutely no change. When political ideology, and not results or leadership, are billed as top priority, the people of America are the ones that lose.