The United States Senate has been called the "the greatest deliberative body in the world." This dubious distinction is said to have been uttered by our wholly forgettable James Buchanan, our nation's 15th.
Over the years the Senate has held many historic floor debates and hearings on the great issues facing the country.
There was the titanic struggle over slavery as the nation expanded resulting in the Missouri Compromise of 1820.
That debate didn’t prevent the Civil War, but it did postpone the reckoning.
In 1964, there was the sharp and often acrimonious floor debate over the Civil Rights Act, 100 years after the Civil War, that finally enshrined into law a prohibition against discrimination based on race, religion, or national origin.
In the committee rooms of the Senate, the Kefauver Hearings in the 1950s probed organized crime and their corrupting influence in American business.
They galvanized the nation which followed them daily on the new medium of television.
The Watergate hearings in 1973 investigating the Nixon administration’s involvement in the break-in of the Democratic National Committee’s offices at the Watergate complex (in Washington, D.C.) once again riveted the nation on TV.
All were great events and the issues debated had a profound, lasting impact on the nation.
Fast forward to Jan. 24, 2023, and a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee that was probing the problems that ensued when Ticketmaster’s computer system couldn’t handle the requests for tickets to a Taylor Swift concert, leaving fans of the singer rending their garments, openly weeping, and getting hysterical on social media.
What a catastrophic cataclysmic event!
Ticketmaster was accused of being a monopoly since they control the sale of the tickets and the events themselves.
Fine. But shouldn’t this be an issue for the Department of Justice Anti-Trust Division or the Federal Trade Commission?
Because the cry went out in the superficial legacy media that this was a great tragedy of epic proportions.
So, the Senate, never missing a chance to bluster before the cameras, hauled the CEO of Ticketmaster before the Judiciary Committee for one of their signature scolding lectures complete with the obligatory "something must be done" without specifying what.
Some senators even went as far as to use the lyrics to some of Taylor Swift’s songs in their opening statements and later questioning.
United States Senators, supposedly mature, adult men and women quoting the lyrics of a pop star was no doubt meant to have their statements picked up by the media to demonstrate to their celebrity worshipping adult constituents and their teeny bopper offspring how hip they were.
Quite the contrary.
It only demonstrated how frivolous, shallow, and just plain stupid they are.
A great issue of our time it ain’t.
Given what is happening in our volatile world, did this really require almost three hours of the Senator’s time?
We are $31 Trillion in debt and growing by the day.
How about some hearings in the Senate Appropriations Committee to probe where all this money is being spent since the spending was hidden in a more than 4,000 page end of the year Omnibus Bill that nobody had the chance to read and never passed through the committee for approval like it is supposed to?
We are sending billions of dollars in military equipment to Ukraine with no accountability all the while depleting our own stocks of vital supplies.
How about a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee demanding to know where all this aid is really going and what is the plan to replace it just in case China decides to invade Taiwan?
And while we are talking about Ukraine here’s a novel idea.
When is the Senate Foreign Relations Committee going to haul Secretary of State Blinken before them and demand to know what is the Biden administration’s short- and long-term strategy regarding Ukraine?
Befuddled President Biden saying we will do "whatever it takes" is a slogan not a strategy.
And you better believe that the Russians have a strategy.
The United States Senate is no longer "the greatest deliberative body in the world."
They are an unserious body of preening show ponies instead of serious work horses.
They avoid dealing with the daunting issues facing the nation, but their avoidance won’t make those issues go away.
Edward Everett Hale, a brilliant 19th and early 20th century American author, Unitarian minister, and chaplain of the Senate in 1903 was once asked, "Do you pray for the senators, Dr. Hale?"
He replied, "No, I look at the senators and pray for the country."
After watching their recent hearings and actions, we all should pray — Now.
And pray hard.
Patrick Dorinson is a writer and commentator who has worked in the political arena as a participant and observer for 35 years-plus. He as been a columnist for the Fox News.com Opinion section. For eight years he hosted his own radio show, "The Cowboy Libertarian" on iHeart media. Patrick currently can be seen as a guest on numerous shows on Newsmax TV. Usually you’ll find him riding "Beamer," his horse. Patrick Dorinson's Reports — Here.
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