Hill post-September 11
*Written by a Congress insider with thirty-one years' experience
*Gives specific names and examples
In this damning expose, a veteran Senate defence adviser argues that since 11 September 2001 the conduct of the U.S. Congress has sunk to new depths and endangered the America's security. Winslow Wheeler draws on three decades of work with four prominent senators to tell in lively detail how members of Congress divert money from essential war-fighting accounts to pay for pork in their home states (that is, pretend to serve the public interest while sending home the bacon), cook the budget books to pursue personal agendas, and run for cover when confronted with tough defence issues. With meticulous documentation to support his claims, he contends that this behaviour is not confined to one party or one political philosophy. He further contends that senators who sell themselves as reformers and journalists covering Capitol Hill are simply not doing their jobs.
Wheeler accuses today's members of Congress of lacking the character of their predecessors, often positioning themselves on both sides of the question of war against Iraq without probing the administration's justifications. He concludes with a model for reform that he calls twelve not-so-easy steps to a sober Congress.