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House of Representatives: Still terrible at everything

Somehow or other, the U.S. government, for the first time in years, is close-ish to being functional. Don't read too heavily into that word "functional." The government is not and will not probably be moving on your pet issue any time soon, sorry. But the Senate is actually moving, on bipartisan pieces of legislation that are in the public spotlight: a farm bill, a comprehensive immigration bill. GOP senators who typically pretend to negotiate compromises and then run for the hills once they near a motion to proceed, like Lindsey Graham and Bob Corker, are suddenly seeing out those compromises. One of the two houses of Congress, in our lifetime, may well be nearing the minimum threshold for competence.

Now then, what's the problem? Oh right, it's the House of Representatives, which is terrible at everything, and offers no indication of being any other way until at least 2023. Let's give some credit: They're adept at passing go-nowhere bills to repeal Obamacare or ban abortion or tattoo the words "Under God" to every baby's forehead. Great work there from the House Republican Party. On issues that might appeal to an even slightly broader cross-section of the country, though, they've got nothing. You know this. You've seen the same routine in nearly every important vote since 2009. Remember that time the government considered arbitrarily defaulting on the public debt and destroying the global economy forever? That was a head-scratcher for the House; took some real "working out" before they concluded it would best be averted, for now.

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