GUESSING GAME: 'The Confessions of Congressman X' is due on bookshelves May 24 and Washington is abuzz with speculation about who wrote it.
A new book threatens to blow the lid off of Congress as a federal legislator's tell-all book lays out the worst parts of serving in the House of Representatives – saying that his main job is to raise money for re-election and that leaves little time for reading the bills he votes on.
Mill City Press, a small Minnesota-based 'vanity press' publisher describes 'The Confessions of Congressman X' as 'a devastating inside look at the dark side of Congress as revealed by one of its own.'
'No wonder Congressman X wants to remain anonymous for fear of retribution. His admissions are deeply disturbing.'
[. . .]
'Voters claim they want substance and detailed position papers, but what they really crave are cutesy cat videos, celebrity gossip, top 10 lists, reality TV shows, tabloid tripe, and the next f***ing Twitter message,' the congressman gripes in the book.
'I worry about our country's future when critical issues take a backseat to the inane utterings of illiterate athletes and celebrity twits.'
Much of what's in the book will come as little surprise to Americans who are cynical about the political process.
'Fundraising is so time-consuming I seldom read any bills I vote on,' the anonymous legislator admits. 'I don't even know how they'll be implemented or what they'll cost.'
'My staff gives me a last-minute briefing before I go to the floor and tells me whether to vote yea or nay. How bad is that?'
And on controversial bills, he says, 'I sometimes vote "yes" on a motion and "no" on an amendment so I can claim I'm on either side of an issue.'
'It's the old shell game: if you can't convince 'em, confuse 'em.'
The congressman laments that politics has become a matter of picking a team by the jerseys they wear rather than looking at the players underneath.
'Things are so partisan today most folks vote the straight party line, even though they don't know s*** about who they're voting for. They just don't want the other guys to win,' he explains.
And he seemingly takes a shot at the Bill and Hillary Clinton Foundation, noting how family philanthropies can be the beneficiaries of what amounts to bribes in exchange for legislative favors.
'Some contributions are subtle,' he explains. 'Donations to a member's nonprofit foundation. Funding a member's charitable pet project. Offsetting the costs of a member's portrait to adorn the committee room he or she has so faithfully served.'
'It's all a bunch of bulls*** to get around gift bans and limits on campaign contributions. Where there's a will, there's a way.'
The mystery man reserves special scorn for Sen. Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat who serves as Senate Minority Leader.
One chapter is titled 'Harry Reid's a Pompous A**' and says the senator is 'sometimes a bit too clever for his own good. The same goes for [Republican Sen. Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell and his pathetic lieutenants. Ditto for most of the House leadership bullies on both sides of the aisle. They wield too much dictatorial power, manipulating legislative procedures and denying members due process.'
'Our party used to be a strong advocate for the working class,' he says. 'We still pretend to be, but we aren't. Large corporations and public unions grease the palms of those who have the power to determine legislative winners and losers.'
'Most of my colleagues want to help the poor and disadvantaged. To a point,' he adds. 'We certainly don't want to live among them. Or mingle with them, unless it's for a soup kitchen photo op. ... Poverty's a great concern as long as it's kept at a safe distance.'
POVERTY POSEURS: 'Congressman X' says lawmakers don't want to 'mingle' with the poor 'unless it's for a soup kitchen photo op.' House Speaker Paul Ryan and his wife Janna washed pots at Youngstown, Ohio's St. Vincent DePaul dining hall in 2012.
Much of Washington's problems are created on the fringes of America's dominant political parties, he says.
'The GOP have their crazy wingnuts, and we have our loony leftists. Screw them both. What we need are more common-sense lawmakers. Folks who see both sides of an issue. Who are open to accommodating each other's priorities. Today, both sides assume their views are the only logical ones.'
'I'm concerned my party has an activist far-left wing intolerant of center-leftists. Like the Republican Tea Party, these ideologues are much too rigid and extreme in their beliefs. And they're equally unappealing to mainstream Americans.'
He cites education policy as an example: 'I'm a strong advocate of improving our public schools. I also see the near-term value of vouchers and charter schools committed to lending a helping hand to disadvantaged kids. Especially inner-city kids.'
'Hell, most of us send our children to private schools and wouldn't be caught dead sending them to public schools in places like DC. How hypocritical's that? It's time to set aside petty politics. Are both parties so f***ing stubborn they can't work out a reasonable compromise on this common-sense issue? Our educational system's in the toilet, and all we do is snipe at each other.'
The publisher released a few short samples to the public on Amazon.
'Most of my colleagues are dishonest career politicians who revel in the power and special-interest money that's lavished upon them,' Atkinson recorded his mystery collaborator saying.
'My main job is to keep my job, to get reelected. It takes precedence over everything.'
'Fundraising is so time consuming I seldom read any bills I vote on. Like many of my colleagues, I don't know how the legislation will be implemented, or what it'll cost.'
The book also takes shots at voters as disconnected idiots who let Congress abuse its power through sheer incompetence.
'Voters are incredibly ignorant and know little about our form of government and how it works,' the anonymous writer claims.
'It's far easier than you think to manipulate a nation of naive, self-absorbed sheep who crave instant gratification.'
And the take-away message is one of resigned depression about how Congress sacrifices America's future on the altar of its collective ego.
'We spend money we don't have and blithely mortgage the future with a wink and a nod. Screw the next generation,' the author writes.
'Nobody here gives a rat's a** about the future and who's going to pay for all this stuff we vote for. That's the next generation's problem. It's all about immediate publicity, getting credit now, lookin' good for the upcoming election.'
'Screw the next generation' and 'Harry Reid's a pompous a**': Democratic congressman writes Anonymous tell-all book slamming 'nation of naive, self-absorbed sheep' as he admits he never reads bills he votes on
'My main job is to keep my job, to get reelected. It takes precedence over everything,' an anonymous member of Congress writes in a new book
'Voters are incredibly ignorant and know little about our form of government and how it works,' he writes
'It's far easier than you think to manipulate a nation of naive, self-absorbed sheep who crave instant gratification'
The author is a Democrat in Congress who laid out his complaints to a long-time friend and former Capitol Hill staffer who edited them into a book
'The Confessions of Congressman X' will be released May 24 by a small Minnesota-based 'vanity press' publisher
By DAVID MARTOSKO, US POLITICAL EDITOR FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 07:36 EST, 12 May 2016 | UPDATED: 17:42 EST, 12 May 2016
* * *
An anonymous congressman has dropped a bombshell election-year book that confirms why Americans hate their national government and have rallied to anti-establishment presidential candidates like Donald Trump.
The veteran politician lays bare a rotten and corrupt Congress enslaved by lobbyists and interested only in re-election in an anonymous, 65-page manifesto called “The Confessions of Congressman X.”
“Like most of my colleagues, I promise my constituents a lot of stuff I can never deliver,” he admits. “But what the hell? It makes them happy hearing it . . . My main job is to keep my job.”
The House member — a Democrat who is either still in Congress or served sometime over the past two decades — says more time is spent fundraising than reading bills and calls Washington a “sinkhole of leeches.”
The title of one chapter sums up his view of congressional leaders: “Harry Reid’s a Pompous Ass,” he says of the Senate Democratic leader.
The book, published by the small Mill City Press, is based on years of transcribed private discussions, which the congressman last November gave editor Robert Atkinson.
Atkinson declined to say whether Congressman X is a current or former House member.
X says the cloak of anonymity gave him the freedom to expose secrets, including how the public’s money is wasted.
“We spend money we don’t have and blithely mortgage the future with a wink and a nod. Screw the next generation. It’s about getting credit now, lookin’ good for the upcoming election,” he says.
He said he and his colleagues often lie to try to be all things to all people instead of tackling the nation’s problems.
“I contradict myself all the time, but few people notice,” X says. “One minute I rail against excessive spending and ballooning debt. The next minute I’m demanding more spending on education, health care, unemployment benefits, conservation projects, yadda, yadda, yadda.”
Voters are described as gullible, know-nothing jerks, while the only people who count are the big donors who pour billions of dollars into lobbying.
“Voters are incredibly ignorant. It’s far easier than you think to manipulate a nation of naive, self-absorbed sheep who crave instant gratification . . .,” vents Congressman X.
He says money “corrupts” and House members are “puppets” to lobbyists who bankroll their campaigns.
“Business organizations and unions fork over more than $3 billion a year to those who lobby the federal government. Does that tell you something? We’re operating a f–king casino,” he says.
He describes himself as a “closet moderate” who supports charter schools and tax vouchers to allow poor kids to go to private schools.
But students take a back seat to partisan politics..
“Our education’s in the toilet, and all we do is snipe at each other,” he says.
Congress is too polarized and partisan to get anything done, by the congressman’s account.
“There seems to be a complete disintegration of confidence in government. A fear that government is its own special interest,” he says.
“America’s on an irreversible decline and no one in Washington seems to care . . . God help us.”
The controversial book set off a guessing game in the political world about the author’s identity.
New York sources speculated it’s Rep. Steve Israel (D-LI), a moderate who announced he’s retiring and who has complained about the constant need to fundraise to finance re-election campaigns.
But Israel, a novelist, denied that he took pen to paper this time.
“Absolutely not true, never heard of it before. And frankly, now that I’m leaving Congress, if I were to write a book like that, I would put my name on it,” Israel said in a statement.
‘We’re running a f—ing casino:’ Politician tells all in manifesto
By Carl Campanile
New York Post
May 13, 2016 | 12:12am