It's time to check in on the House of Representatives. Not so long ago they were missing in action; not working and not letting the rest of government work either. Things have been better recently. Legislation is flowing again, if at a glacial pace, and we may even have reasonable assurance that the process will continue.
We get this assurance from our 2nd Congressional District Rep. Mark Pocan, who is back home and visiting constituents. He's been shadowed by contributor Erik Gunn, who has witnessed the citizen interaction and delivers a report on Pocan's message "Why I Work with Republicans."
Our congressional district definitely has a reputation, having sent two successive out individuals to the House and promoted one to the Senate. But there's one thing about our progressives -- they are of the realistic strain. And they like to get things done.
There's a lot more to being an elected official than partisan politics, even though that's what we fixate on -- the horse race mentality. But the essence of the job has little to do with parties. It has to do, as the name implies, with representing the people of your district and with helping the nation through the exigencies of governing. It should never escape our representatives in either house that there is work to be done.
Of course, sometimes we don't like the job Congress is doing. That's why we have elections. That is also why it's worthwhile for our political leaders to face the public from time to time and explain the nuances of their jobs. Sometimes you can't get a clear picture from this far away.
I, for one, am glad that Pocan works with Republicans and that there are Republicans willing to work with him. That's an implicit rejection of winner-take-all politics, in which scenario the American public is always the loser.