Let's play a game. It's called "Crossing the Street with Your Congressman," and it was invented this morning while . . . well, it should be self-explanatory. CSWYC (trademark pending) is something like a cross between Twitter and those elevator speech contests.
This morning, while crossing the street, I realized the gentleman who had been waiting for the light opposite me was my Congressman, Representative Jim Cooper. My first instinct, as I gave him a nod of recognition, was to say "thanks for your hard work" or "thanks for representing us," ... but I've never voted for the guy and I disagree with most of his votes. The thought was a reflex rather than any sort of conscious attempt to say something meaningful, and by the time my brain activated we were again on opposite sides of the street.
Since then, I've been thinking about what I could've said. Cooper is a leader of the (greatly diminished) blue dog coalition. He talks a great game about fiscal responsibility, but all too often ends up voting the Democrat line. In fairness, Cooper's record does have some bright spots, including - among others - the gimmicky-but-still-appreciated "No Budget No Pay" Bill and a vote against Pelosi for Speaker last month. He is about as fiscally moderate a Democrat as one can find these days, but no one is going to suddenly convince him to jump into Boehner's arms. In other words, no point in yelling across the street, "You've gotta vote for huge cuts. YOU'VE GOTTA!" and expecting results.
Instead, I decided that, had my brain not been scuba diving in Bonaire, I would have simply said, "Congressman Cooper, keep at it. You guys have to come up with a permanent solution. No more kicking the can two months down the road."
So back to the game. You have two or three sentences to make any point to your member of Congress. What do you say?