Pity the newest members of Congress. While President Obama has received more advice on how to avoid the mistakes of his predecessors than he will ever have time to read, new members of Congress, who are embroiled this week in negotiations on the stimulus bill, have been largely ignored by advice-givers.
This imbalance is strange. Just compare the almost flawless way President Obama managed his campaign and outflanked conventional wisdom to the regular spate of shenanigans emanating from Congress--from bridges-to-nowhere to multiple rent-subsidized apartments to questionable mortgages--and consider who really needs some advice.
New members of Congress, however, need not despair. Luckily for them, during the third session of the 76th Congress, on March 18, 1940, Rep. Luther Patrick of Alabama outlined before fellow members of the House of Representatives 10 simple "Rules for a Congressman in Washington."