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5 reasons to have hope in Congress (maybe)

Goodbye to a 112th session no one will miss.

By Rich_Maloof Jan 7, 2013 7:21PM

With the pounding of a gavel, the 113th Congress came into session last Thursday, officially bringing the welcome end to a 112th session that has been vilified as a dysfunctional, ineffective, do-nothing Congress. But that’s only because it was dysfunctional, ineffective, and did nothing.

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty ImagesTime will tell whether a shake-up of the congressional make-up, including 82 new members of the House and 13 new members of the Senate, will restore some faith and confidence in the lawmakers of Capitol Hill.

In a piece published a day after the new session began (i.e., before the politicians have had time to disappoint), moderate news outlet The Week summed up five reasons to believe the 113th will be better than the 112th.

1. The era of the Tea Party, which helped establish a hard line in the 112th that proved to more obstructive than constructive, appears to be at an end.

2. The demographic mix of the 113th in terms of religion, gender, sexual orientation, and age more closely mirrors the diversity in America today.

3. The crash and burn of Newt Gingrich-style politicking, in which defeating the opposing party was more highly prioritized than solving America’s problems, suggests a coming détente.

4. Could 113 be a lucky number? The Week notes that #13 is considered charmed in sports and in Italy, despite stateside superstitions, and that the 13th Congress was responsible for ending the War of 1812.

5. It would be hard for the 113th to be worse than the 112th. But you know, we’ve been surprised before.
Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

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