Senate Achievements: The Bar Is Pretty Low

The New York Times, OP-ED Thursday, March 15, 2012

Gail Collins:  The Senate Overachievers

“Good news, frustrated American citizens!  Congress is not a clogged up, hidebound legislative slug after all.  Bills were flying through the Senate on Wednesday…”  Ms. Collins states that the U.S. Senate passed legislation to continue to appropriate money for federally financed highway programs, and  to go forward with discussing “easing a bottleneck of uncontroversial judicial nominees.”   Also being considered are consumer protections in financial transactions.  

Should one “applaud whenever our elected representatives manage to accomplish anything whatsoever.  The bar is getting pretty low,” continues Collins.  The bar in this idiomatic usage refers to track and field contests.   Bars are used for high jump participants and for the “hurdles,” a race where runners must jump over bars as they run.  During high jumps or races with hurdles the bars are raised as the jumps or runs become more difficult.  

This is a cynical article:  Although her title would seem favorable to the U.S. Senate, that they have  achieved a lot;  in fact,  Senate achievements have been few. in this session of Congress.

Please see:  DRONES: THE BAR HAS BEEN RAISED for another article about the idioms:  raising or lowering the bar.  

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