While the U.S. races towards another debt ceiling crisis, millions remain unemployed and the economy remains stagnant, what do you think your lawmakers are up to? It would be idiotic to assume anything useful would actually occur on Capitol Hill; yet today the great minds of our national legislature put partisanship aside to work together to address one of the greatest issues in America today: the use of the word “lunatic” in federal law.

In late April Sens. Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Mike Crapo (R-ID) brought forward a bill from the banking committee that passed today without a single amendment. The Senate quickly and unanimously approved the legislation, proving the Senate can actually work together when it’s a matter of no consequence.

A real lunatic

The word “lunatic” appears in the U.S. Code in Title 1, Chapter 1, which covers rules of construction. Language in the chapter states that when determining the meaning of a law “the words ‘insane’ and ‘insane person’ and ‘lunatic’ shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis.”

The Hill newspaper reported that Senator Conrad told them that he chose to sponsor the bill after a constituent contacted his office to encourage legislation to remove such “outdated and inappropriate language” from federal law.

Lawmakers call each other liar and it passes without notice. Democrats say Republicans want dirty air and dirty water and no one seems to care. Liberals claim the GOP wants to end Medicare and throw Grandma off a cliff. Insults and false accusations dominate our politics but use the term lunatic and the entire U.S. Senate stands as one. What’s wrong with this picture?

Homes are under-water; people are wondering how they are going to feed their families; foreclosures are at an all-time high and the U.S. debt is growing by $48,000 every second of the day, but our lawmakers come together to avoid offending a few folks by the use of an outdated and marginally offensive term; simply pathetic.

Conrad told The Hill, “Sen. Crapo and I agree that federal law should reflect the twenty-first century understanding of mental illness and disease, and that the continued use of this pejorative term has no place in the U.S. Code.”

Let’s try a more millennium-appropriate term: ludicrous. It’s ludicrous we pay these folks $187,000 a year and they focus on political correctness while the U.S. economy goes to hell in a hand-basket. The Senate hasn’t passed a budget in more than 1,121 days, they spend a grand total of 112 days a year in-session and yet these lunatics have time for this kind of inconsequential silliness.

While we’re striking the word lunatic why not drop a few other offensive words and phrases from federal law: debt, deficit, revenue enhancements, overseas contingency operation, congressional salaries and re-election.