Whom I usually agree with. But he makes this tired complaint against the Congressional Record:
Every night that Congress is in session, stenographers take down every historic word and ship them off to the Government Printing Office. The printing office stays open all night to be sure the official record will be on every member's desk by the following morning. That sounds important.
But the Record isn't a record of what was said in Congress -- the politicians wouldn't subject themselves to that. The Record is a record of what the members want you to think they said.
That's fraud, twice over. It's a fraud on the public, which believes the millions Congress spends on the Record are spent to document what actually happens in Congress. And it's a fraud on those of you who think your congressman talked about you.
This is a very old and familiar indictment. Both the left and the right frequently trot it out. But its unfair and irrelevant. When a person's words are recorded and then set to print, he is usually allowed the opportunity to correct them. This is perfectly reasonable. When someone is typing out an article, he has plenty of time to proof and edit. When he is speaking live he may easily say something that does not reflect his actual opinions on the subject. So it is in accord with nearly universal practice that Senators and Representatives can correct their remarks.
Of course one may argue that Congress abuses the priviledge, adding massive amounts of material that was never spoken there. This is true. It is also true that much is entered with no pretense that it was spoken (documents and articles for example). What is important is that anyone who is reasonably informed (and who else ever reads the Congressional Record?) knows this in advance. Its like buying a two-by-four: you need to know that the board is not really two by four inches in dimension.
The Congressional Record is a very rich source of material. It tells you exactly what your Congressman thinks you want to hear, and what he thinks might persuade you. If you want to know exactly what was said, sit in the gallery.