Democrats & Liberals Archives

A Lesson in Democracy

Robert Rizzo, the City Manager of Bell, a very poor city in Southern California, receives annually $787,637 - almost $800,000! For overseeing a population of about 40,000! How come? Nobody was paying attention to the politicians running the place.

Actually, few people even knew what was happening until the L.A. Times investigated and discovered the lucrative corruption in the city. As the L.A. Times reported today:

The highly paid members of the Bell City Council were able to exempt themselves from state salary limits by placing a city charter on the ballot in a little-noticed special election that attracted fewer than 400 voters.

According to the Times, in 2005, a state law was passed that limits the pay of council members of "general law" cities. Since Bell was a "general law" city,

............the Bell City Council authorized a special election with only one item on the ballot — a measure calling for Bell to convert to a "charter" city. The move was billed as one that would give the city more local control. The ballot language included no mention of the effect the change would have on council members' salaries.

Yes, indeed, now, as a "charter city," they could play around with salaries as they wished. And they wished and they did. There was no one around to stop them. Nobody knew what was happening.

Today, the people of Bell are outraged. Now they are getting together to protest. But it is too late. Rizzo and his fellow corrupt politicians made sure there were contracts signed that called for big retirement bonuses. Where were the people of Bell when they had a chance to vote on the initiative?

The charter measure passed, 336 to 54, with the votes in favor amounting to less than 1% of the city's population of roughly 40,000. The majority of the ballots, 239, were absentee votes. The special election cost Bell $40,000 to $60,000, city officials said.

It appears than only 54 residents had any idea of what was being proposed and how bad it would be for them; they voted against the measure. The vast majority paid no attention. Why bother?

In a democracy you must pay attention to what politicians do, or they will steal you blind. Had the residents gotten themselves informed, they could easily have voted the measure down.

A lesson for democracy. You MUST stay informed and you MUST vote.

Posted by Paul Siegel at July 23, 2010 5:48 PM
Comments
Comment #304279

Paul, thanks for the info. I heard the stories of these bloated salaries yesterday but didn’t know the details. As Edmund Burke said, and I many not have it exactly correct as my memory is not as good as it once was, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing.” And, when it comes to voting in any election, not knowing what and whom you are voting for amounts to doing nothing.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 23, 2010 6:28 PM
Comment #304283

Voters have to question what THEIR REPRESENTATIVES are telling them. Too many question only the other representatives their representative tells them to, you know, the other Party’s representatives. Question authority. There is no substitute.

You publicly or in written form question your representatives about their positions and proposals, demanding an explanation that makes sense to you. It is not a guarantee the voter’s won’t get fleeced, but, it does put the representatives ON RECORD, and most politicians won’t risk going to jail for having outright lied on record to inquisitive constituents demanding answers.

Remember, you can hate all the other representatives all you want, but, you only get to vote for, or against, your OWN representative. Don’t like the government you got, your only choice is to vote AGAINST YOUR OWN representative participating in that government you don’t approve of. That is the heart and soul of democracy and democratic elections. Get informed, question your representatives for the record, and hold YOUR representative accountable on Election Day for the government you have. It does not, one iota of good, to yell about and blame other people’s representatives in a democratically elected government.

The only power you have is to hold your own representative accountable for results. And if you don’t like the results, then YOUR REPRESENTATIVE has, at the very least, been ineffective in getting you the results you want. So, why vote to reelect them? It’s DUMB to do exactly what your representative wants you to do on election day. In a democracy, its the politician who is supposed to do what you, the voters, want them to, every day between elections.

Stop letting them turn you and me against each other, instead of us against them, which can actually do some good, for a change. Vote Out Incumbents for Democracy.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 23, 2010 7:08 PM
Comment #304285

Voting out incumbents simply because they are incumbents is, in my opinion, the same as doing nothing. No thought, no study of positions, no consideraton of character, no consideration of experience, and voting is doing nothing. That vote is meaningless. We already have enough fools voting without encouraging them to just vote no. My vote is too precious to me to engage in such nonsense.

We all should attempt to be better Americans, better parents, better investors, better workers, better shoppers and better voters. This comes from study, learning and experience. It surely does not come from dropping out of life and just hoping for the best as a disintereted bystander hoping that all will work out OK.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 23, 2010 7:37 PM
Comment #304287

I wonder if Mr. Remer, who by his posts appears to support many of Mr. Obama’s policies and programs, would be willing to post here his intention of voting this incumbent out of office should Obama be the nominee of the Democrat party in 2012?

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 23, 2010 7:55 PM
Comment #304292

Flush,

“I wonder if Mr. Remer, who by his posts appears to support many of Mr. Obama’s policies and programs, would be willing to post here his intention of voting this incumbent out of office should Obama be the nominee of the Democrat party in 2012?”

Have you decided yet who you are going to vote for in 2012?


Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at July 23, 2010 9:52 PM
Comment #304293

Well in Poll Rocky 39% said they would vote for an unnamed Republican to 36% voting for Obama.

Posted by: MAG at July 23, 2010 9:54 PM
Comment #304296

Excuse me but am I missing something. The post is about the stupid people of Bell, California-right? Then what does President Obama have to do with it? I am amazed at how some people who post can bring everything back to Obama and make it about him. I guess when you have nothing important to say then the best you can do is try and annoy people by making stupid remarks.

Something along the same lines as this Bell thing is the not so bright light bulb that won in South Carolina and that was the dems no less. I lived in South Carolina for a short period of time and am not surprised that people there even democrats would vote for someone they knew nothing about. The city of Bell just goes to show you that not all the dimwits live down south.

As for me I moved back to glorious North Carolina who voted out Elizabeth Dole and are hopefully on the way to voting out Mr. Burr (forgot his first name for the moment). They are two incumbents that have been a drain on our state. Now if we can only get rid of Sue Myrick and Virginia Foxx.

But I can’t go along with voting out all incumbents because then we might end up with more republicans and our country can not afford economically, ecologically, socially, educationally, or financially to go down that road again.

Posted by: Carolina at July 23, 2010 11:25 PM
Comment #304297

“Well in Poll Rocky 39% said they would vote for an unnamed Republican to 36% voting for Obama.”
Posted by: MAG at July 23, 2010 09:54 PM

SO what MAG 39% would vote for any repub because they are the base. How sad that these unfortunate people are so ideologically driven that the devil could run on the repub ticket and they would vote for him. Doesn’t say much about them does it?


Posted by: j2t2 at July 23, 2010 11:54 PM
Comment #304307

No j2 that just shows how dissatisfied people are with this current admin. They would choose anyone over Obama.

Posted by: MAG at July 24, 2010 7:38 AM
Comment #304308

Actually MAG, it’s not about this administration at all. It’s about voting Republican no matter what. Has always been.

Posted by: womanmarine at July 24, 2010 8:02 AM
Comment #304309

j2t2 said: “SO what MAG 39% would vote for any repub because they are the base. How sad that these unfortunate people are so ideologically driven that the devil could run on the repub ticket and they would vote for him. Doesn’t say much about them does it?”

Bingo! Smack dab in the middle of the target, there. Applies to both party’s base, which is PRECISELY why 4 out of 5 Americans disgusted with Congress will vote 90% or more of the incumbents back into office to give them even more Government they can be disgusted about.

Sorry, Royal Flush, but, your reply put you SMACK DAB in the middle of these foolish and illogical voters. Want government to improve, you have to improve the way you vote from the way you have been voting. The way you have been voting GOT US HERE!

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 24, 2010 8:49 AM
Comment #304324

No woman people are getting sick of this Jimmy Carter jr President we have.

Posted by: MAG at July 24, 2010 12:13 PM
Comment #304326

I guess Mr. Remer is not going to comment about his recommendation to vote out incumbents when it comes to Mr. Obama in the event he is the dem nominee in 2012.

Rocky asks me if I know who I will be voting for in 2012. Nope…not a clue. However, if I subscribed to Mr. Remer’s VOID, then I would declare that I will vote against the incumbent…right?

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 24, 2010 12:58 PM
Comment #304332

RF,

You would vote against the incumbent if you are not satisfied with him/her. But, that will have no impact, as you were not going to vote for him in any case. Why is this trash still being discussed in this post?

Posted by: Marysdude at July 24, 2010 1:41 PM
Comment #304333

PS:

It is none of your business or mine how DRR, or anyone else, is going to vote

Posted by: Marysdude at July 24, 2010 1:42 PM
Comment #304335

Dude…sorry your comments don’t follow the dialogue concerning VOID. I won’t bother to explain.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 24, 2010 1:47 PM
Comment #304384

Royal Flush,

The same exact phrase about doing nothing came to my mind. I think David’s VOID is not about voting out incumbents who are doing what you feel is the right thing, but I haven’t really explored it, either. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me either. The message seems to be, as you state, blind voting. While that may not be his intent, it is the message of the organization name.

Posted by: gergle at July 24, 2010 10:32 PM
Comment #304397


The biggest obstacle to better government is that incumbent politician in your Congressional District.

Posted by: jlw at July 25, 2010 12:09 AM
Comment #304409

jlw,

Well If it is, then it’s the only one you can do anything about. This post is a lesson in understanding the issues on a ballot and paying close attention to what your government is actually doing, not what they campaign on.

Posted by: gergle at July 25, 2010 8:50 AM
Comment #304432

I keep hearing-vote out the incumbent-which is only a talking point and services no real purpose. IMO we need term limits, voters who hold their congress person accountable, and less access to congress by corporations. Even if by some miracle you were able to vote out all the incumbents-the new crop in congress would soon become incumbents- controlled by special interests and corporations-and they would be doing everything possible to hold on to their position.

Change comes not by rash acts. It takes time and thoughtful planning. Now a days, people are so impatient they want it and they want it now. “Throw the bums out!” to what purpose when there is a long line of bums waiting to take their place.

Look at the women’s movement-It has been thirty years in the making and women still aren’t on an equal footing with men. Progress has been made but there is still a long way to go. Some days I think just throw out all the old white men in congress and replace them women. The problem with this is that some of those old white men are better feminists than some women.

Posted by: Carolina at July 25, 2010 12:39 PM
Comment #304455

Carolina,

You’ve hit the nail on the head. The problem is education. The voters have to stop being suckers. It is boring and not easy to learn the ins and outs of politics and legislation. It requires digging through a ton of BS. What charlatans rely on, is that voters will not do their diligence.

Posted by: gergle at July 25, 2010 5:09 PM
Comment #304465

Unlike you, Royal Flush, I don’t pre-judge decisions without all the available evidence. There are 2 more years of evidence to accumulate and weigh before I have to make a decision about the 2012 presidential candidate. I haven’t voted Party ticket for decades, now. My vote in 2012 will depend on a host of factors and history which has not yet occurred. But, if you have made up your mind already along party lines, I can only say, your reasoning preserves the status quo in government, and 79% of Americans disapprove of this status quo, I being one of them.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 25, 2010 6:38 PM
Comment #304466

Carolina said: “I keep hearing-vote out the incumbent-which is only a talking point and services no real purpose. IMO we need term limits, “

You haven’t thought this through logically, Carolina. The Congress would have to vote to impose term limits upon themselves. What would motivate them to do such a thing?

There is only one motive for incumbent politicians to vote to cut short their political careers in Congress. An anti-incumbent electorate that destroys their 90% plus reelection rate and won’t let them be reelected UNTIL term limits are passed. Two terms is better than one. If they are denied second terms by the anti-incumbent voters who want term limits, then, and ONLY then, will one term politicians choose two term limits.

You can’t put the cart before the horse on the issue of term limits. To get term limits, you must have an anti-incumbent movement that reduces politicians terms to one. Then two terms as limits will begin to look very appealing to them.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 25, 2010 6:43 PM
Comment #304468

gergle, see my reply above to Carolina. I know you will grasp the logic of it, right away.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 25, 2010 6:44 PM
Comment #304480

David,

I’m not a fan of term limits. It means amateurs are running things.

I think VOID has an important message about becoming aware of what is happening in your representative’s office.

Few people, myself included, keep up on every vote and issue, but they and I should do a better job.

I don’t believe that VOID’s idea of simply voting out incumbents is the answer, I don’t think there are any shortcuts or simple answers. The complexity of government makes it very difficult to follow everything. Working towards greater simplicity and transparency are good goals.

I do understand your desire to remove the stranglehold of the duopoly and VOID does make sense in that strategy.

Posted by: gergle at July 25, 2010 10:04 PM
Comment #304504

Very good point, David. I agree they would never vote themselves out of congress kinda of like thinking the american people will all get together and vote out all the imcumbents. Exactly how would that work? How would you get all the voters to agree to vote out the incumbents?

So I guess we are at a stalemate. Can’t make congress vote to give themselves term limits and we can’t make the american people vote out all the incumbents (I happen to like some of the incumbents) so where does that leave us?

You’ll note I ignored the little dig about me not thinking logically but I am a woman so what do you expect. HA!

Posted by: Carolina at July 26, 2010 7:45 AM
Comment #304505


Carolina, there is little doubt that partisan voting will dilute the effectiveness of VOID. If many of the independents and disenfranchised progressives participate they could have a discernible effect. IMO, it will be hard for VOID to claim that unless some incumbents in fairly safe seats lose. The independents already control elections in the more evenly divided districts.

“I’m not a fan of term limits. It means amateurs are running things.”

I guess I can try to imagine how bad things could be if amateurs were running the government during the last decade instead of the professionals.

Posted by: jlw at July 26, 2010 8:29 AM
Comment #304506

JLW- I understand what you are saying-I would not want amateurs running things either. I guess its that term amteurs that bothers me. I can’t help but feel that there are competent people out there that could do a good job-lack of experience (IMO) does not equate to amateurs. Many of us started in our professions as inexperienced eager learners-I would not equate that with amateurs. As long as there is someone present that has the experience to provide guidance-I don’t see the problem.

Do you consider Obama an amateur?

Posted by: Carolina at July 26, 2010 8:52 AM
Comment #304507

Carolina,

Actually, Obama IS somewhat an amateur. Few, if any, Presidents have had much effect in one term. One of the criticisms of places like China or Saudia Arabia have of US politics is the inability to address long term problems, because of the constant turn over of people and therefore policy. It’s a negative of democracy. It’s part of the problem we have with long term issues like debt.

Posted by: gergle at July 26, 2010 9:55 AM
Comment #304515

Carolina and gergle,

Considering the stone-walling, delay tactics, and out ‘n’ out obstructionism the President has faced, I’d say he has accomplished a whale of a lot for an amateur. His accomplishments may have fallen short of your expectations and/or desires, but damn, the man has put a lot of paper out there…most of it much needed.

His amateurism may have shown in the few times he has fallen into a trap set by the right, but they have fallen into one or two of his as well.

Posted by: Marysdude at July 26, 2010 11:54 AM
Comment #304520

Carolina wrote, “Exactly how would that work? How would you get all the voters to agree to vote out the incumbents?”

Good questions, Carolina. As our website explains in several entries, it is not necessary to get all the voters to do anything in concert. Nor is it necessary for ALL incumbents to lose their seats in a single election. Both of which would be impossible to achieve.

What IS necessary, is for a sufficient number of voters to vote out their incumbents to produce, for the political analysts and campaign managers, statistics showing a reelection rate closer to 50% rather than the current 90% plus average.

If incumbents (and challengers) are told by their analysts and managers that the election statistics show the incumbent has only a coin’s toss chance of being reelected in any given election, that politician, out of a sense of political survival, will conclude that his wealthy campaign donors and lobbyists are no longer insuring his reelection. Instead, the anti-incumbent voters are in control of the politician’s election odds. Therefore, nearly all the incumbents and freshman politicians will elevate the issues of the anti-incumbent voters on their priority list, and represent those issues in order to increase their chances of getting reelected.

No politician wants a coin toss to decide their reelection bid. Registered independent voters now outnumber either registered Democratic or Republican voters. If a simple majority of independent voters vote anti-incumbent, the reelection percentage will drop below 75%. The number of registered independent voters continues to grow. Therefore, in 2 to 3 election cycles, with that growth, the reelection rate will continue to drop from 75% to, or, near 50% with the anti-incumbent grassroots movement.

Logically, however, don’t have to wait for the reelection rate to drop to 50% to see dramatic improvements in how our federal politicians represent the people’s and nation’s needs. The simple evidence of reelection rates dropping precipitously will convert ever larger numbers of those politicians to putting the people and nation’s interests at the top of their priority list, and knock the wealthy special interest donors and lobbyists down several notches on their priority list. That will produce better governance from Congress, since better governance will win back anti-incumbent voters.

Better governance for the people and nation will be their ticket to improving their reelection odds, in place of big oil, big banks, big pharmaceuticals, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and debt and deficit wealthy donor interests like the contractors attached to the Pentagon and military industrial complex as well as the
profiteers attached to the Medicare/Medicaid programs. All these interests who now control our representative’s actions in Congress will lose their influence as the anti-incumbent voters increase the percentage of incumbents who fail to get reelected.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 26, 2010 12:30 PM
Comment #304522

Marysdude,

I agree he has accomplished a lot, but if he doesn’t serve a second term or loses a significant majority in the Congress that could become all he accomplishes, only to watch it overturned by the next adminstration.

I’ve been reading about the WikiLeaks release. It seems Afghanistan/Pakistan is another Quagmire and needs a serious reassessment.

Posted by: gergle at July 26, 2010 12:34 PM
Comment #304529

gergle,

Yeah, Afghanistan was a good thing as long as we had our eye on the ball, but ‘fools rushed in…’, and as soon as it became more necessary to fight in Iraq, than to finish off ben Ladin…well, I haven’t felt very good about our presence there either. Nation building ain’t no easy thing, and we have proven pretty inept about it in any case. It’s just a sorry damned mess all the way around.

Posted by: Marysdude at July 26, 2010 1:53 PM
Comment #304530

DRR,

I’m no independent or third partyer, and I’ve been unwilling to get very serious about your ‘vote ‘em out’ entries. But you are making inroads, and may have a convert in the making. Even this old loggerhead can change a little. You have begun to make a little sense with it, or I’ve begun to open my eyes, one or the other. #304520 has me scratching my head, and wondering if it is really possible to bring us back on track.

Posted by: Marysdude at July 26, 2010 2:02 PM
Comment #304542

Marysdude,

These leaks seem to confirm Pakistan’s deep involvement in Afghanistan, and that they are playing both sides of the fence. Unless we intend to go nuclear with Pakistan, there doesn’t seem to be a positive outcome. Compromise and get out.

Posted by: gergle at July 26, 2010 3:08 PM
Comment #304545

Yeah, likely the only way.

Posted by: Marysdude at July 26, 2010 3:31 PM
Comment #304559

I got this in my inbox because I’ve participated before. It seems a worthy effort, so please look into it and if you agree, sign on.


Hey,

The Supreme Court recently granted corporations the right to directly influence political campaigns. That’s not the way to restore citizens’ faith in government.

Sens. Chuck Schumer, Russ Feingold, and Patrick Leahy have introduced the DISCLOSE Act to fix this problem — because Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light On Spending in Elections.

It’s up for a vote in the Senate on Tuesday, July 27 — so please add your name next to mine on the petition at www.DISCLOSEact.com .

Then, contact your Senators via the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 to urge their support as well.

http://www.DISCLOSEact.com

Posted by: Marysdude at July 26, 2010 5:52 PM
Comment #304562

Marysdude, do you support the National Rifle Association?

You must because they are the only organization exempt from the Disclose Act.

Posted by: Weary Willie at July 26, 2010 6:42 PM
Comment #304564

David thanks for the explanation. I will need to read it more than once to understand it as math, numbers and everything statistical is extremely difficult for me. Even after the first read I did not really get it.

The real problem is that when people say get rid of the incumbents-I take them at their word-that they mean to get rid of the incumbents-thats pretty simple to understand.

I would still love for us-simple americans to take control of congress-to be the ones to set term limits, to vote on whether they get a raise or not, to vote on whether they get to keep their health care, and so forth. Doesn’t feel much to me like they are my congress when I don’t get to make any of these decisions.

Marysdude, please don’t interpret my question as a statement. I don’t consider Obama an amateur. Which is defined as a person who does something for pleasure and not for money: nonprofessional. A person who does something more or less unskillfully. Also, please don’t assume that I am not an Obama supporter because I asked another poster if he/she thought Obama was an amateur. I was trying to get a better grasp on the other posters definition of an amateur.

I worked to get Obama elected. I’m not pleased with everything he has done or hasn’t done but I never expected to agree with him on everything. I think that he has gotten a lot done for a first term president. Do I wish he could have gotten more-yes-I would have loved a public option or a stronger financial bill. I believe given the fact that the republicans are disinclined to work with the dems and we have dems who aren’t really dems- his current accompishments are as good as we will get right now. I haven’t been pleased with some of his choices like-good old Rahm-but maybe he’ll fix that next time around.

Posted by: Carolina at July 26, 2010 6:52 PM
Comment #304566

Chilling, isn’t it. Supporting the only organization standing in your party’s path.

Are you a gun-totin’, ? in disguise?

Posted by: Weary Willie at July 26, 2010 6:59 PM
Comment #304567

WW,

Because of Republican obstructionisms, political compromise in American government has almost come to a halt. Do I support the rat-bastard organization called NRA? NO! But, I understand how the best things got done in Washington in previous years, and if concessions to a rat-bastard organization called NRA will help us get back on track…so be it.

Posted by: Marysdude at July 26, 2010 7:01 PM
Comment #304568

PS:

We’ve gotten ourselves back in Sillyville again, I apologize to the other posters here for falling into WW’s little sidetrack.

Posted by: Marysdude at July 26, 2010 7:05 PM
Comment #304569

I was trying to get a better grasp on the other posters definition of an amateur.
Posted by: Carolina at July 26, 2010 06:52 PM


Look it up in the dictionary and hold the posters to it. It will save you alot of time, and it will educate others with your result.


That’s an Independent person. The ability to disseminate an independent thought.

Posted by: Weary Willie at July 26, 2010 7:17 PM
Comment #304599

Carolina said: “I would still love for us-simple americans to take control of congress-to be the ones to set term limits, to vote on whether they get a raise or not, to vote on whether they get to keep their health care, and so forth. Doesn’t feel much to me like they are my congress when I don’t get to make any of these decisions.”

Well, what you would like sounds very akin to direct democracy. For better or worse, our Constitution was not designed to provide direct democracy at the federal level. Absent another Constitutional Convention with an agenda to re-write the Constitution from scratch, what your comment reflects as your desire, cannot be in America. The closest voters can get to what you would prefer, is holding their own representatives accountable with their vote for the product of government during their time in office.

I truly believe if approximately 1/3 of American voters would exercise such commitment in the ballot box, each and every election, our federal government could, and would, improve dramatically, for the reasons I outlined previously. Their reelection rate would drop precipitously, and their replacements, not wanting to suffer the same fate, would govern to earn the trust of that third of voters wreaking havoc with the odds of being reelected.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 27, 2010 2:44 AM
Comment #304604

WW-if you read my post I did define amateur.

David-can’t a girl wish. I am aware that the constitution makes this difficult maybe a rewrite of the constitution is in order. Granted I know the chance of that is probably zero but I do have my dreams.

Posted by: Carolina at July 27, 2010 7:59 AM
Comment #304629

Carolina wrote; “David thanks for the explanation. I will need to read it more than once to understand it as math, numbers and everything statistical is extremely difficult for me. Even after the first read I did not really get it.”

Carolina…it’s not you that doesn’t get it, it’s VOID that is perpetrating a fraud. Pretending to be for something, they are in reality just against everything. Just ignore their simplistic instruction about being a mind-numbed lever-puller at the polls. All they advocate is musical chairs with their doners paying for the music.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 27, 2010 1:49 PM
Comment #304630

Royal Flush, you are FOR your TEAM not getting booted out of office, at any cost. That is plain enough, and obviously why you CONSCIOUSLY choose to oppose voting out YOUR TEAM’S incumbents, which have contributed to the mess we are in today as a nation.

Couldn’t be simpler or clearer. VOID is opposed by nearly ALL Democratic and Republican partisan supporters for the obvious reason.

But, you do your credibility a great disservice in promoting outright LIES! VOID is FOR BETTER GOVERNMENT than we are now getting. You aren’t because you want to preserve the status quo mindset that your Party should win and the others should lose. We understand this NFL mentality. That’s fine. It is however, that mentality that has brought us here, making your position responsible for what we have now.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 27, 2010 2:14 PM
Comment #304633

Carolina,

Old saying: ‘Be careful what you wish for, you might get it.” Your ideas about direct democracy sound good, but be careful of unintended consequences. I for one would not want to hold a nationwide election every time a policy or decision came up. That could work in a smaller country, like Switzerland. That’s what we elect Conress and Presidents for, to make the decisions. We can change them every few years if we don’t like what they do. However, as has been pointed out in several posts, we, as a people, do not have the gumption to think, learn, and vote. It’s so much easier just to pull that big “D” or “R” lever and then bitch about the government. And that is most of what is responsible for our present situation. The other main reason is the fact that most politicians, after one or two terms, are inveterate liars who will say anything to get reelected. From that standpoint, I agree that we the people should be able to set term limits, say 8 years for President and 12 years for Senators and Representatives. In fact, let’s just say eight years and out for all three, and barring going to work for any company that does busines directly with the government for a priod of 5 years and a lifetime ban on running for any Federal office. That could shake thing up!

Posted by: Old Grouch at July 27, 2010 2:44 PM
Comment #304634

Mr. Remer wrote; “Royal Flush, you are FOR your TEAM not getting booted out of office, at any cost. That is plain enough, and obviously why you CONSCIOUSLY choose to oppose voting out YOUR TEAM’S incumbents.”

It is difficult to understand how an obviously intelligent writer such as Mr. Remer could write such a stupid comment.

Mr. Remer knows that I am a conservative. If the majority of voters played the blind lever-pulling game suggested by VOID…and in their magical world all incumbents were voted out, would the minority now seated in congress be the losers or the majority now seated in congress be the losers? There are in congress now many more liberals than conservatives. Whose team would be booted out of office Mr. Remer?

Mr. Remer then writes; “VOID is FOR BETTER GOVERNMENT than we are now getting.”

To accomplish this “better government” they believe that merely pulling the voting lever for the non-incumbent will improve government. One can imagine a scenerio in which the non-incumbent is a communist or facist that might win office. VOID pays no attention to the candidate’s education, political philosophy, possible criminal record, funding source, or any other meaningful measure of that candidates qualifications or ideas about government. NOPE…that’s too sophisticated for their pea brains. VOID is for CHANGE, no matter what that change might be. Hmmm…that sounds familiar.

I’ve noticed lately in Mr. Remer’s comments about VOID an attempt to link that brain-numbed organization with independent voters. Unable to attract support with their ideas, it appears to me that they are suggesting that they somehow represent, or are aligned with the thinking of independent voters.

Nothing could be further from the truth. An independent voter, such as me, and millions of others, cherish their vote and do spend considerable time understanding the issues and positions championed by each candidate to determine how they may, or may not, fit with the beliefs of the one voting.

VOID (Vote Our Idiotic Dementia)

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 27, 2010 3:09 PM
Comment #304645

RF,

Then, I don’t think VOID is for you as an individual. DRR is proposing that if someone is not at least a little satisfied with their current Congressperson, they should pull another lever. I would hope the person would be going to the polls with a modicum of information as to who to pull the lever for. I think he has little interest as to which ‘team’ the lever is pulled for or not pulled for, just that to reelect the idiot merely because they are on your ‘team’, even if you don’t think they are doing what is best for you is folly. If you don’t see any logic there, then vote for the idiot.

Posted by: Marysdude at July 27, 2010 5:50 PM
Comment #304656

Well dude…all I can suggest to you is to go to the VOID link and read what they say. Vote out incumbents is what they say and I don’t read any of the qualifiers that you mention. Surely, just the name VOID should give you a clue to what they propose.

Go back into the WB archives and read Mr. Remer’s interpretation of what VOID promotes. He has written repeatedly of the need to vote out all incumbents.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 27, 2010 7:28 PM
Comment #304657

dude wrote; “DRR is proposing that if someone is not at least a little satisfied with their current Congressperson, they should pull another lever.”

Think about what you wrote dude. Of course if one is not happy with their incumbent they should pull another lever. I urge any voter to cast their vote for someone…and not to just vote against someone for no other reason than they are the incumbent.

Do you believe anyone needs to donate money to VOID to learn that? Is that some kind of revelation?

Ask DRR directly if that is what VOID intends…get it straight from the horse’s mouth.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 27, 2010 7:39 PM
Comment #304692

Royal Flush said: “Vote out incumbents is what they say and I don’t read any of the qualifiers that you mention.”

Thank you for such candor on your refusal to read anything that might be injurious to your position. You read the name of the organization and nothing more, in order to preserve your position. If you were to read further on the VOID web site, you would read context and detail, strategy, and rationale, behind the name of the organization, all of which would be injurious and contradicting of your assertions here.

Example: From VOID’s Mission Statement (2006) “The mission of Vote Out Incumbents Democracy (VOID) is to inform and organize American voters, who are dissatisfied with the results of their government, to unseat those overseeing that government.”

Your comment’s dishonesty in this regard is worth condemning.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 28, 2010 12:42 PM
Comment #304693

Royal Flush, this also from the VOID web site, July 11, 2010:

Politics is what stands in the way of America rescuing her future, Alan Simpson [R] implied, citing 7 fellow Republicans, co-sponsors of a bill to establish a Congressional commission on fiscal responsibility and debt measures, who voted against their own bill because, Simpson said: “they wanted to stick it to the President.” This failed legislative bill defeated in February by numbers of Democrats and Republicans resulted in Pres. Obama establishing the current bi-partisan Commission outside the auspices of the U.S. Congress.

There is no defensible argument in support of NOT voting out incumbents who put politics ahead of the issue of deficits and debt management and reduction. NONE! Your comments on this issue are entirely without merit, intelligence, or insight.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 28, 2010 12:52 PM
Comment #304699

Mr. Remer apparently has forgotten that I wrote of having visited the VOID site twice…and that was enough for me.

Dude…please notice that Mr. Remer’s comments regarding what VOID promotes regarding voting out all incumbents is conveniently missing.

To quote Mr. Remer, “Your comment’s dishonesty in this regard is worth condemning.”

Since dude is apparently reluctant to ask Mr. Remer directly, I will.

Mr. Remer, does VOID advocate that voters should vote out all incumbents?

Mr. Remer, have you written in some of your previous posts that voters should vote out all incumbents?

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 28, 2010 2:52 PM
Comment #304701

Royal Flush asked dimwittedly, having refused to read the content of the VOID web site: “Mr. Remer, does VOID advocate that voters should vote out all incumbents?”

NO! VOID advocates that those voters who are disappointed by the results of their current government, vote out THEIR own incumbents responsible for that government they are disappointed in.

Royal Flush remains ignorant of the FACT that voters are not Constitutionally entitled to vote out ALL incumbents in government, ONLY THEIR OWN.

Dumb, dumber, and dumbest Royal Flush comments. No wonder logic and reason fail in your comments.

Contrary to the title of this article, Royal Flush requires many more than one lesson in democracy.

Thank you again, Royal Flush, for this opportunity to demonstrate why no one with a logical and reasonable mind should even bother reading your comments.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 28, 2010 3:25 PM
Comment #304702

From an article written by Mr. Remer on March 13, 2010 entitled…Coffee, Tea or VOID.

“If one has become fed up with both parties and the liberal, conservative divide, one can join and support VOID which indiscriminately, targets incumbents of both parties on election day as a means of sending an unmistakable message to challengers who may defeat an incumbent. To be reelected, they will have be effective in producing governance which the majority of Americans can approve of, for the most part, on the big issues.”

Notice the key word in his statement, that being INDISCRIMINATELY.

VOID and Mr. Remer are saying in this comment, to vote, with no disrimination (in every instance), against the incumbent regardless of party affiliation, political philosophy, or any other consideration.

I have called this nonsense mindless “lever-pulling” in my posts. Is that not true Mr. Remer?

When and If I have the time, I will search the archives to find more evidence to support my negative view of VOID.

If one has become fed up with both parties and the liberal, conservative divide, one can join and support VOID which indiscriminately targets incumbents of both parties on election day, as a means of sending an unmistakable message to challengers who may defeat an incumbent. To be reelected, they will have be effective in producing

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 28, 2010 3:28 PM
Comment #304704

It is sad that such an intelligent person as Mr. Remer uses such disparaging remarks about me and others in his comments. While I do thank him for all the hard work he does to maintain Watchblog, I would hope his comments could be less inflamatory and more professional.

Mr. Remer wrote of my comment, “Dumb, dumber, and dumbest Royal Flush comments. No wonder logic and reason fail in your comments.”

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 28, 2010 3:37 PM
Comment #304705

Royal Flush again demonstrates a possible failed American education in his inability to distinguish between VOID, an organization, and voters as individuals. VOID as your quote indicates: Indiscriminately targets incumbents, which is ANOTHER WAY of saying VOID IS NON-PARTISAN. VOID does not discriminate between Democrats and Republicans in its advocacy for voting out incumbents as a tool of improving government performance.

That is entirely different from VOID advocating that voters DO DISCRIMINATE on the basis of whether they approve, or disapprove, of the results of the government they now have.

I still can’t tell for sure whether Royal Flush’s comments are suffering illiteracy or lying sophistry. Either way, his comments remain without credibility or empirical defense based in logic or reason. which are the foundation of language and literacy.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 28, 2010 3:55 PM
Comment #304708

Mr. Remer, with his comments, can spin all he wishes but Watchblog readers I believe are much to smart to fall for that nonsense. When I have time I will provide some more quotes from Mr. Remer that he can spin as well in his comments.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 28, 2010 5:19 PM
Comment #304734

That’s what it’s all about. Ayn Rand would have been proud.

Posted by: Stephen Hines at July 28, 2010 8:50 PM
Comment #304755

The spin, and out of context, is all yours, Royal Flush. VOID’s words stand on their own and make eminent sense. It is your lack of comprehension or sophistry in defense of keeping these politicians responsible for the government results we have requires spinning on your part.

But, please, by all means, quote more VOID material directly. I welcome and appreciate it.

Posted by: David R. Remer at July 28, 2010 11:29 PM
Comment #304807

>Since dude is apparently reluctant to ask Mr. Remer directly, I will.

RF,

You are doing a fine job, all by yourself, asking those direct and pointed questions, and I, for one, would like to thank you. Your questions, and the resultant answers, have brought me ever closer to joining that fine organization.

My problem…even though I might think a newbe Republican or Independent would be superior to my veteran Democrat in that office, could I force my hand to do the right thing? That is what VOID advocates, but I’ve seen the results of what Republicans in office do to the country. Even if I think giving the corrective enima is the right thing to do…do I trust THOSE people to help make good things happen? It is a quandry, and I’ve yet to come to a conclusion on it. This is likely a lot easier for folks like d.a.n. and jlw.

Posted by: Marysdude at July 29, 2010 3:39 PM
Comment #304878

congrats on becoming a blind lever-puller. Join the gullible and abdicate responsibility.

Posted by: Royal Flush at July 30, 2010 4:07 PM
Comment #304902

What a stupid, vapid declaration…

Posted by: Marysdude at July 30, 2010 6:25 PM
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