Vote Out All Incumbents - THIS Year

After the 2006 election I promised not to blame (or credit) the democratic majority with anything that happened less than a year after their election. It was wrong to blame Bush for the downturn of 2001 and I didn’t want to be that way too. Well, the Dems have been in for time enough to judge. They had a chance to push their priorities and they have really screwed the pooch. Maybe we should vote out ALL incumbents now.

The Democrats, who control both houses of congress, have done an excellent job of holding hearings and trying to blame Republicans and the President for whatever happened, but they have done almost nothing else.

Meanwhile, while the Dems have done nothing, the economy has shifted from robust growth to a near recession and the price of gas has reached the stratosphere. I believe there are bigger forces at work that caused these things, but clearly Democratic control of congress did nothing to avoid them.

There are two options here. Either the Dems cannot do anything these problems or they failed to address them. I believe the first option is true, which means the Dems have been lying to us about the general government ability to deliver on economic promises. This calls into serious question the central tenet of their hate game, that the election of George Bush caused the earlier unpleasantness.

So all the great hopes of change we could believe in have come to nothing. I never actually believed it anyway, but even I am surprised at how little the Dems accomplished.

Maybe we should take the advice that David and d.a.n. have been giving us all along and vote against ALL incumbents. Personally, that is what I intend to do. I am not going to vote for any incumbent in the Senate, the House, for my state governor or for president and I challenge others to do the same. My local supervisor is a Dem, but she is doing all right, so she can keep her job.

Posted by Jack at May 22, 2008 1:52 PM
Comments
Comment #253397

Jack:

You are joining VOID?


Posted by: Craig Holmes at May 22, 2008 2:11 PM
Comment #253399

No. Just think we should vote against the current group and see what happens. I am generally not into that kind of thing and - frankly - I don’t really believe most of those who claim to want to vote out all the incumbents are either. I just want to run this up the flag pole and see who salutes - and who balks. Now that the majority is Democratic, my guess is lots of those who wanted to throw all the bums out will be less enthusiastic.

Posted by: Jack at May 22, 2008 2:16 PM
Comment #253400

Jack, I live in Texas and will vote to keep my conservative congressman Louie Gohmert. Before Louie, we had a conservative Democrat for our district who is Ralph Hall. Ralph received my support every time he ran but after re-districting, we lost him. Ralph continues to be elected in his new district as he represents East Texas conservative values.

I will definately vote for one of our two senators as they come up for election. I am not certain about the other senator.

Since I no longer contribute to the RNC, I am searching other states for conservative congressmen and senators to support, whether incumbent or challengers.

I don’t subscribe to the “throw them all out theory” and believe we still have some honest, truthful and trustworthy men and women in congress. Since I don’t wear a party label, but rather a conservative label, I’ll vote any party who puts forth a candidate who substantially agrees with my principles.

Posted by: Jim M at May 22, 2008 2:20 PM
Comment #253401
Jack wrote: Maybe we should vote out ALL incumbents now.
Jack,

I can’t say enough in way of thanks for your proposal and intentions come 4-NOV-2008.

You’re absolutely right about the Democrats in Congress. They have lived up to the “do-nothing” label even more-so than expected.

If enough voters also realize that repeatedly rewwarding irresponsible incumbents with 85%-to-90% re-election rates isn’t working, perhaps they will follow suit.

After all, eventually (probably), when the consequences become painful enough, that is what most voters will do anyway (as evidenced by the highest anti-incumbent voting levels in American history during the Civil War and the Great Depression). So why wait until then?

Voting Guidelines

Lastly, I’d like to point out (and as your article also points out) that most (if not all) incumbents don’t deserve re-election simply because they are incubments … but because most (if not all) are irresponsible, as evidenced by these abuses that our politicians refuse to address (to stop); abuses that did not all come about by mere coincidence.

Posted by: d.a.n at May 22, 2008 2:25 PM
Comment #253402

Jack,
Good for you, most of the guys/girls in the house, senate or white house need to be shown the door. I plan to vote for a third party candidate for the White House and against any incumbant in the house/senate up for re-election this year. That means I am voting against 2 republicans in the general election, since my district is about the only republican district in Oregon and Gordon Smith who is more crooked then my arrow after I shank it against a tree while bow hunting. I may be a D on the score card but that is due to Oregon’s closed primary so to have a vote in who repesents me I have to regester as a D or R. Both teems suck but I personally think the R teem sucks a little more. The only way I would vote for McCain is if he picks a good running mate and hope he dies/becomes incapacitated 1 day after his two year mark. However I feel that my vote for Reperesenative or Senator is more important the the vote for Pres. The pres for the most part is just a cheer-leader. I hate my choices for most high offices and am going to vote against the incumbant or vote third party as a vote of NO-Confidance.

Posted by: timesend at May 22, 2008 2:27 PM
Comment #253403
Jim M. wrote: I don’t subscribe to the “throw them all out theory” and believe we still have some honest, truthful and trustworthy men and women in congress.
Yeah?

Who?

OK, there may be a few.

Can you name 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, or even 268 (of 535) in Congress that are not irresponsible?

If not, what does that say about Congress as a whole?

If Congress (as a whole) is doing an adequate job, why do these 10+ abuses continue? Those abuses did not all come about by mere coincidence, did that?

Those abuses, helped along by most (if not all) in Congress (for 30+ years) are largely why we are seeing these economic conditions today, and it’s not over yet. There will be no quick fixes, but getting on the right track will help, and we won’t get on the right track by repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates.

Posted by: d.a.n at May 22, 2008 2:33 PM
Comment #253407

Government is frozen. There is a healthy Democratic majority in the House, a bare Democratic majority in the Senate, well short of the 60 votes needed to move anything forward without the consent of the minority party, and, finally, an incompetent, ineffective, inarticulate president of the opposing party.
You argue, without any factual basis, that the Congress is somehow responsible for the mess we are in; you depend on your audience not to think, but to react.
The country could have benefited from your opinion in ‘04, Jack. Where were you then? Telling us that in spite of reality, things were really great!!
Congress will be ineffective, the President will be ineffective, and the country will not move forward until we get new leadership in Washington. Who is the old leadership? The republican party, of course.

Posted by: charles ross at May 22, 2008 3:07 PM
Comment #253410

Please Charles ross, new leadership will solve all our problems just like a new suit will make me handsome? Don’t think so. There’s no magic in either proposition except for magical thinking.

If by new, you mean politicians who are willing to do what they promised the electorate…well, maybe then. But, consider that the electorate is a fickle body of people who change their mind nearly as often as they change their underwear.

American’s are usually only pleased by results they agree with and as often as not, don’t have a clue how to achieve those wished for results.

American’s overwhelmingly approved lowering taxes in the past and then found that while taxes were reduced, spending went up. American’s have overwhelmingly asked for secure borders but some still insist on having “safe cities” for illegals.

American’s are very fond of bashing my tobacco habit with higher taxes on a legal product but cry like babies when their high-energy habit costs them more.

American’s are strange and wonderful people and you will never get them to act responsibly when they keep voting with their hearts rather than with their minds.

Posted by: Jim M at May 22, 2008 3:38 PM
Comment #253411

d.a.n. said, “Can you name 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, or even 268 (of 535) in Congress that are not irresponsible?”

Well d.a.n. are you also looking for conservatives to vote for or just fishing around for my opinions? Frankly, I couldn’t afford to really support more than 20, and I believe I have found them.

Posted by: Jim M at May 22, 2008 3:43 PM
Comment #253413
charles ross wrote: Congress will be ineffective, the President will be ineffective, and the country will not move forward until we get new leadership in Washington.
True.

And whose duty is it to see that happen, if Congress can’t or won’t?

charles ross wrote: You argue, without any factual basis, that the Congress is somehow responsible for the mess we are in;
Congress is not totally to blame.

The voters are culpable too.

The logic behind the concept is not that complex.
Actually, it is exactly what voters were supposed to be doing all along.
There is no doubt that Congress is dysfuncational, as evidenced by these serious problems, growing in number and severity.

So, what sense does it make to repeatedly reward irresponsible incumbent politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates?

Also, have you not noticed that Congress no longer listens to the people?
There are several things that Congress is defying the majority of voters on.
But, why should Congress pay any attention to the voters when Congress persons are repeatedly rewarded for being irresponsible and ignoring the voters?
Try repeatedly rewarding your children for bad behavior, and then observe the predictable results.

Congress won’t even police its own ranks.
Too many (if not all) look the other way.
I even heard John McCain admit (on NPR in 2005) to “looking the other way”.

What Jack is recommending is actually what will probably happen anyway … eventually, when the failure to vote more responsibly finally becomes too painful.
So why wait until it’s more painful?

BTW, BOTH parties have had there turn at being the IN-PARTY and OUT-PARTY over the last 30 years.
Where did it get us?
Simply based on track-record and voting records, can anyone seriously say that EITHER party is doing an adequate job?
Why can’t anyone name 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, or even 268 (of 535) in Congress that are not irresponsible? One-Simple-Idea.com/Links1.htm
And why can’t anyone tell us where the money to pay the interest on $53.2 Trillion of nation-wide debt will come from, much less the money to reduce the principal (DEBT=Principal+Interest), when that money does not yet exist?. At only 4% interest, it could take longer (272 years) than the U.S.A. has existed (233 eyars) to pay off $53.2 Trillion of nation-wide debt:
One-Simple-Idea.com/53Trillion.gif

Jim M wrote: American’s are strange and wonderful people and you will never get them to act responsibly when they keep voting with their hearts rather than with their minds.

Never say never.

There is a possible built-in self-correction mechanism.
Frederic Bastiat (in year 1848) spoke of it.
When will things improve?
When will enough voters finally vote more responsibly (if ever)?
When not doing so finally becomes too painful.
Pain and misery is a powerful motivator (and educator) too.

There’s no magic and there are no silver bullets.
The solution is so simple, but so elusive.
We must overcome our blind partisan loyalties, our love of wallowing in the partisan warfare, our delusions, our complacency, our apathy, our laziness, and our irrational fears and hatred.
Otherwise, we will most certainly suffer the painful consequences.
If we are smart, we will learn from history, and learn how to vote more responsibly.
And if we don’t learn the smart way, we will learn the hard way.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect, and deserve.

Posted by: d.a.n at May 22, 2008 3:49 PM
Comment #253414

Charles

The Democrats have as big or bigger majority in both Houses than the Republicans have had since the 1920s. If you blame Republicans for obstructing Dems, you have to also admit that the Dems have held similar power throughout the times that Republicans were in power.

The Dems cannot even pass a budget. All they have done is hold show votes and investigations. They clearly are uninterested in actually making things better.

If we get a Dem congress and a Dem president there will just be that much more hot air.

Posted by: Jack at May 22, 2008 3:53 PM
Comment #253415

Oh Yeah

In 2004 the economy was indeed growing. What I wrote back then was accurate. It kept on growing smartly, with unemployment coming down and median income rising until last year.

I am not saying the Dems are responsible, but as soon as they got and had a chance to do something, things started to go bad.

Posted by: Jack at May 22, 2008 3:57 PM
Comment #253416
Jim M wrote:
    d.a.n. said, “Can you name 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, or even 268 (of 535) in Congress that are not irresponsible?”
Well d.a.n. are you also looking for conservatives to vote for or just fishing around for my opinions? Frankly, I couldn’t afford to really support more than 20, and I believe I have found them.
Then perhaps you’d like to share their names with us? Or is it a secret?

If you provide a list of names, I will be happy to look up their voting records.

Sort of like this.

What all voters should do # 1 …

What all voters should do # 2 …

Posted by: d.a.n at May 22, 2008 3:59 PM
Comment #253417

Jack, Commendations all around. Voting out irresponsible, unresponsive, crooked, and hypocritical incumbents in the hip pockets of wealthy special interests is ABSOLUTELY what American voters must do if they wish to see government improve its performance record.

Now, a little objectivity added to your fact set.

First, this economic crisis was in the making during the 2006 elections with Greenspan’s low interest nod to mortgagers that they could give mortgages away damn near gratis for a higher return down the road.

Second, Bush made it his objective to create the ownership society back in his 2004 election run, giving the nod to the mortgage industry that anything goes if they can increase home ownership.

Third, it takes time to UNDO Republicans policies built up over 13 years of deregulation and absence of regulation - as was the case with non-bank mortgage companies and corporations. Contributing to this bubble was the Republicans looking the other way as the wealth gap, stagnant wages, and increasing personal debt especially credit card debt, was met with usurious rates as high as 38%.

Fourth, Charles Ross is right about he political power of the Democratic Congress against the veto of Bush exercised ONLY AFTER Democrats won in 2006.

Now, these facts do not imply that Democrats are on track to become the economic saviors. That remains to be seen. There is both damning and laudatory evidence. The damning evidence is in the Farm Bill, which Democrats loaded up with pork and their bending of the PayGo rules. The laudatory evidence is Democrats, led by Sen. Chris Dodd’s efforts, to rectify the housing and mortgage debacle in as prudent and effective manner as is conceivable - no tax dollars used for rescues, only homeowners living in their homes to get non-public tax dollar assistance, and the kind of oversight and regulation of the industry that Republicans refused for 13 years.

I hate political parties, PERIOD! They serve only one master and that is electoral victory. All other considerations like competence, integrity, and objectivity are secondary in selecting candidates for office, if considered at all. GW Bush is a perfect example.

So, again, I commend you! It is time Democrats voted for Democratic challengers, Republicans voted for Republican challengers, third party and independent voters to vote for challengers instead of incumbents.

And it is time the American people communicated to Congress that we have had enough of the B.S. and absolute waste of our tax dollars, and that incumbents are an endangered species UNTIL responsibility (ability to respond appropriately) for the nation and the people’s future in it, are elevated to incumbent’s first priority in both legislation crafting and voting.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 22, 2008 4:00 PM
Comment #253418

Jack, Commendations all around. Voting out irresponsible, unresponsive, crooked, and hypocritical incumbents in the hip pockets of wealthy special interests is ABSOLUTELY what American voters must do if they wish to see government improve its performance record.

Now, a little objectivity added to your fact set.

First, this economic crisis was in the making during the 2006 elections with Greenspan’s low interest nod to mortgagers that they could give mortgages away damn near gratis for a higher return down the road.

Second, Bush made it his objective to create the ownership society back in his 2004 election run, giving the nod to the mortgage industry that anything goes if they can increase home ownership.

Third, it takes time to UNDO Republicans policies built up over 13 years of deregulation and absence of regulation - as was the case with non-bank mortgage companies and corporations. Contributing to this bubble was the Republicans looking the other way as the wealth gap, stagnant wages, and increasing personal debt especially credit card debt, was met with usurious rates as high as 38%.

Fourth, Charles Ross is right about he political power of the Democratic Congress against the veto of Bush exercised ONLY AFTER Democrats won in 2006.

Now, these facts do not imply that Democrats are on track to become the economic saviors. That remains to be seen. There is both damning and laudatory evidence. The damning evidence is in the Farm Bill, which Democrats loaded up with pork and their bending of the PayGo rules. The laudatory evidence is Democrats, led by Sen. Chris Dodd’s efforts, to rectify the housing and mortgage debacle in as prudent and effective manner as is conceivable - no tax dollars used for rescues, only homeowners living in their homes to get non-public tax dollar assistance, and the kind of oversight and regulation of the industry that Republicans refused for 13 years.

I hate political parties, PERIOD! They serve only one master and that is electoral victory. All other considerations like competence, integrity, and objectivity are secondary in selecting candidates for office, if considered at all. GW Bush is a perfect example.

So, again, I commend you! It is time Democrats voted for Democratic challengers, Republicans voted for Republican challengers, third party and independent voters to vote for challengers instead of incumbents.

And it is time the American people communicated to Congress that we have had enough of the B.S. and absolute waste of our tax dollars, and that incumbents are an endangered species UNTIL responsibility (ability to respond appropriately) for the nation and the people’s future in it, are elevated to incumbent’s first priority in both legislation crafting and voting.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 22, 2008 4:03 PM
Comment #253420

I think this notion of kicking out the Democrats from Congress for this last term is all right, if you’re planning to replace them with other, better Democrats. However, to blame them primarily for the failures of this session is to ignore not only President Bush’s re-energized Veto pen, but also the fact that Republican Senators have managed to make their minority the most obstructive one in history, with a year to spare.

I’m afraid, Jack, that once again the people who need to be taught a lesson are the Republicans, and those who enable them. You still haven’t learned from 2006.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 22, 2008 4:10 PM
Comment #253424
Jim M wrote:
    d.a.n. said, “Can you name 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, or even 268 (of 535) in Congress that are not irresponsible?”
Well d.a.n. are you also looking for conservatives to vote for or just fishing around for my opinions? Frankly, I couldn’t afford to really support more than 20, and I believe I have found them.
Then perhaps you could share their names with us? Or is it a secret?

I can’t wait to see the list (probably 85% or more Republican, eh?)

If you provide a list of names, I will be happy to look up their voting records.

Sort of like this.

And if there are only 20, that’s a long, long ways from 268 (half of 535) in Congress.

What all voters should do # 1 …

Jack wrote: The Democrats have as big or bigger majority in both Houses than the Republicans have had since the 1920s.
True.

Since JAN-1955, the majority of Congress has been Democrats (sometimes by huge margins).

Since JAN-1955, the Republicans have only had a small majority (from JAN-1997 to JAN-2007).

Therefore, Democrats have had the majority of Congress all but 10 years of the last 54 years.

BOTH parties have had a turn at the IN-PARTY for in the last 20 years.

Thus, based on track-records, voting records, the debt, and a wide number of major issues, it doesn’t really seem to matter which party is the IN-PARTY or OUT-PARTY for the last 20 years.

Posted by: d.a.n at May 22, 2008 4:24 PM
Comment #253426
Stephen Daugherty wrote: I’m afraid, Jack, that once again the people who need to be taught a lesson are the Republicans, and those who enable them. You still haven’t learned from 2006.
Think so?

Partisan to the very end, eh?
Just say “NO” to anything-anti-Democrat, eh?
Still blaming Republicans for the last 2 years, eh?

What about this pork-laden H.R. 2419 (passed by BOTH Democrats and Republicans, but MOSTLY Democrats): H.R. 2419

More about H.R. 2419

Face it, few (if any) in Congress deserve re-election.
Nothing else will get Congress persons’ attention more than the threat of losing their cu$hy, coveted seats of abused power.

While our troops risk life and limb, going without armor, going without adequate medical care, and promised beneifts, what were most Congress persons doing? ANSWER: Congress was busy giving itself its 9th raise in 10 years. Cha-Ching!
But, why should Congress persons be responsible when they are repeatedly rewarded with 85%-to-90% re-election rates?

It doesn’t matter really.
Eventually, whether some partisan loyalists like it, or not, the majority of voters will finally figure it out … when pain and misery finally provides the motivation.

Posted by: d.a.n at May 22, 2008 4:37 PM
Comment #253427

David & Stephen

What d.a.n. says. Dems have been in the driver’s seat most of the last 54 years. In fact, Republicans had both houses of congress and the president only for 4 years (2003-7).

As you both know, I don’t believe that governments can or should try to closely manage the economy, but I know you guys disagree. The evidence, however, is that the Dem congresses havee not done a particularly good job. In our recent history, economic growth picked up after the 1994 elections and went on until 2000. Then it picked up again in 2003 and continued until last year. If you really believe politicians manage the economy, the Dem record is terrible.

Re home ownership, I agree that it is not for everybody, but I think the dream of home ownership is good. You criticize Bush for wanting to share the dream. Isn’t this kind of a “no we can’t” attitude?

Posted by: Jack at May 22, 2008 4:45 PM
Comment #253428

Jack,

Actually, as I have stated here before, it’s not really necessary to vote out all incumbants. What IS needed, however, is to put the fear of God into them.

As d.a.n. has pointed out so many times, Congresspersons have no fear of NOT being re-elected, as “we the people” have been returning the same ol’ people to Congress. They have forgotten that “we the people” are their employers. We are their bosses. WE tell THEM what we want them to do and they are supposed to do it. That’s what employees do.

Congress as a whole, secure in its knowledge that we won’t do a thing about it, has turned to its employers (“we the people”) and displayed the middle finger in utter disdain of our wishes and desires.

What will send a message loud and clear is a vote against them. If enough people vote against an incumbant, it will not matter if they are re-elected or not. They will “get” the fact that their employer is very, very unhappy and that they (the Congressperson) is about to get their ass FIRED. If that doesn’t wake them up, then they need to be fired. Enough Congresspersons get fired and the entire Congress will wake up and realize one important fact:

We the people hired you…and we the people WILL fire you!

Posted by: Jim T at May 22, 2008 4:59 PM
Comment #253429

Too many politicians in BOTH parties have been too irresponsible.

Too many voters still refuse to see that.

That denial simply drags things out longer, and causes more damage, making recovery (if ever) more difficult.

And there’s a lot of damage, and it did NOT all come about only during the Republicans or Democrats turns as the IN-PARTY / OUT-PARTY.
For one thing, when this much corruption and this many abuses have been allowed to grow for so long, it will not be easy or quick to correct.

But the longer it goes on, the more painful it will be later.

BTW, I’ve looked at a lot of voting records.
My 2 senators (Cornyn and Hutchison) and 1 representative (Burgess, who is pushing another version (H.R. 1040) of a regressive tax system that doesn’t tax all income equally) do not deserve re-election. Especially Kay Bailey Hutchison, who unfortunately is not up for re-election until on NOV-2012. Have you ever noticed how Senators’ voting habits become even more (than usual) “I don’t give a damn what you voters think” when the Senator isn’t up for re-election.

Posted by: d.a.n at May 22, 2008 5:06 PM
Comment #253430

I’m not only for throwing all the bums out, but not electing anyone from either the Democrat or Republican parties to replace them. Both parties have proven over the last 30 years that they only care about retaining power, special interest, and folks that contribute large amounts of money to their campaigns. Neither care anyhing about the working folks of this country.
The Republicans only care about big business, and so the called religious right. The Democrats only care about the far out kooks, the welfare class, special interest, and every minority racist group there is. This leaves the working folks out in the cold with no representation.
Throw both parties out of office on every level and replace them with folks that care about the working taxpayer.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 22, 2008 5:11 PM
Comment #253432

d.a.n. I already gave you two congressmen who will receive my financial support. One Democrat and one Republican. Now you want me to show you my entire hand. Let’s be fair d.a.n. you show me two who you support with your money, not your mouth, and then we can go on to more.

P.S. d.a.n. I am certain that we have huge differences when it comes to voting records so why bother? You’ll pick apart my choices and I’ll return the favor. You see, it’s not that we disagree about throwing out the bums, we just don’t agree on who the bums are!

Just re-read some of the posts above and you will find that most writers are not interested in throwing out the bums, just those of the opposite party. As I said earlier, nothing will change as long as American’s vote with their heart and not their head.

Posted by: Jim M at May 22, 2008 5:28 PM
Comment #253433

Did you hear about the Farm BILL H.R. 2419 Fiasco yet?

Congress has now proven that it is also incompetent of spending the tax-payers money unwisely.

It left 1 of 15 sections out of the BILL.
Thus, Congress claims on 14 sections were vetoed.
But we have been assured that Nancy Pelosi is taking full responsibility for this fiasco.

HHHHMMMMmmmmmm … there was a day when taking responsibility actually meant something.

Posted by: d.a.n at May 22, 2008 5:30 PM
Comment #253434

I do not believe in managing the economy directly. It’s far too complex for that. The best course for regulation, in my opinion, is targeting towards predictable behaviors and outcomes that harm economic stability. If we know that failures of disclosure often let bubbles swell up and collapse disastrously, we force disclosure. If we know what trying to sell bonds on a company and selling stock at the same time creates conflicts of interest, we regulate to prohibit that intermingling.

I think the Bush economic policy of trying to prevent any and all downturns are part of what’s made this downturn so serious. There are too many variables, and besides, an occasional contraction or slowdown lets people rest a bit economically, fix whatever might be causing the instability, price and value things appropriately. However, we should not be having to handle these things as sudden, industry-wide collapses, but more gradual, more predictable slumps. The idea is to iron some of the volatility out of the system by making it easier to evaluate what the market forces are.

I’m for clarity, for full disclosure, for the interests of financial agents and corporate leaders being clear of conflicts.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 22, 2008 5:34 PM
Comment #253439

Jack -

Perhaps before you start claiming the Democrats “haven’t done anything”, how about doing your homework?

http://democrats.senate.gov/dpc/dpc-new.cfm?doc_name=fs-110-1-80

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2004083886_congress20.html

And why did the Democrats in Congress not end the war and impeach Bush/Cheney? Easy. We only controlled half of the Senate, and absolutely nothing could get passed without the say-so of the Republican senators.

If we had the majority (AND the presidency) that the Republicans had, you’d be seeing something completely different. Hopefully in the two years after this coming January, we’ll all get the opportunity to see what I mean.

One more thing on the subject of ‘getting things done’ - this past November Fox News castigated the Democratic Congress for cutting its workdays from five days a week to four. Of course Fox never mentioned that in the previous Republican Congress, they only had a THREE day work week.

http://www.newshounds.us/2007/11/04/fox_whines_about_congress_4_day_work_week_leaves_out_that_repubs_worked_3_days_a_week.php

I’m used to Fox leaving out important facts - like when Bush bashed Obama (even if the name ‘Obama’ was never mentioned), Fox interviewed Huckabee, who was all over how Obama would be an ‘appeaser’. Of course, neither the Fox reporter nor Huckabee mentioned how just one day before, the Secretary of Defense said that we needed to talk to Iran….

http://mediamatters.org/items/200805160009

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at May 22, 2008 6:41 PM
Comment #253441
Jim M wrote: d.a.n. I already gave you two congressmen who will receive my financial support.
Rep. Louie Gohmert, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, and Sen. John Cornyn ? (since you say you’re in Texas; same as me).

Let’s start with Louie Gohmert:

  • Voted NO on regulating the subprime mortgage industry. (Nov 2007) {Now look at where we are.}

  • Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation. (Nov 2007) {HHmmm…perhaps because such discrimationit is already (or should) illegal}

  • Voted NO on removing oil & gas exploration subsidies. (Jan 2007) {HHHmmmmm…guest their profits aren’t big enough?}

  • Voted YES on increasing AMTRAK funding by adding $214M to $900M. (Jun 2006) {more pork-barre}

  • Voted NO on assisting workers who lose jobs due to globalization. (Oct 2007) {figures}

  • Voted YES on implementing CAFTA, Central America Free Trade. (Jul 2005) {Cha-ching!}

  • Voted NO on requiring lobbyist disclosure of bundled donations. (May 2007) {of course not; who wants transparency}

  • Voted YES on removing need for FISA warrant for wiretapping abroad. (Aug 2007) {no civil oversight is a constitutional violation}

  • Voted YES on allowing electronic surveillance without a warrant. (Sep 2006) {Heil !}

  • Voted YES on continuing intelligence gathering without civil oversight. (Apr 2006) {Heil !}

  • Voted NO on restricting employer interference in union organizing. (Mar 2007) {Good for Walmart}

  • Voted NO on increasing minimum wage to $7.25. (Jan 2007) {But Congress gives itself a raise almost every year; 9 of the last 10 years}

  • Voted NO on paying for AMT relief by closing offshore business loopholes. (Dec 2007) {don’t mess with our loop-holes}

  • Voted YES on retaining reduced taxes on capital gains & dividends. (Dec 2005) {that’s part of why the tax sysytem is regressive.}

__________________________
John Cornyn:
When Cornyn ran for Senate, Abramoff contributed $1,000, the maximum amount legally allowed. The allegedly anti-gambling Cornyn also received $6,250 in contributions from Las Vegas casino interests who oppose Indian gaming, some of which were made at the same time Cornyn was pushing to close the Tigua’s casino.
A February 2006 poll has found Cornyn’s popularity in the last six months has not improved, while his disapproval rating has grown. He now stands as the most unpopular senator in Washington D.C., with 40% approval and 38% disapproval.

John Cornyn:

  • Voted YES on recommending Constitutional ban on flag desecration. (Jun 2006) {hasn’t he got better things to do?}

  • Voted NO on repealing tax subsidy for companies which move US jobs offshore. (Mar 2005) {figures}

  • Voted NO on shifting $11B from corporate tax loopholes to education. (Mar 2005) {really?}

  • Voted NO on removing oil & gas exploration subsidies. (Jun 2007) {more corporate welfare}

  • Voted NO on including oil & gas smokestacks in mercury regulations. (Sep 2005) {?}

  • Voted YES on implementing CAFTA for Central America free-trade. (Jul 2005) {and who did this really help?}

  • Voted YES on allowing some lobbyist gifts to Congress. (Mar 2006) {Cha-Ching!}

  • Voted NO on establishing the Senate Office of Public Integrity. (Mar 2006) {imagine that?}

  • Supports prescription drug coverage for seniors. (Jun 2002) {more pandering for votes}

  • Voted YES on removing need for FISA warrant for wiretapping abroad. (Aug 2007) {Heil !}

  • Voted NO on implementing the 9/11 Commission report. (Mar 2007) {why?}

  • Voted NO on preserving habeas corpus for Guantanamo detainees. (Sep 2006) {never mind some were innocent}

  • Voted NO on requiring CIA reports on detainees & interrogation methods. (Sep 2006) {Heil !}

  • Voted NO on restricting business with entities linked to terrorism. (Jul 2005) {what’s up with that}

  • Fight crime by securing our borders. (Jun 2002) {yeah right; like he’s really serious about that?}

  • Voted NO on eliminating the “Y” nonimmigrant guestworker program. (May 2007) {gotta have that cheap labor}

  • Voted NO on limiting farm subsidies to people earning under $750,000. (Dec 2007) {reverse robinhood}

  • Voted NO on restricting employer interference in union organizing. (Jun 2007) {Walmart agrees}

  • Make Bush tax cuts permanent, kill death tax. (Jun 2002) {he wants to make the current regressive tax system permaennt}

  • Voted NO on $47B for military by repealing capital gains tax cut. (Feb 2006) {despicable}

  • Voted YES on retaining reduced taxes on capital gains & dividends. (Feb 2006) {oink oink}

  • Voted YES on extending the tax cuts on capital gains and dividends. (Nov 2005) {keep on rootin’}

__________________________
Kay Bailey Hutchison: Pork-barrel Hutchison voted for:
$107,433,000 for projects added in the state of Senate TTHUD Appropriations Subcommittee member Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), and the districts of House TTHUD Appropriations Subcommittee member John Culberson (R-Texas), and House appropriators Henry Bonilla (R-Texas), John Carter (R-Texas), Kay Granger (R-Texas), and Chet Edwards (D-Texas), including: $1,000,000 for compressed natural gas buses; $1,000,000 for the University of Texas Flywheel Bus and Truck Program; $500,000 for the Midland County Board of Commissioners Connection; $250,000 for Odessa for the renovation of the Historical Globe Theater; and $200,000 for Nacogdoches for renovations to the Fredonia Hotel and Convention Center.

KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON, the first woman Texas has ever elected to the U.S. Senate, has gone from stardom to scandal in four months. She was indicted for misconduct in her former job as Texas state treasurer—an indictment she calls a “political witch hunt” by Democrats against a Republican. The issue is not whether her staffers performed political chores while she ran for the Senate—she admits they did—but whether the abuses were flagrant and whether she tried hard to hide them. She now faces the prospect of a trial during a bid for re-election next fall.

In 1994 the Dallas Observer’s Miriam Rozen gained access to grand jury documents in the case against Kay Bailey Hutchison. She said:

    I can’t find the article online, but I managed to find a contemporaneous Texas Monthly article that quotes largely from the piece. The testimony starts with employees, former coworkers and others noting her abusive behavior around the office. She literally threw a book at a subordinate and kept her office in a state of fear while she was Treasurer. These employees testify that when she told them to start destroying documents that showed her using state-paid staff, offices and other taxpayer-funded resources for her own political activities, they made copies behind her back.

___________________________

HHHHMMmmmmmmm … so, Jim M., you’re OK with that ?

Jim M wrote: One Democrat and one Republican. Now you want me to show you my entire hand.
You said you had 20 names. Let’s see them all.

Besides, 20 ain’t anywhere near 268 (half of the 535) in Congress.

Jim M wrote: Let’s be fair d.a.n. you show me two who you support with your money, …
I support two challengers (with money and a substantial amount of time too).

One challenger in Missouri: Byron Delear (D) running for the 2nd District in Missouri.
One challenger in Ohio: Rich Stevenson (I) running for 1st District in Ohio.
I am not voting for Sen. John Cornyn, or Rep. Michael Burgess (26-TX).

I’ll be voting (I’m undecided on these as of yet) for one of these challengers:

  • Ken Leach - U.S. House, District 26 (Democratic)

  • Stephanie B. Weiss - U.S. House, District 26 (Libertarian)

  • Scott Lanier Jameson - U.S. Senate, (Libertarian)

  • Rick Noriega - U.S. Senate, (Democratic)

  • Jon Roland - U.S. Senate, (Libertarian)

  • Yvonne Adams Schick - U.S. Senate, (Libertarian)

Jim M wrote: … not your mouth, and then we can go on to more.
Do you think that sort of rhetoric makes a stronger case ?

He is the only challenging candidate I know of that believes that an Article V is long over due, and peremptory per the literal meaning of Article V of the Constitution.

Jim M wrote: P.S. d.a.n. I am certain that we have huge differences when it comes to voting records so why bother? You’ll pick apart my choices and I’ll return the favor.
Fine … guess we’ll never know.
Jim M wrote: You see, it’s not that we disagree about throwing out the bums, we just don’t agree on who the bums are!
Yeah right. Especially since you won’t say who the 20 are that are not bums.

Besides, what are 20 compared to 535 in Congress?
And have you actually looked at the voting records of those 20 incumbent Congress persons?

Jim M wrote: Just re-read some of the posts above and you will find that most writers are not interested in throwing out the bums, just those of the opposite party.
True … for now.

I’m all too aware of the powerfully strong partisan loyalties.
Some people will never consider voting for challengers unless there are challengers in THEIR party.
Incumbent politicians know this.
That is why there are ususally are no challengers in THEIR party (i.e. challengers are usually from the OTHER party).
This is one of the clever circumstances and mechanisms to ensure the incubments’ 85%-to-90% re-election rates.
The politicians know this.
They may be corrupt, but they’re not stupid.
They have had decades to figure out all the ways to make their cu$hy, coveted incumbencies more secure.

Jim M wrote: As I said earlier, nothing will change as long as American’s vote with their heart and not their head.
True. I agree.

But eventually, pain will finally trump blind partisan loyalties, apathy, complacency, delusion, irrational fear and hatred, and laziness.

But unfortunately, there will also be painful consequences for so many years of these 10+ abuses, causing the deterioration of these 17+ economic conditions: One-Simple-Idea.com/DisparityTrend.htm

Stephen Daugherty wrote: I’m for clarity, for full disclosure, for the interests of financial agents and corporate leaders being clear of conflicts.
We all should be.

Those are fundamental and necessary components. Unfortunately, regardless of how fundamental they are, they are missing …

  • Conscience = the source of moral and ethical judgment; a sense of right and wrong; a sense of caring. A good Conscience is not merely knowing what is right or wrong, but caring enough to do what is right, and provides the motivation to seek the balance of Education, Transparency, Accountability, and Power required for any successful society, government, or organization;
  • Education = an understanding of the importance of: Education, Transparency, Accountability, Power, Responsibility, Corruption, and the fundamental human desire to seek security and prosperity with the least effort and pain, and that some will resort to dishonest, unethical, or illegal methods to obtain it;
  • Transparency = visibility and simplification of cleverly over-complicated processes to reveal and identify abusers, create outrage, reduce opportunities for abuse, and discourage abuse and dishonesty;
  • Accountability = consequences needed to encourage law enforcement, encourage ethical behavior, and discourage abuse and dishonesty;
  • Power = force required to enforce the laws, discontinue abuse, ensure consequences, punish abusers, and discourage abuse and dishonesty; but unchecked Power without sufficient Education, Transparency, and Accountability breeds Corruption.
  • Responsibility = Power + Conscience + Education + Transparency + Accountability
  • Corruption = Power - Conscience - Education - Transparency - Accountability
Posted by: d.a.n at May 22, 2008 6:58 PM
Comment #253442

I listen to many on this site who advocate throwing out the rascals of the opposing party, but few who will find any rascals in their own party.

It is quite evident to me that many writers are of the George Soros Moveon.org crowd which is the major funding for liberal politicians. What I find interesting since the 2006 mid-term elections is that liberal Republicans are loosing seats to conservative Democrats.

Not long ago I posted an editorial from the NY Times that expanded on this turn about. The writer went on to explain how this will cause Democrats some serious problems in the future with an ever expanding conservative membership in their club.

Since I have always voted for the conservative rather than the party, I may soon be the one cheering for the Dems, and the libs will be the ones cheering for the Repubs. Isn’t life interesting?

Posted by: Jim M at May 22, 2008 6:59 PM
Comment #253443

Jack,

I don’t see what incentive the Democrats have for getting anything done. The Bush administration is still in power. Any positive developments would erode the blame Bush mantra. The Republicans lack conservative leaders in Congress offering an opposing message. Instead, the Republican party wants to offer me a “liberalism lite”/neoconservative/big government conservative platform in the coming election. In many respects, the platform offered by the Republicans via McCain is not a stark contrast to the Democrats platform. This lack of opposing message by Republicans all but guarantees the Democrats a much larger majority next year. Why should Democrats jeopardize this outcome with results? Why compromise with Republicans now when you can more or less disregard them in 9 months?

Posted by: Mr. Haney at May 22, 2008 7:07 PM
Comment #253444

Jim M,
You write: “What I find interesting since the 2006 mid-term elections is that liberal Republicans are loosing seats to conservative Democrats.”

That’s very true. But the key is Republicans losing to Democrats, not conservatives to liberals. For example, in the recent special election in MS, the Democrat won a seat which should never have been lost by Republicans. The Democrat was definitely conservative on social issues. So in a way, it’s more about the competence of a political party than its political leanings.

So what you are seeing is not necessarily a rejection of conservative values by voters, so much as a rejection of the GOP. Voters are rejecting the Republicans because of the War in Iraq and corruption. But underlying that rejection is a realization by voters that the GOP does not represent… well, much of anything. The GOP does not do what it says it will do. Worse, it keeps doing things like insisting oil corporations receive a $10 billion subsidy in the last energy bill, or else the GOP would put its foot down and block the whole thing! I mean, what are voters supposed to think?

So, political parties change and evolve as time goes by. Perhaps the GOP will rediscover itself in Libertarianism. Maybe Huckabee will come to the rescue.

Posted by: phx8 at May 22, 2008 7:18 PM
Comment #253449

Jack:

Nice article that gives me a chance to state some long held opinions and get some imput from a diverse group of thinkers. Thanks.

First of all, I am not advocating voting out all incumbents. Please do not get me wrong, I would not lose much sleep at all it 90% of them were voted out, but I do not think that would solve the problems, in fact I believe it would make the problem worse. IMHO the problem with our government is not that we have a large number of incumbents nor is it the fact that they are reelected at a very high rate(when those in power make the election laws, the system will always be tilted to them), but in the fact that most MOC’s are party first politicians. IMHO this is the problem that must be addressed by the voters.

For sake of my arguement, I would like to stipulate that the that the Majority Leaders of both Houses are very liberal AND the Minority Leaders are very Conservative(I do not intend to debate this issue, I do not even believe it, but as I have seen that most of each side seem to believe that the other side on way out in a direction, I am using it for illustration purposes). Two years ago, the Democrats took the majority by in large due to conserative Democrats winning seats. The Republicans were holding majorities mainly by liberal Members of Congress. BOTH groups have/had power due to people that fundamentally disagreed with their party’s leadership on core values. The Parties’ leadership met with these members and threatened committee postings and other privleges if the members did not fall into line. In almost every instance, Party superceeded core values. IMHO this is a common theme in both parties and goes to the core of the biggest problems Americans face!

For the life of me, I do not understand how a Democrat from a conservative District/State can maintain power by being in lockstep with liberal leadership JUST because of the “D” in their title, and the same goes for a liberal Republican. IMHO we have gotten to the point that we will attack, defend, justify and forgive people in power for no other reason except that the person keeps the PARTY in power; therefore that persons misdeeds crimes and failings MUST be overlooked or persecuted because the other Party may gain an advantage if they are not.

Am I wrong or have we gotten to the point that maintaining power as a PARTY is more important than doing what our core beliefs dictate? Are we so afraid that our ideals, if presented in a fair forum with the chance to win the hearts and minds of our countrymen/women, would be rejected by the voting public that we would rather cover for someone in our PARTY than to hold them to the same standards we would insist that a member in “the other PARTY”? Which should be more important, political philosophy/core beliefs or PARTY affiliation? Would anyone with a party affiliation argue that presidents Bush and Clinton have been held to the same standards?

A while back someone posted the reasons that they supported and defended President Clinton even though they hated a lot of his positions and actions. I have also seen people defend President Bush even when his actions were opposed to their core beliefs/philosophy. I have seen many defenses of politions’ actions based soley on “well Senator X did this too”, when both should have been drubbed out of public service. But in the stead both were allowed to have power just because of the R or D in their title. Why have we gotten to the state of governence by the lesser of the evils at all costs, just to keep the PARTY in power? I understand the tactics of it, but does the short term gain for the PARTY outweigh the long term damage done to one’s philosophy being compromised in law, and therefore if one believes his/her philosophy is correct and is best for the country, does the good of the PARTY outweigh the damage done to the country?

IMHO the solution is not to vote out the incumbents. That would just lead to more PARTY men/women being in office, except there would be a lot less experience in office and that would mean that the fresh faces would be more dependant on the PARTY leadership. The solution is to abolish the 17th amendment to the Constitution and force the Senators to be accountable to the state, NOT the PARTY. State delegates are far more responsive to the local core values than the PARTY line. Let’s face it, a Democrat in District 1 of Tennessee would be an arch-conservative in SOH Pelosi’s district. This would force Senators to vote philosphy in the stead of PARTY and return issues to the values of voters AND MAYBE, just MAYBE, start making our government rule by doing what they see best for the people not the PARTY.



Posted by: submarinesforever at May 22, 2008 8:18 PM
Comment #253454

The Crazy John McCain Song.

Listen to The Crazy John McCain Song or download it for FREE at http”//www.johnmccainusa.com/

THE CRAZY JOHN MCCAIN SONG

Lyrics by J.J. Spoons & Willie G. Smith
Music by Doc. “Skippy” McGhee

A Product of the Heartland.
Witten in Beautiful Akron, Ohio USA.
Recorded at Little Shack Studio, Okahumpka, Florida.
Mixed at Tall Tree Productions, Clarion, Pennsylvania.
Remixed at Big River Records, Joplin, Missouri.

Posted by: Listen to or download The Crazy John McCain Song here. at May 22, 2008 9:20 PM
Comment #253462

Mr. Haney said: I don’t see what incentive the Democrats have for getting anything done. The Bush administration is still in power. Any positive developments would erode the blame Bush mantra.

Right! If the Democrats did actually pass some true reform some of the credit would go to Bush. And of course that just can’t happen. Specially during an election.
The sad fact of it is even if they get a Democrat President (And I think they will) nothing that’ll do any good is gonna to get done. They’ll be to busy taking care of the special interest that contribute to their campaigns to pass any meaningful legislation.

Mr. Haney said: The Republicans lack conservative leaders in Congress offering an opposing message.

Of course they do. There aint any conservative Republicans left. The whole damn bunch are just about as liberal, if not just as liberal as the Democrats are.


Posted by: Ron Brown at May 22, 2008 9:51 PM
Comment #253464

I’m reminded of Scrabble. Sometimes, it’s best to just dump all the letters you’ve got and start over. Sounds like an idea.

Posted by: SteveJ at May 22, 2008 10:14 PM
Comment #253467

FOR submarinesforever

You Sir/Madam have hit the nail on the Head. It’s more like belonging to something than using common sense. They just have to belong to something, right or wrong. Heard animales??

Posted by: VOL1920 at May 22, 2008 11:46 PM
Comment #253470

Jack,
Taught and told by the Hierarchy of Society to maintain the Staus Quo Americans need to learn that any and all Political Change must come from “We the People” and not wait for Our Elected Officials to tell us what is going to be. So, unless the Left and Right of Society is willing to keep living in the 20th Century than the best that the Left and Right can do is keep voting out every incumbent in Washington.

For why I may not agree with the Learned and Unlearned of Society about their Better World, I do believe that anyone seeking the Elected Offices in America that do not believe the Youth of America cannot build a Better World than their Parents and Grandparents should be kept from the Halls of Congress and the White House to include City Hall.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at May 23, 2008 12:56 AM
Comment #253488

subsforever-
Let me put this plainly: our gains went across the board, and even the conservative Democrats were liberal enough to oppose Bush on most issues.

The real trouble here is that the Republicans bought into their own sales pitch on conservatism, which had it the wave of the future across the country. While it’s true that Republicans successfully dominated politics for the last decade and a half, this was in part due to certain demographic considerations and the dilution of much of their policies by the Clinton Adminstration. If they had directly tried to impose their will, it would have lost them a lot of ground very quickly. As it is, Clinton was able to successfully play off the wingnuts, and position himself as a moderate.

Moderation is what people wanted, and what the Democrats can easily offer. The Democrats have made the progress they’ve made because they are willing to go a little bit more to the right to pick up seats, and the Republicans are unwilling to go too far to the left to do the same. The Democrats have defined themselves with an attitude that allows, even encourages moderation, while the Republicans have defined themselves in a way that requires them to take hardline positions. When they had a viable coalition of these hardliners, when these folks could stand each other, they had strength, if not robust strength. But once everybody really got what they wanted, each faction in the Republican party suddenly found that other parts of it did not fit their definition of what conservatism or proper GOP politics was.

The main political weakness for Democrats at this point is that you have a pack of them whose main political experience has been the long decline of the party. They’re cautious, quick to give into the Republicans. If you look at the polls, the Democrats are not disagreed with on the main issues. The people are behind them on that. What’s got the poll numbers for Congress so low is the perception that they haven’t performed as promised.

Or, put another way, that they haven’t been liberal enough, or at least enough of a moderating force against the Republicans. The Republicans are kidding themselves if they think that their only big problem is that people think they aren’t conservative enough. The problem is, unlike the Democrats now, they aren’t able to appeal to their base and the moderate Americans at the same time. If McCain moves towards the center, it endangers his standing with the fragmented party base. If McCain does what he has been doing, pandering to the base, he’s likely to lose the moderates to Obama.

Point is, the trend is not Republican. Far from it. President Bush was a breaking point for many people, and his party has yet to wake up to the fact that it has lost the middle in America. Reagan’s legacy is on life-support, if not dead already.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at May 23, 2008 9:58 AM
Comment #253489
submarinesforever wrote: IMHO the solution is not to vote out the incumbents. That would just lead to more PARTY men/women being in office, except there would be a lot less experience
“experience” ?

“Experience” at what?

  • Experience at voting themselves cu$hy perk$, benefits, and laws to make their incumbencies more secure ?

  • Experience voting themselves rai$e$? (Congress gave itself a raise 9 times in the last 10 years)?

  • Experience at fueling partisan warfare, and pitting voters against each other so a majority can never exist to vote out irresponsible incumbent politicians?

  • Experience at ignoring our pressing problems as they grow in number and severity ?

  • Experience at growing government ever larger to nightmare proportions?

  • Experience at clouding the issues, obscuring the facts, manufacturing non-sequiturs to skirt the issues, change the subject, devising clever distractions, while they get theirs, pad their golden parachutes, and make they incumbency more secure?

  • Experience at growing the National Debt (now at $9.4 Trillion) ?

  • Experience at creating borrowing and spending $12.8 Trillion from Social Security, leaving it pay-as-you-go, with a 77 million baby-boomer bubble approaching?

  • Experience at eroding the U.S. Dollar and excessive money creation (a 1950 Dollar is now worth less than 10 cents)? One-Simple-Idea.com/USD_Falling.htm

  • Experience at pandering and trolling for big-money-donors to fund their campaign war-chests?

  • Experience at votin’ on pork-barrel, corporate welfare, graft, bribes, and peddlin’ influence ?

  • Experience at violating the Constitution and selectively ignoring laws? One-Simple-Idea.com/ConstitutionalViolations1.htm

  • Experience at pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other, for cheap labor, profits, and votes: One-Simple-Idea.com/VoteDemocrat.gif ?

  • Experience resisting campaign finance reform, term limits, One-Purpose-Per-BILL, Balanced-Budget-Amendment, tax reform, and many other common-sense, no-brainer reforms?

  • Experience fooling and brainwashing voters to lazily pull the party lever, vote straight ticket, and wallow in the petty partisan warfare ?

  • Experience at fear mongering?

  • Experience at looking the other way?

  • Experience at leaking top-secret information ?

  • Experience at dirty, negative, distracting campaigning?

  • Experience at excessive and wasteful spending (like H.R. 2419 full of pork-barrel and corporate welfare for the wealthy) ?

  • Experience voting on waste, pork-barrel, subsidies, corporate welfare, and raises for Congress while our troops risk life and limb, go without armor, adequate medical care, and promised benefits?

  • Experience blocking access to voting ballots and election debates for independent and third party candidates?

  • Experience at appearing to be doing very hard and complex work (like rocket science), while actually doing very little (if anything, since most of the time is spent working to merely get re-elected, troll for big-money-donors, bribes, and peddling influence)?

  • Experience at pretending to care deeply for the increasingly unaffordable and unreliable health care crisis, while doing nothing to solve that was primarily caused by greedy, irresponsible middlemen (government and insurance companies?

  • Experience at pretending that homeland security is important, while both do nothing to secure the wide-open borders that are trespassed by thousands daily, and costs stemming from illegal immigration (exceeding $70 billion per year) are heaped upon U.S. citizens.?

  • Experience at perpetuating the myth that we can all live at the expense of everyone else?

  • Experience at making their cu$hy, coveted incumbencies more secure?

  • Experience lying to The People (“Read My Lips”, “WMD”, “Your President is not a crook”, “I did not have sex with that woman”, etc.)?

  • Experience at ignoring these 10+ abuses ?

What good is that kind of “experience” ?
The “experience” argument is pretty lame; especially when it is experience like that above … learning how to be more corrupt and learning how to work the system for self-gain.

submarinesforever wrote: in office and that would mean that the fresh faces would be more dependant on the PARTY leadership.
Why?

In fact, more new faces would have the opposite effect.
More newcomers to Congress would allow them to actually challenge the status quo.
Currently, the newcomers to Congress are always vastly out-numbered by the incumbent politicians who like things just they way they have perverted them for their own self-gain.
Currently, newcomers to Congress are bullied by the long-time incumbents, and risk the loss of party support if they go against the status quo.
Newcomers can’t fulfill many (if any) of their campaign promises, because of the pre-existing incumbents that have already succumbed to the corrupt and dysfunctional status quo.
Newcomers that fight the status quo find themselves isolated and shunned.
The incumbents will make sure those newcomers don’t get any party support.
The incumbents pressure, tempt, and threaten newcomers to Congress, and prevent newcomers from passing badly-needed, common-sense, no-brainer, responsible reforms to increase transparency and accountability.
Too many incumbents are bought-and-paid-for, too beholding to their big-money-donors, too FOR-SALE, and refuse to tackle tough issues or address numerous pressing problems, for fear of risking reprisals for rejecting the status quo.
Newcomers need the voters help to overcome the over-population of irresponsible incumbent politicians in Congress, who perpetuate the status quo and the perversion of the system for their own self-gain.

So, again, the “experience” argument is a pretty lame argument.

submarinesforever wrote: The solution is to abolish the 17th amendment to the Constitution and force the Senators to be accountable to the state, NOT the PARTY.
    Amendment XVII The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislatures. When vacancies happen in the representation of any state in the Senate, the executive authority of such state shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, that the legislature of any state may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct. This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.
If only it were that simple.

How is abolishing the 17th Amendment going to make Senators ignore THEIR party?
Whether senators are elected or appointed, they will still have partisan leanings.
The senate’s 6 year terms staggered with 2 year election intervals ensures one-third of the previous senators always exist to pass along any experience they may have (supposedly).

So, the abolishment of the 17th Amendment is no silver bullet, and no substitute for 200 million eligible voters whose duty it is to vote responsibly, and not repeatedly reward irresponsible incumbent politicians with 85%-to-99% re-election rates.

The problem is not only bad politicians.
The voters are culpable too.
Unfortunately, few want to talk about that, because it is easier to blame the OTHER party, or anyone else besides themselves.
In a voting nation, an educated electorate is paramount.
And the voters will get their education one way or another, whether it’s the smart and responsible way, or the hard and painful way.
There are no quick fixes.
The change that is needed is an increased motivation by more voters to vote more responsibly.
That’s not easy, but that is most likely the ONLY thing that can work in a Democratic Republic such as ours.
We’ve been given the privilege to vote, but what good is it if we squander it?
One might say the solution is simple (i.e. simply vote more responsibly), but achieving that is actually so very elusive, because too many voters and politicians are quite simply too irresponsible.

  • Too many voters repeatedly reward irresponsible politicians for all of it with 85%-to-90% re-election rates.

  • Too many voters (40% to 50% of all 200 million eligible voters) don’t even bother to vote at all.

  • Too many voters wallow in the paritisan warfare, while ignoring more substantive issues; and the incumbent politicians capitalize on it.

  • Too many voters fuel the paritisan warfare, while ignoring more substantive issues; and the incumbent politicians capitalize on it.

  • Too many voters fuel the blame game, because it is easier to blame the OTHER party, then ever admit THEIR own party is little (if any) better; in THEIR mind, the OTHER party is evil, and they love to fuel that partisan warfare, rather than admit the painful truth; and incumbent politicians capitalize on it;

  • Too many voters refuse to vote out THEIR incumbents for fear of the OTHER party’s incumbents getting re-elected; thus, the incumbent politicians capitalize on it with high re-election rates;

  • Too many voters blindly and lazily pull the party-lever, with out even knowing the candidates on the ballot, much less the candidates’ voting records; and incumbent politicians capitalize on it.

  • Too many voters refuse to vote for challengers because the challengers belong to the OTHER party … a clever situation incumbent politicians capitalize on it;

  • Too many voters put THEIR party above the nation, and incumbent politicians capitalize on it.

  • Too many voters merely vote for the candidate (usually an incumbent) that spends the most money, who wins 90% of the time.
Voters have a choice, and they would be wise to give it much more consideration now, rather than later when the consequences of their negligence become MUCH more painful.
The voters can learn the smart way, or the hard way.
But one way or another, they will get their education, and some painful lessons are already in the pipeline.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect, and deserve. Our education is on the way.

Posted by: d.a.n at May 23, 2008 10:15 AM
Comment #253503

“Of the people, for the people, by the people”

Voting, by the people, is only part of the equation. Recently I went to city hall and filled out a volunteer application to join the Planning and Zoning Committee.

It seems many people on this thread, want to vote out government officials that are of the do nothing variety.

Maybe we should look in our mirrors and ask ourselves are WE of the do nothing variety. Applaud all of your community organizers, or better yet become one.

The bad thing about voting is there is not a chance to vote everyday, but by getting more involved at the most basic level of our government you can do something everyday.

Of course we could post the same tired arguments on watchblog.

Posted by: Jason Ziegler at May 23, 2008 12:59 PM
Comment #253510
Jason Ziegler wrote: Voting, by the people, is only part of the equation. … Applaud all of your community organizers, or better yet become one.

Yes. Voting is only part of it.
Yes. Everyone should try to be more involved.
More education is part of the solution.
And if we don’t try to get our education the smart, responsible way, we will (most likely) get it the hard and painful way.
Perhaps more Americans will be less complacent, apathetic, partisan, and blindly loyal when enough of them are jobless, homeless, and hungry.

However, getting involved alone isn’t enough either, when our elected officials ignore the voters.
This Congress has the lowest approval ratings in history (and so does G.W. Bush (42)).
So, it cerainly makes no sense to give Congress dismally low approval ratings and then repeatedly reward incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election.

Consider how Senators and Representatives were flooded with FAXes, letters, and phone calls regarding illegal immigration … yet, here we are, 22 years later since the first shamnesty of 1986, and the illegal immigration problem has quadrupled. Our own politicians are despicably pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other for profits and votes. Most Americans polled want exiting laws enforced and borders secured. Yet, what does Congress do? It votes to build a few fences here and there, but allocates little (or no) money to fund it, and millions of illegal aliens are still flooding across the borders annually. And illegal employers are allowed to continue to violate existing laws, and shift massive costs to the average tax payers (e.g. an estimated $70 Billion to $338 Billion annually in net losses).

In fact, a large number of things have been getting worse … lending more and more credibility to the fact that our do-nothing Congress is ignoring us. It’s all too obvious that far too many incumbent politicians are more concerned about their own self-gain, and making their cu$hy, coveted incumbencies more secure.

Jason Ziegler wrote: Maybe we should look in our mirrors and ask ourselves are WE of the do nothing variety.
That’s right.

Whining and complaining about bad incumbent politicians and then rewarding those same bad incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election isn’t only a “do-nothing” transgression.
It is worse.
Unfortunately, blind partisan loyalties trump responsible voting … at least until that becomes too painful.
So, it is up to the voters.
The voters are culpable too.
As long as voters can vote, and get an accurate vote count, it is up to them.

I’m confident, in time, when the consequences of repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election finally becomes too painful, enough of the 200 million eligible voters will (hopefully) do as they have done in the past, and vote out a lot of bad incumbent politicians (as they did around the Civil War and the Great Depression).

The problem will eventually sovle itself (one way or another).
Unfortunately, it will probably be later than sooner, since pain and misery must first provided the much-needed motivation.

  • The Great Depression Era; the 73rd Congress, 1933 to 1935:

  • Re-Election rate = 206/531 = 61.2%

  • Political party seat-retention rates = 78.7%

Compare that to today’s re-election rates:
  • The 109th Congress, JAN-2005 to JAN-2007:

  • Re-Election rate = 61/535 = 88.6%

  • Political party seat-retention rates = 98.7%

  • _________________________________________________

  • Today’s 110th Congress, JAN-2007 to JAN-2009:

  • Re-Election rate = 81/535 = 84.9%

  • Political party seat-retention rates = 93.1%

  • tbl_110_Congress (2007 to 2009)

So, getting involved is a good idea, but that isn’t enough when government has turned into this, and largely responsible for abuses and these deteriorating economic conditions which are now worse than ever and/or since the 1930s and 1940s.

Anti-incumbent sentiments are growing (amongst voters of BOTH main parties), and there’s a very good reason for that.

Start _ End __ Congress _ Re-Election _ Party Seat-Retention
Year __ Year ____ # _____ Rate ________ Rate
1999 __ 2001 __ 106 ____ 89.2% ________ 99.3%
2001 __ 2003 __ 107 ____ 89.2% ________ 98.7%
2003 __ 2005 __ 108 ____ 87.9% ________ 98.1%
2005 __ 2007 __ 109 ____ 88.6% ________ 98.7%
2007 __ 2009 __ 110 ____ 84.9% ________ 93.1%
____________ AVERAGE = 84.8% _______ 97.1%

It takes time.
Perhaps too much time?
Perhaps more time than we have to avoid many painful consequences?

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect, and deserve.

Posted by: d.a.n at May 23, 2008 2:28 PM
Comment #253531

Jack said: “I don’t believe that governments can or should try to closely manage the economy,”

I am astounded by this statement. The government has been managing the economy since 1932, and the greatest economic, population, and middle class growth period in America’s history has come about since the end of Great Depression and its cyclical recessions.

Reality flies in the face of your beliefs, Jack, which is why I counter many of them such as this.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 23, 2008 7:40 PM
Comment #253536

So Why Did the great Depression end much quicker in europe than America? Was it a result Of FDR’S Dislike for Business?

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 23, 2008 9:39 PM
Comment #253537

Stephen Daugherty:

Thank you very much for your reply, I am appreciative of you sharing your perspective. I think we disagree on this, but I learned from your post and hopefully you can learn from mine. I do not think that most of America wanted political moderation, but they rather wanted politicians to stand on principle but be forced to make honest compromises. I come to this conclusion primarily due to the fact that it has been two decades since a President has had both a majority of the Electorial College AND popular vote. IMHO both PARTIES only principle is to gain and hold power at all costs. We are paying the costs. If you care for me to expand on my thinking, I gladly will.

d.a.n.:

Thanks for confronting me with my own words. You have forced me to think my thoughts through to be able to respond. That was a learning experience for me, so here goes:

Your first paragraph on “experience” had 29 bulleted points if my count is correct. Unless I misread your intentions, these are intended to be a laundry list of the incompentence and malfeasance of the Legislative and Executive Branches of our government. I hope that is correct, for I agree with it and therefore believe that we are in agreement with the definition of the problem.

Assume for a minute that the vast majority decide to vote for non-incumbants only. In the months leading up to the election, both local and national polls will begin to show this. A groundswell of public opinion will form and many will start to jump on the bandwagon. All is good….except the question remains,” Who do we vote in”? Would the majority vote for one “third PARTY”? Would they split their vote among several and therefore be ineffective? Or would they just decide to vote for the other major national PARTY?

My guess would be that most would vote for the other national PARTY or fracture and be ineffective. Polls would indicate that and the national PARTIES would begin to flood the races that they deem winnable with cash. Now you have the non-incumbants getting elected but they will still be hacks beholding to the PARTY due to the campaign money. Now assuming that we achieve a 90% anti-incumbancy rate(anything less than 100%), we still have PARTY leadership and PARTY hacks voting. In fact, practically everyone there would be there only due to PARTY affiliation. How can they not put the PARTY first? When the Majority leadership holds a vote on legislation that no one has had a chance to read, do you really expect these politicians to have the intestinal fortitude to say, “WAIT A DAMNED MINUTE!”, or is it more likely that the lack of experience will be taken advantage of by the leadership?

Sir, unless you can provide a more realistic scenario of how the election process would unfold, IMHO your solution, however populist and catchy it may be, would only lead to the same problems we now face only being lead by the other party. We would still have a legislature guided and rewarded by PARTY loyality and bereft of principle. IMHO a solution that substitutes a problem for the same exact same problem is a lame solution.

You asked,”How is abolishing the 17th Amendment going to make Senators ignore THEIR party?”. I know how I want to answer this, but am struggling as to how I can convey my thoughts clearly. But again, here goes:

1. I have stated before that a Democrat in my district would be an “arch-conservative” in SOH Pelosi’s district. In fact, my local Democrat and Republican PARTIES are very similar in philosophy. Even though the district is traditionally Republican, the Democrats that are making headway are conservative and are beholding to that philosophy more than to the PARTY. Therefore I feel free to vote for the person and not the party.I have spoken to both my State Delegate and Congressman on several occasions. My experience is that the State Delegate is more responsive and willing to tell me in no uncertain terms when we are in disagreement. My Congressman is more likely to have everything delegated to staff and respond with form letters and to follow PARTY leadership. The point being that in local politics, politicans are more responsive to peoples’ philosophy than the PARTY’s.

2.You state,”In a voting nation, an educated electorate is paramount. And the voters will get their education one way or another, whether it’s the smart and responsible way, or the hard and painful way.” I agree wholeheartedly. Now I pose this to you, who is more educated on the problems and possible solutions we have, the general electorate or the State Delegate? IMHO the State Delegate strikes a nice balance of being aware, informed and responsive to the philosophy of the people.

3. If the State Delegates elect the U. S. Senators and are more educated to the issues and more responsive to the philosophy of the people, they also have the authority and mandate to summons the Senators representing the state to answer for their actions and votes on the spot and can replace the Senators on a moment’s notice(I love the idea of having those pompus hearing holders setting on the other side of the table). This will force the Senators to put principle above PARTY. Again, on the local level I believe that there are mostly small differences between the PARTIES’ positions and that makes the local PARTY officials more beholding to principles than to PARTY. This would allow and almost force a conservative Democrat to hold another Democrat to the same standards as they would a Republican and vice versa.

4. I do not think my asnwer is the “do all- end all” that will make politics as pure as the driven snow, but IMHO it would have the effects of:
A. Forcing the principles of the represented on the representatives.
B. Bringing about needed and real campaign finance reforms by making Senate elections local in the stead of national.
C. Tempering Party politics.

Again I want to say thanks for making me think my position through and I hope that I did the same for you. I apologize for the spelling and grammar, but I hope that I conveyed that I agree with you on the problems we face, but disagree on the solutions we offer. If I need to clarify or defend my positions, let me know.

Posted by: submarinesforever at May 23, 2008 10:26 PM
Comment #253559
submarinesforever wrote: Unless I misread your intentions, these are intended to be a laundry list of the incompentence and malfeasance of the Legislative and Executive Branches of our government. I hope that is correct, for I agree with it and therefore believe that we are in agreement with the definition of the problem.
Yes. Government is irresponsible. That’s not the sort of “experience” we need reward with re-election. Voters are culpable too, since complaining and whining about Congress, giving Congress dismally low approval ratings, and then rewarding Congress with perpetual re-election makes no sense at all, and demonstrates how powerful and damaging their blind partisan loyalties are. It appears most likely that most voters will have to learn from the painful consequences of their own actions, because rewarding corruption and incompetence with perpetual re-election will merely make government more corrupt and incompetent.
submarinesforever wrote: Assume for a minute that the vast majority decide to vote for non-incumbants only. In the months leading up to the election, both local and national polls will begin to show this. A groundswell of public opinion will form and many will start to jump on the bandwagon. All is good….except the question remains,” Who do we vote in”? Would the majority vote for one “third PARTY”? Would they split their vote among several and therefore be ineffective? Or would they just decide to vote for the other major national PARTY?
“Who do we vote in”?

ANSWER: Vote for challengers.

It certainly makes no sense at all to repeatedly reward corrupt and irresponsible incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election, so that they can become more powerful, more corrupt, and more difficult to oust from their cu$hy, coveted seats of abused power.

High re-election rates are why our incumbent politicians ingore us.

So, that Who do we vote in”? still is not a good argument for repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election, is it?

Thus, the “Who do we vote in?” argument is logically a very weak argument, but it is (indirectly) a very strong argument for current reality, human behavior, and the elusiveness of the simple, logical, common-sense, no-brainer, and responsible solution (i.e. vote smart; vote responsibly; stop rewarding bad incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election).

But it is that sort of argument (among many), in reality, that helps to maintain high re-election rates for incumbent politicians.
In reality, there are many reasons why voters habitually and foolishly vote for incumbent politicians:

  • (01) Challengers are often in the OTHER party, and voters are reluctant or totally opposed to ever voting for challengers in the OTHER party. Incumbent politicians know this, and capitalize on it. Thus, winning seats for the PARTY trumps voting for the most qualified candidates.

  • (02) 90% of all elections are won by the candidate that spends the most money. Incumbent politicians have many unfair advantages. that make their cu$hy, coveted incumbences more secure. Incumbent politicians know this, and know how to capitalize on it.

  • (03) Too many voters are blindly and lazily loyal to THEIR party, and blindly pull the party-lever, without even knowing all the candidates on the ballot, much less the candidates’ voting records, or the candidates’ positions on the issues. Today, it is easier than ever to find and read those voting records, and how they voted on various BILLs, but few do it. This type of blind loyalty is rooted in laziness and delusion, because it is easier to blame the OTHER party, than admit that THEIR party is no better. Incumbent politicians know this and know how to capitalize on it.

  • (04) Too many voters are too complacent, apathetic, blindly partisan, blindly loyal, ignorant, willfully delusional, prone to irrational fear and hatred, and/or lazy … at least until that becomes too painful. Pain and misery is a good teacher and motivator. It’s the built-in self-correction mechanism, although progress it is often painfully slow (i.e. 2.00 steps forward, and 1.99 steps backward).

There are many reasons why voters repeatedly reward irresponsible incumbent politicians with re-election, and incumbent politicians know all of this, and know how to capitalize on it.

Too many voters are manipulated because they allow themselves to be manipulated.
Too many voters allow themselves to be manipulated because of apathy, complacency, selfishness, blind loyalty and partisanship, ignorance, irrational fear, willfull delusion, and laziness.
Too many voters choose to blame politicians, but repeatedly reward THEIR politicians with perpetual re-election.
Too many voters abdicate THEIR responsibility to THEIR party … at least until the consequences of so many years of corruption and incompetence finally becomes too painful.

The bottom line is that ALL of US are the problem.
WE have met the enemy, and it is US.
WE have only ourselves to thank for it.
Only WE can change it, and that ain’t gonna happen by repeatedly rewarding irresponsible and corrupt politicians with perpetual re-election.
Education is part of the solution, and we’re going to get that Education either the smart and responsible way, or the hard and painful way.

  • Responsibility = Power + Conscience + Education + Transparency + Accountability

  • Corruption = Power - Conscience - Education - Transparency - Accountability

Education is the only thing that can possibly substitute for deficient virtue and conscience, when that Education finally leads to the understanding that what we are doing is bringing us more pain and misery.

submarinesforever wrote: My guess would be that most would vote for the other national PARTY or fracture and be ineffective.
Maybe. Maybe not.

That still is not a good argument for repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election, is it?

But how is repeatedly rewarding irresponsible and corrupt politicians better?
Of course, there is no guarantee that the challengers will be better.
However, it is logical to assume that the ousting of many irresponsible incumbent politicians will not be lost on either the challengers and incumbent politician who able to retain their incumbencies.
And if the challengers are irresponsible too, then they also should not be rewarded with re-election.
The logic is really not that complicated.
What is complicated is the reasons why humans do illogical things that bring pain and misery upon themselves (selfishness, greed, apathy, complacency, irrational fear, irrational hatred, blind loyalties, and laziness).
Humans (naturally) seek security and prosperity with the least amount of effort and pain.
There is nothing wrong with that, and most people are ethical and law abiding (otherwise, we would have wide-spread chaos, war, lawlessness, and societal disorder).
However, some people (Cheaters) have surrendered to selfishness, which breeds corruption; especially where power and opportunity exists.
Part of the solution is Education to understand the fundamental elements (Education itself, Transparency, Accountability, Conscience and Virtue, Power), to recognize the clever manipulations and controlling mechanisms (e.g. partisan warfare) used by cheaters, and remember that no reforms will ever be possible until voters do the one simple, common-sense, no-brainer, non-partisan, inexpensive, safe, peaceful and responsible thing that voters were supposed to be doing all along:

    Vote for challengers. Vote smart. Stop repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election.

submarinesforever wrote: Now assuming that we achieve a 90% anti-incumbancy rate(anything less than 100%), we still have PARTY leadership and PARTY hacks voting. In fact, practically everyone there would be there only due to PARTY affiliation. How can they not put the PARTY first?
Maybe. Maybe not.

Parties themselves are not the root problem.
Blind loyalties and the lazy abdication of voting responsibly is the problem (again, WE are the problem; all of US).
I personally don’t have any use for any political parties, since I see very little difference between what they BOTH do.
Voters should look at the candidates without regard for THEIR party.
When things get bad enough, that is what they will most likely do, as evidenced by the 38.8% (206 of 531) of Congress persons ousted in office during the Great Depression (the 73rd Congress, 1933 -to 1935):

  • Re-Election rate = 206/531 = 61.2%

  • Political party seat-retention rates = 78.7%

Compare that to today’s re-election rates:
  • The 109th Congress, JAN-2005 to JAN-2007:

  • Re-Election rate = 61/535 = 88.6%

  • Political party seat-retention rates = 98.7%

Also, the arguement that:

    “(anything less than 100% [voted out]), we still have PARTY leadership and PARTY hacks voting.”
supposes that nothing can ever trump partisan loyalties. While there is llttle doubt that blind partisan loyalties (rooted in other basic human flaws) exist, pain and misery will finally trump them. While blind partisan loyalties are a problem, we can’t surrender to them completely. We can resign to futility.

The voters would be wise to give a little pain to some irresponsible incumbent politicians (by voting them out of office) before those irresponsible incumbent politicians foist a lot of pain and misery upon the majority of American voters.

Thus, it’s not far-fetched to predict that pain and misery, when it reaches a certain threshhold, will finally (eventually) trump the blind partisan loyalties, irrational partisan hatred, distracting partisan warfare, selfishness, greed, apathy, complacency, irrational fear, willful delusion, and laziness. And there will be painful consequences for so many years of these 10+ abuses, corruption, and irresponsibility.

submarinesforever wrote: When the Majority leadership holds a vote on legislation that no one has had a chance to read, do you really expect these politicians to have the intestinal fortitude to say, “WAIT A DAMNED MINUTE!”, or is it more likely that the lack of experience will be taken advantage of by the leadership?
Yes. That’s their job.

If they don’t, they should be voted out of office for failing to do their job.

submarinesforever wrote: Sir, unless you can provide a more realistic scenario of how the election process would unfold …
OK. That’s not hard to do.

First of all, 206 of 531 incumbents were voted out of the 73rd Congress during the Great Depression (1933-1935).
The number of Congress persons getting voted out increased for several Congresses (after the Great Depression started around 1929).
Pain and misery caused that.
So, why wait (again) until the pain and misery is already upon us?

Regardless of whether you think it is a good idea or not, is really a moot point.
The painful consequences of failing to vote more responsibly will provide the much-needed motivation and Education, whether we want it or not.
Just read up on some history, and you will see many “realistic scenarios” of how the election process will unfold.

Corruption, abuse, and irresponsibility leads to pain and misery.
Pain and misery leads to change.
Progress (if any) is slow and painful (2.00 steps forward, 1.99 steps backward).
Our massive fiscal irresponsibility ($53.2 Trillion of nation-wide debt) has the capacity to severely destabilize the economy; especially when no one can tell us where the money will come from to pay only the interest alone on $53.2 trillion of nation-wide debt, much less the money to pay down the principal debt (LOAN=PRINCIPAL+INTEREST) to keep it from growing ever larger;

submarinesforever wrote: … IMHO your solution, however populist and catchy it may be, would only lead to the same problems we now face only being lead by the other party.
Voting out irresponsible incumbent politicians will lead to the “same problems” ?

That doesn’t make any sense.
While progress is slow (2.00 steps forward, 1.99 steps backward), trying to defend the re-election of irresponsible incubment politicians makes no sense at all.
But you are (unfortunately) not alone in that belief.
It makes about as much sense as trying to put out a fire by throwing gasoline on it.
So, are you asserting that: if government is corrupt, the solution must be to reward the incumbent politicians with re-election, so that they don’t become more corrupt?
That’s some fascinating logic.
Has it ever occurred to you that voting out irresponsible incumbent politicians will send a loud and clear message to all incumbent politicians that their careers will be short of they are irresponsible too?
Has it ever occurred to you that repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election is they main reason they are irresponsible?
Repeatedly reward you children for irresponsbile behavior and then observe what happens.

In fact, continually rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election is what will not only perpetuate the “same problems”, but guarantee that they grow worse.
Anyone arguing against the sound, common-sense, and responsible logic of not repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election has their work cut out for them.

So, what’s “catchy” about voting responsibly?
What’s wrong with ideas that are “populist” (provided they don’t violate anyone’s rights)?
That sort of rhetoric does nothing to disprove the sound, common-sense, and responsible logic of not repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election.

What Jack, David R. Remer, and I am suggesting voters do (sooner than later) is exactly what voters were always supposed to do, and will do eventually anyway.
Voters were never supposed to repeatedly reward irresponsible incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election.
Voting out irresponsible incumbent politicians is exactly what will most likely happen anyway (eventually; as in the Great Depression, and the Civil War), when failing to do it (sooner than later) finally becomes too painful.

There are other numerous abuses and problems, growing fast in number and severity, that are already culminating and creating the deterioration of these 17+ economic conditions, which have never been worse ever and/or since the 1930s and 1940s.
And with the current energy vulnerabilities on top of all that, things in the U.S. could get much worse in a big hurry.
The worst-case scenarios are frightening, and while fear mongering should be discouraged, we need to be taking action NOW to avoid those worst-case scenarios.
Corn ethonal doesn’t work.
Sugar cane and other plants (some types of algea) create 7 times (or more) ethanol than corn.
Smaller vehicles and more fuel efficient engines could save billions of gallons of fuel.

Thus, your argument against and asserted futility of voting our irresponsible incumbent politicians has no credibility.
It’s going to happen.
When things get bad enough, it will not be surprising to see over 200 Congress persons ousted from office (as occurred in the Great Depression).

submarinesforever wrote: We would still have a legislature guided and rewarded by PARTY loyality and bereft of principle. IMHO a solution that substitutes a problem for the same exact same problem is a lame solution.
What is truly lame is trying to defend the idea of repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election.

What is truly lame is trying to belittle and discourage the idea of not repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election.

submarinesforever wrote: You asked,
    d.a.n wrote: ”How is abolishing the 17th Amendment going to make Senators ignore THEIR party?”.
… 1. I have stated before that a Democrat in my district would be an “arch-conservative” in SOH Pelosi’s district. In fact, my local Democrat and Republican PARTIES are very similar in philosophy. Even though the district is traditionally Republican, the Democrats that are making headway are conservative and are beholding to that philosophy more than to the PARTY.
Above, you were arguing excessive influence by the PARTY.

Now you are saying conservatism trumps PARTY?

That still doesn’t explain how abolishing the 17th Amendment is going to make Senators more responsible and accountable.
Besides, I’m not at all sure politicians voting for other politicians is a good idea at all.
Despite the voters irresponsibility to vote wisely, I’m not keen about taking those votes away from the voters, and giving MORE power to the politicians.
While the voters don’t always vote wisely, they will never learn by taking away their right to vote.
Thus, I am opposed to the abolishment of the 17th Amendment.

submarinesforever wrote: Therefore I feel free to vote for the person and not the party. I have spoken to both my State Delegate and Congressman on several occasions. My experience is that the State Delegate is more responsive and willing to tell me in no uncertain terms when we are in disagreement. My Congressman is more likely to have everything delegated to staff and respond with form letters and to follow PARTY leadership. The point being that in local politics, politicans are more responsive to peoples’ philosophy than the PARTY’s.
All politics are local (so it is commonly said).

I’m not so sure of that.
Above, you derided “populist” ideas.
Now you arguing for ways to make “politicans are more responsive to peoples’ philosophy”

That still doesn’t explain how abolishing the 17th Amendment is going to make Senators more responsible and accountable.

submarinesforever wrote: 2.You state,
    d.a.n wrote: ”In a voting nation, an educated electorate is paramount. And the voters will get their education one way or another, whether it’s the smart and responsible way, or the hard and painful way.”
I agree wholeheartedly. Now I pose this to you, who is more educated on the problems and possible solutions we have, the general electorate or the State Delegate? IMHO the State Delegate strikes a nice balance of being aware, informed and responsive to the philosophy of the people.
I disagree. Politicians voting for politicians is a recipe for disaster.

Despite the voters irresponsibility to vote wisely, I’m not keen about taking those votes away from the voters, and giving MORE power to the politicians.
While the voters don’t always vote wisely, they will never learn by taking away their right to vote.
Thus, I am opposed to the abolishment of the 17th Amendment.

Besides, what you are suggesting is VERY unlikely to occur, since it would require the passage of an amendment that has little (if any) support in Congress.
There’s no credible proof that it would improve anything, and may possibly increase corruption. So why bother with it?

submarinesforever wrote: 3. If the State Delegates elect the U. S. Senators and are more educated to the issues and more responsive to the philosophy of the people,
But you argued above that politicians don’t read the BILLs.

And you derided “populist” ideas above.
It’s not working.
Abolishing the 17th Amendment and giving more control and power to politicians (with politicians voting for and appointing other politicians), and removing the right of the voters to choose their senators is a bad idea, and will most likely make government more corrupt, and LESS responsive to the “populist” ideas and philosophies of the voters.

submarinesforever wrote: they also have the authority and mandate to summons the Senators representing the state to answer for their actions and votes on the spot and can replace the Senators on a moment’s notice(I love the idea of having those pompus hearing holders setting on the other side of the table). This will force the Senators to put principle above PARTY. Again, on the local level I believe that there are mostly small differences between the PARTIES’ positions and that makes the local PARTY officials more beholding to principles than to PARTY. This would allow and almost force a conservative Democrat to hold another Democrat to the same standards as they would a Republican and vice versa.
“Force” ?

Not likely. The voters already have the power to choose (i.e. vote) for their senator (every six years).
If the voters don’t think their Senator is responsive, then they should not repeatedly reward that Senator with perpetual re-election.

submarinesforever wrote: 4. I do not think my asnwer [abolishing the 17th Amendment] is the “do all- end all” that will make politics as pure as the driven snow, but IMHO it would have the effects of:

OK. However, above, you wrote …

submarinesforever wrote:
The solution is to abolish the 17th amendment to the Constitution and force the Senators to be accountable to the state, NOT the PARTY.

submarinesforever wrote: 4. I do not think my asnwer is the “do all- end all” that will make politics as pure as the driven snow, but IMHO it would have the effects of: A. Forcing the principles of the represented on the representatives. B. Bringing about needed and real campaign finance reforms by making Senate elections local in the stead of national. C. Tempering Party politics.
“… in the stead of national.” ?

Senators are not national now.
Senators are elected only by citizens of their state (that’s not national; likewise with Representatives).
Only the citizens of the state are allowed to elect their Senator.
And you would remove that by allowing other politicians to choose those Senators?

There’s nothing in your plan [to abolish the 17th amendment] that provides the “force” required to make politicians responsive to voters more-so than the voters themselves by voting directly for their own Senator.

One of the purest forms of representation is for the represented to vote for their own representatives.
To remove that right to vote, and give it to other politicians (to vote and/or appoint other politicians) gives too much power to the politicians, and reduces the voters representation.
Congress doesn’t need more power, and that will not make them more responsible and accountable.
As it is, Congress already can’t police its own ranks.
There’s already too many that look-the-other-way.
Even John McCain admitted to that in a NPR interview in year 2005.

submarinesforever wrote: Again I want to say thanks for making me think my position through and I hope that I did the same for you. I apologize for the spelling and grammar, but I hope that I conveyed that I agree with you on the problems we face, but disagree on the solutions we offer. If I need to clarify or defend my positions, let me know.
Thank you too.

However, your argument for abolishing the 17th Amendment isn’t very convincing, and deriding the idea of refusing to reward irresponsible incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election makes no sense at all (even though there are many that will agree with you; many which are partisan loyalists).

As for solutions: One-Simple-Idea.com/Solutions1.htm

Posted by: d.a.n at May 24, 2008 10:54 AM
Comment #253567

d.a.n. Many times in the past the greatest dilemma I faced was choosing between two candidates when neither represented my views. I always vote in the primaries as that is the process that produces the eventual final candidates. However, if one looks at the turnout in most primaries, it is dismal. My experience has shown that many times, the best candidates (those who represent my views) don’t make the final cut. Does that mean my views aren’t the most popular…perhaps, but since many times only 20% of the electorate is voting, how would I know?

Oftentimes, the best candidates fall to the wayside during the primaries because they are not supported by any party and can’t adequately fund their campaign. And, the party presents candidates to the public who have proven loyalty to the party machine or those who the party believes can win regardless of their competency.

Then, in the general election the voters are left to choose between two unacceptable candidates. Most voters, faced with this dismal choice will go with the party they favor. That’s what I do when faced with a choice between candidates, neither of which I really approve of. I would be stupid to stay home and not vote, and just as stupid to vote for the opposing party candidate of whom I also disapprove. When forced to choose between worse and worse, I’ll choose party and my guess is, nearly everyone else would also.

The answer to our problem lies with attracting better candidates to the primary process and that requires a knowledgeable electorate, early on in the process, and finding a way to fund these non-party affiliated candidates.

The other part of our collective problem is finding a way to attract the best men and women to run for public office. Many well qualified people refuse to allow themselves to be exposed to this brutal, humiliating, and God-awful process. And frankly, I don’t blame them. Our election process as designed by our founders was meant to be challenging, a bruising process that winnowed out the weak from the strong, the silly from the competent, the fake from the authentic. But things have changed in our Republic with the advent of lobbyists, PAC’s, 24-hour news cycles, big labor, big business, and such. I have no solution for this.

What I do know is that out of an entire nation, we should not have to settle between a John McCain or Barack Obama. We could have done better.

Your comments and suggestions are appreciated.

Posted by: Jim M at May 24, 2008 1:20 PM
Comment #253575

Jim M,

Yes, getting better candidates on the list is also part of the solution.

Yes, we need to do something about campaign finance, because 99.85% of all 200 million eligible voters are VASTLY out-spent by an extremely tiny 0.15% of all voters who make 83% of all federal campaign donations (of $200 or more; source: OpenSecrets.org).
That’s not fair.
That’s government FOR-SALE.
Thus, the wealthy have extremely unfair advantages.
And that big-money advantage works, as evidenced by 90% of elections that are won by the candidate that spends the most money, and that is usually the incumbent politician.
Most people probably are not even aware of how skewed the money-advantage it is.
If they did, they might question the wisdom of voting for the candidate with the most money.

Jim M. wrote: What I do know is that out of an entire nation, we should not have to settle between a John McCain or Barack Obama.
True. It’s a sad line up.

That’s why voters would be wise to not forget about Congress.
Whoever the next president is, what will they be like with the same do-nothing Congress?

Jim M. wrote: We could have done better.
Yes, we can and should (or learn the hard way later).

One thing we can do now is stop rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election, regardless of how distasteful that may be to some people when the challenger is from the OTHER party. But it is that cleverly planned situation that keeps the incumbent politicians re-election rates so high.

The longer we don’t, the worse these economic conditions will get, due to these 10+ abuses.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect, and deserve. Our education is on the way.

Posted by: d.a.n at May 24, 2008 2:46 PM
Comment #253584

d.a.n.:

Thanks again for your reply. It was quite thorough and on point, but I have to disagree with you on some issues and I want to start by making a particular point. I am in no way shape or form trying to make a case not to vote out incumbants. Again, I agree with you on the pittiful jobs the Congress has done and will continue to do if change does not occur AND the consequences of our inactions.

I want first address our differences in general, then I will address your points specifically. I would like to point out that you did not lay out a scenario of an election season that in which just voting out incumbants because they are incumbants would have a positive or lasting effect on the way we are governed. IMHO the general scenario I presented is fairly realistic and if I am correct of even close to being correct, just voting out incumbants is again just a moot exercise. I think that a good example of this is when the Republicans took the House, they started out by being responsive to the people that put them in power but over time they began to morph into what the Democrats were when they were in control. IMHO the sad part was that this took months not years. Voting out an incumbant for a challanger of his/her same PARTY does nothing to change the machinery of PARTY politics and politicians voting PARTY first.

One other thing in general. If Congress is voting irresponsibly and able to be rewarded by a irresponsible voting public, would it not be easier to get 535 people to do the responsible thing than to attempt to do the same with 100 million? If the voters that elect the Congress are culpable, and the Congress should be held accountable for demostrating their incompentence to the point of losing their power to vote, why should the electorate be held to a different standard than the elected?

Now on to the specifics of your reply to me:

You said,”It appears most likely that most voters will have to learn from the painful consequences of their own actions, because rewarding corruption and incompetence with perpetual re-election will merely make government more corrupt and incompetent.” I agree. But I believe my solution would be proactive in the stead of reactive. Do we need to wait for another depression or Civil War before we make changes?

You said,” So, that Who do we vote in”? still is not a good argument for repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election, is it?” Again my origional statement was intended to show just part of the scenario I was laying out AND I answered my own question in the continuance of that scenario including IMHO what the outcome would be even if the majority of the voters chose to vote out the incumbants. If you have a more realistic scenario, I would like to see it.


You posted:
“But it is that sort of argument (among many), in reality, that helps to maintain high re-election rates for incumbent politicians.
In reality, there are many reasons why voters habitually and foolishly vote for incumbent politicians:

(01) Challengers are often in the OTHER party, and voters are reluctant or totally opposed to ever voting for challengers in the OTHER party. Incumbent politicians know this, and capitalize on it. Thus, winning seats for the PARTY trumps voting for the most qualified candidates.

(02) 90% of all elections are won by the candidate that spends the most money. Incumbent politicians have many unfair advantages. that make their cu$hy, coveted incumbences more secure. Incumbent politicians know this, and know how to capitalize on it.

(03) Too many voters are blindly and lazily loyal to THEIR party, and blindly pull the party-lever, without even knowing all the candidates on the ballot, much less the candidates’ voting records, or the candidates’ positions on the issues. Today, it is easier than ever to find and read those voting records, and how they voted on various BILLs, but few do it. This type of blind loyalty is rooted in laziness and delusion, because it is easier to blame the OTHER party, than admit that THEIR party is no better. Incumbent politicians know this and know how to capitalize on it.

(04) Too many voters are too complacent, apathetic, blindly partisan, blindly loyal, ignorant, willfully delusional, prone to irrational fear and hatred, and/or lazy … at least until that becomes too painful. Pain and misery is a good teacher and motivator. It’s the built-in self-correction mechanism, although progress it is often painfully slow (i.e. 2.00 steps forward, and 1.99 steps backward).

There are many reasons why voters repeatedly reward irresponsible incumbent politicians with re-election, and incumbent politicians know all of this, and know how to capitalize on it.”

I agree with every word. IMHO this demonstrates that even though the Congress is corrupt and incompetent, the root cause is the incompetent electorate. My method of problem solving eliminates the root cause. You repeated the problems with the electorate at least two more times but then fail to take bold moves to solve the problem. You are correct that we need to vote smart and be more educated on the issues, but we as an electorate have failed in that duty at least as bad as the Congress has failed at their’s. Again, why should the electorate not be held accountable for the actions of the elected?

You said,” Thus, it’s not far-fetched to predict that pain and misery, when it reaches a certain threshhold, will finally (eventually) trump the blind partisan loyalties, irrational partisan hatred, distracting partisan warfare, selfishness, greed, apathy, complacency, irrational fear, willful delusion, and laziness. And there will be painful consequences for so many years of these 10+ abuses, corruption, and irresponsibility.” If we implement your solution, what would be the cycle time before we are in the same boat we are in now. If we are willing to let only pain and misery dictate when we do the right thing, and we wait until the misery is so great that we elect new officials that do the right thing, what next? They will get the credit and power from their actions the voters become complacent and we start the whole cycle again. Our grandchildren will have to fight the same battle again.


You posted:
submarinesforever wrote: When the Majority leadership holds a vote on legislation that no one has had a chance to read, do you really expect these politicians to have the intestinal fortitude to say, “WAIT A DAMNED MINUTE!”, or is it more likely that the lack of experience will be taken advantage of by the leadership?
Yes. That’s their job. ” Is it not their job now? What would be the difference, a better class of PARTY hacks?

You posted:
submarinesforever wrote: … IMHO your solution, however populist and catchy it may be, would only lead to the same problems we now face only being lead by the other party.
Voting out irresponsible incumbent politicians will lead to the “same problems” ? The answer is yes it is if that is all we do. My basic issue with your solution is that it does not go far enough. Yes we should vote out irresponsible office holders, but IMHO we need a fundemental change in the system to prevent a reoccurance.

You posted:
What Jack, David R. Remer, and I am suggesting voters do (sooner than later) is exactly what voters were always supposed to do, and will do eventually anyway.
Voters were never supposed to repeatedly reward irresponsible incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election.
Voting out irresponsible incumbent politicians is exactly what will most likely happen anyway (eventually; as in the Great Depression, and the Civil War), when failing to do it (sooner than later) finally becomes too painful. Again, if the public is not fufilling their duties, why not rail against them for doing the exact same thing that the ELECTED are doing?

You posted:
submarinesforever wrote: We would still have a legislature guided and rewarded by PARTY loyality and bereft of principle. IMHO a solution that substitutes a problem for the same exact same problem is a lame solution.
What is truly lame is trying to defend the idea of repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election.
What is truly lame is trying to belittle and discourage the idea of not repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election. Sir, I challenge you to show me where, in my writings, I am advocating the reelection of incompentent Representatives,and furthermore to show me where I am discouraging the idea of holding them accountable.

As far as belittling goes, the only word that I used that can be construed as belittling is “lame”. I chose that word specifically as a direct response to you using the same word to describe my position. Please do not use a tactic on me, and then when I use the same words and tactic as you, attack me for it. I will respond in kind. As for my part, responding in kind is not a justification, so I apologize to you for belittling your position.

You posted:

Above, you were arguing excessive influence by the PARTY. Now you are saying conservatism trumps PARTY?” What I am saying is that on the local level, principle trumps PARTY. If you were to sit down and talk to a conservative Democrat Senator, you would find that his positions would be different from his voting record. His voting record would reflect PARTY line votes. His position of power once elected is far more dependant on the PARTY than his principles. Since incumbants have the advantage in elections, the PARTY is in better position to hold him accountable than his constituants. IMHO this is less true on the local level.

You then say,” That still doesn’t explain how abolishing the 17th Amendment is going to make Senators more responsible and accountable.” Let me approach it this way:

1. Finance:
A. With no state wide campaign being waged needing financing, the elected will not be beholding to donors including special intrests and the national PARTIES, influence will be returned to the states general population.

B. Senators will be able to spend more time doing their jobs in the stead of raising money.

C. National PARTIES and 527 groups would have less influence due to the fact that would have to influence thousands of races(number of state Senators) in the stead of 100.

2. Accountability:
A. Senators tend to vote differently as an election approaches. With the states requiring reports and accountability continually, every vote would be like an election cycle vote.
B. In either conservative or liberal states, the Senators would be required along the lines of principle not PARTY.

3. Education of the electorate: Those voting to elect a Senator would be more educated to the problems facing the country than is now the case.

You posted:
Above, you derided “populist” ideas. Now you arguing for ways to make “politicans are more responsive to peoples’ philosophy”. My intentions were not to deride your message, if you took it that way, I apologize for not conveying my message clearly enough. My intention is to state that even if your solution were to catch on and be enacted, it would not go far enough to solve the root problem. I am willing to state that IMHO your proposed solution is lacking in depth to solve the problems we now have with the Congress. I do not mean that in a derisive way, I am just trying to convey respectfully that, IMHO, in the short term it is part of the solution, but in the long term it does not address the problem.

You posted:
Besides, what you are suggesting is VERY unlikely to occur, since it would require the passage of an amendment that has little (if any) support in Congress. I suggest that what you are proposing is not much more likely to gain traction than mine and that the events that lead up to the implementation of your ideals would also lead to the implemation of mine. After all, would an electorate that finally owns up to the fact that our voting record is as horrible as those we elect be willing to address our own inadequecies?

You posted:

submarinesforever wrote: 3. If the State Delegates elect the U. S. Senators and are more educated to the issues and more responsive to the philosophy of the people,
But you argued above that politicians don’t read the BILLs.
And you derided “populist” ideas above.
It’s not working.

I notice that you convienently edited my sentence cutting it off at the comma. My full statement was,”3. If the State Delegates elect the U. S. Senators and are more educated to the issues and more responsive to the philosophy of the people, they also have the authority and mandate to summons the Senators representing the state to answer for their actions and votes on the spot and can replace the Senators on a moment’s notice(I love the idea of having those pompus hearing holders setting on the other side of the table).”

I argued that the U. S. Senators are voting on bills that they could have not possibly read. I never implied that it holds true for State Delegates, in fact my arguement is that the State delegates are far more educated and populist and this strikes the needed balance that the general electorate has failed to maintain.

You posted:
submarinesforever wrote:
The solution is to abolish the 17th amendment to the Constitution and force the Senators to be accountable to the state, NOT the PARTY.

submarinesforever wrote: 4. I do not think my asnwer is the “do all- end all” that will make politics as pure as the driven snow, but IMHO it would have the effects of: A. Forcing the principles of the represented on the representatives. B. Bringing about needed and real campaign finance reforms by making Senate elections local in the stead of national. C. Tempering Party politics.
“… in the stead of national.” ? Senators are not national now.Senators are elected only by citizens of their state (that’s not national; likewise with Representatives).Only the citizens of the state are allowed to elect their Senator.And you would remove that by allowing other politicians to choose those Senators?

IMHO the Senate races now are all about national politics. I am not suggesting that the nation votes for my Senator, but that the national PARTIES have a large, undue influence on the election. If the voting public is as inept as we both say, why should they be the final arbitors of what is right?

You posted:
However, your argument for abolishing the 17th Amendment isn’t very convincing, and deriding the idea of refusing to reward irresponsible incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election makes no sense at all (even though there are many that will agree with you; many which are partisan loyalists).

d.a.n.:
Again I apologize for poorly choosing my words. I did not intend to deride you or your ideals. In fact, we both believe that the inept politicians are not worthy of our votes or their offices and therefore must go. I did not intend to present populism as a bad ideal, hell I am trying to promote it. This debate of ideals between us is fair and honest. Your ideals have merit and I would like to see them implemented but I just think they need to go further. I truely mean no disrespect to you.

Posted by: submarinesforever at May 24, 2008 5:01 PM
Comment #253597

submarines said: “Assume for a minute that the vast majority decide to vote for non-incumbants only. In the months leading up to the election, both local and national polls will begin to show this. A groundswell of public opinion will form and many will start to jump on the bandwagon. All is good….except the question remains,” Who do we vote in”? Would the majority vote for one “third PARTY”? Would they split their vote among several and therefore be ineffective? Or would they just decide to vote for the other major national PARTY?”

You are missing the obvious alternative. VOID does ask people to change their Party, only their incumbent. Which means Republicans can still vote Republican AND vote FOR a challenger instead of an incumbent. Likewise for Democratic voters.

VOID is not partisan and we don’t advocate partisan anti-incumbent voting. People join Parties out of affinity for the basic philosophy or platform of that Party. There is no reason contempt for the performance of their representative requires their voting for another Party’s platform.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 24, 2008 10:46 PM
Comment #253598

Rodney Brown, the answer to your question is complicated and requires an understanding of economics and history of that period to grasp and accept. Suffice for this blog to say, that the world’s nations at that time were not comparable to America’s in size, in production capacity per capita, nor were their capital markets, economies, or banking systems structured like ours at the time.

Your question implies a comparison between apples and apples, but the answer lies in key differences between our nation and theirs at that time. Their trading partners were very near, and many of ours were oceans away. That was another key difference. Our exports were more expensive, thus making us less competitive in the world of that time for products also made in the East or Europe.

It’s a fascinating period of history to study.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 24, 2008 10:56 PM
Comment #253606
submarinesforever wrote: d.a.n.: Thanks again for your reply. It was quite thorough and on point, but I have to disagree with you on some issues and I want to start by making a particular point.
Thank you too. It appears we have a difference of opinion on the abolishment of the 17th amendment. That’s OK. I can see some advantages, but I am still very reluctant to taking the voters right to choose their senators and giving it to other politcians.
submarinesforever wrote: One other thing in general. If Congress is voting irresponsibly and able to be rewarded by a irresponsible voting public, would it not be easier to get 535 people to do the responsible thing than to attempt to do the same with 100 million?
That is truly a scary thought. While too many voters fail to voter responsibly, they will never learn if that right to vote is eliminated. I fear giving more control to politicians to choose other politicians more than the irresponsibility of the electorate. At least with the electorate, they painful consequences of their irresponsibility will eventually provide the motivation to vote more responsibly. Congress already ignores the voters, and removing the voters ability to vote for their Senators will probably make the politicians more corrupt, and the voters more disaffected and resigned to the futility of trying to change the status quo.
submarinesforever wrote: IMHO this demonstrates that even though the Congress is corrupt and incompetent, the root cause is the incompetent electorate. My method of problem solving eliminates the root cause.
While too many voters vote irrersponsibly, I do not think the voters should be removed from the loop, by abolishing the 17th Amendment (direct election of Senators by the voters of their states).

Voters simply need more eductation, and it is on the way. It is a built-in self-correction mechanism. The voters simply have to choose whether they will get their education the smart way, or the painful way.

submarinesforever wrote: You repeated the problems with the electorate at least two more times but then fail to take bold moves to solve the problem.
It’s a cycle, but there has been progresss over the millennia.

It’s 2.00 steps forward, and 1.99 steps backward.
But removing the voters right to elect their own senators will be a huge step backwards.
Voters will vote more responsibly when the failure to do so finally becomes too painful.
It would be wrong to upset that process.
It would be wrong to remove the voters right to choose their own senators.
It could be disatrous to hand that power over to those that already abuse power. Power corrupts.

submarinesforever wrote: If we are willing to let only pain and misery dictate when we do the right thing, and we wait until the misery is so great that we elect new officials that do the right thing, what next? They will get the credit and power from their actions the voters become complacent and we start the whole cycle again. Our grandchildren will have to fight the same battle again.
That is why education and history are so important.

Yes, there are cycles.

,-(1) Corruption, oppression,
| (2) courage, Responsibility, rebellion,
| (3) liberty, growth, abundance,
| (4) selfishness, complacency, fiscal irresponsibility
| (5) apathy, dependency, fiscal & moral bankruptcy,
` - - return to step (1)

None of the cycles are identical, but the fundamentals are often identical. However, there has been progress over the millennial.
And we have been going backwards for several decades, as evidenced by these deteriorating 17+ economic conditions resulting from these 10+ abuses

The anti-incumbent sentiments are growing.
Congress approval ratings are dismal.
The president’s approval ratings are at record lows.
Painful consequences of so much fiscal and moral irresponsibility (by both voters and incumbent politicians) is why, and the root causes are fundamental human flaws that are as old as time (e.g. selfishness, greed, apathy, complacency, irrational fear, fear mongering, misplaced loyalties, delusion, lust for power, and laziness).

I am confident, as the electorates’ pain levels rise, their voting habits will improve, and voters begin to realize (as in the past) that repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election only makes THEIR politicians more irresponsible and corrupt.

submarinesforever wrote: As for my part, responding in kind is not a justification, so I apologize to you for belittling your position.
No apologies needed. I would like to note that your comments indicate some integrity, objectivity, and calmness. That’s a rare quality.


submarinesforever wrote:
1. Finance:
A. With no state wide campaign being waged needing financing, the elected will not be beholding to donors including special intrests and the national PARTIES, influence will be returned to the states general population.

Campaign finance is certainly a serious problem, when 99.85% of all 200 million voters are vastly out-spent by an extremely tiny 0.15% of all voters that make 83% of all federal campaign donations (of $200 or more), and 90% of elections are won by the candidate that spends the most money (usually the incumbent). However, that is a problem in the House and Senate. We can’t eliminate direct elections by the voters simply because of campaign finance problems. We need a better solution than removing the voters right to elect their own representatives and senators.

submarinesforever wrote: d.a.n.: In fact, we both believe that the inept politicians are not worthy of our votes or their offices and therefore must go.
Great. As Jim M. stated, we need more choices from all parties, since some voters will NEVER vote for any candidate in the OTHER party.
submarinesforever wrote: This debate of ideals between us is fair and honest.
Agreed. You have presented your position in an admirable fashion. Others could learn a lot from your approach.

While we may disagree on a few things, we don’t have to tear each other down. It’s always best to stick to the issues.

By the way, I have been wrong MANY times, and debate is one way to test and develop opinions and policies.
Even if we disagree, much can be learned from the process.
Some people say blogging is a waste of time, but it isn’t if it motivates research, education, reflection, and thinking.

Therefore, I thank you for your thoughtful responses.
In time, the ideas that have merit will gain support.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect, and deserve. Our education is on the way.

Solutions …

Posted by: d.a.n at May 25, 2008 1:57 AM
Comment #253670

Thanks David R perhaps, One person comes to my mind about the subject and is a learned expert of the Great depression that is Ben bernanke,and in further reflection in a earlier time Alexander hamilton faced some major challenges,whoever becomes our next President and there cabinet will walk into there new positions with some mighty big challenges I hope they think wisely! off to the show to see mr Jones.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at May 26, 2008 2:46 PM
Comment #253685

Yes, the democrats have failed us. Just as the republicans have failed us.

Both parties are failing. Clearly. And running for president are three of them from the Senate.

Posted by: StephenL at May 26, 2008 8:10 PM
Comment #253834

d.a.n. and David R. Remer:

Thanks for the kind words and for accepting my apologies. My computer would not load watchblog over the weekend, and I was really worried that my last post had not been posted, worried to the point that I emailed David through VOID to see if it was this site was down, or if I had been VISTA bitten. I am glad my post had gotten through. David, I apologize to you, sir for the unwarrented email through another site.

I would like to convey to you a personal experience that led to the reason I favor the abolition of the 17th Ammendment. The role that I have chosen in political activism is to get people to register and vote. Mostly I did this by talking to coworkers in the workplace on breaks and lunch. Many of times I would drive them to the polls to vote. My belief was/is that if we could get a 80% turnout, campaign finance would be a nonproblem because the elected would have to pay attention to the public. Now I grant that I tried to push my philosophy and canidates, but I never…EVER made that a prerequisite for who I helped get registered or get to the polls.

I persuaded a woman I worked with to register, along with her husband and son. I picked them up at their house and while driving them to the poll, was talking politics. I knew beforehand that they were supporting and voting for President Clinton(who I unashamedly loathe). Making one last pitch, I asked her why were they voting for him. The reply from her was,”Clinton stands for women’s rights. I then asked her to tell me what policies he has either implemented or advocated for that helped women. Nothing. Absolutely nothing was her reply.

A few seconds later she said that he supported unions. I thought I had the hook as we worked in a union shop. I mentioned not only NAFTA, but permenant MFN for China. Again nothing. “Well”, she said, “My Dad was a Democrat so that is how I should vote.” I realized that I had not only taken enough votes to overide mine(to a large point did not matter to me at the time), but I had just taken ignorance to the polls to do it.

I realized that I had given several years of my life and a couple total under the water and others have given far more, to defend the right for them to vote. I would do it again, but it just eats at me that most people will not take the time to educate themselves on just one or two issues that matter the most to them. I know that there are arguements to be made against my positions on the questions I asked her( I am pro NAFTA, anti MFN for China and believe that President Clinton set back “women’s issues), but to not be able to even offer an opinion! Because my Dad voted for this PARTY!

This is one of the main reasons that I take the position on the 17th Amendment that I do. I cannot think of a test that would be fair to qualify someone to vote AND the voters are as inept as the politicians. Nor would I want my government to decide who votes to be my government. I agree with you that education is the key, but what can we do when the majority of Americans are too apathetic to even vote, lest educate themselves on the issues?

Posted by: submarinesforever at May 28, 2008 6:25 PM
Comment #253847

submarinesforever,

Yes, there are some bad voters.
However, enough voters will never learn how to vote smarter by having their right to vote eliminated.
The problem of irresponsible voting can not be solved by removing the voters.
The voters must learn one way or another.
And they will learn one way or another.
In a democratic/representative republic, the voters have a duty too.

And even if the voters right to vote for their Senators was eliminated, there would still be the 435 Congress persons in the House of Representatives.
And the voters that are ignorant of their Senators are likely to be just as ignorant of their Representatibves (and as in your example above, who may have been ignorant of the president and issues).
The only cure for ignorance is education, despite the pain that may accompany that education.

Thus, abolishing the 17th Amendment is unlikely to make more voters more responsible or accountable. In addition, having politicians appoint other politicians to the Senate would give Congress more power, and would most likely make Congress more corrupt. That last thing we should do is give more power to those that abuse power. And with Congress’ approval ratings in the toilet (e.g. 11%), and the voters’ growing distrust of Congress, it’s unlikely voters will allow the 17th Amendment to be abolished.

Also, the ratification of the 17th Amendment was the outcome of increasing popular dissatisfaction with the operation of the originally established method of electing Senators, because there was a widespread belief that Senators should be elected in the same manner as Representatives, and that idea was fostered by the mounting accumulation of evidence of the practical disadvantages and malpractices attendant upon legislative selection of Senators, such as:

  • deadlocks within legislatures resulting in vacancies remaining unfilled for substantial intervals,

  • the influencing of legislative selection by corrupt political organizations and special interest groups through purchase of legislative seats,

  • and neglected duties by legislators as a consequence of protracted electoral contests and deadlocks.

Posted by: d.a.n at May 29, 2008 12:55 AM
Comment #266179

The only way we can get rid of the bad incumbents is to vote out all incumbents. Otherwise, everyone thinking his/her own incumbent is good will vote for his/her incumbent. As a result, all incumbents will be re-elected. Read wiki on game-theory. Therefore, all incumbents must go. This would mean that many people will need to vote across party lines. This may be difficult for some, but it is necessary. I would enjoy seeing all the red states become blue and the blue states become red. Now that is what I call CHANGE!

Posted by: Max at October 8, 2008 12:45 PM
Comment #294247

FOR YEARS, we have endured scandals perpetrated by politicians. Sex parties, money never paid back to overdrawn bank accounts, misappropriation of campaign funds, funneling private money into personal funds, illegally raising money, etc. are all part of the political scene.

THE PRESIDENT, Vice President, Senators, Congressmen, Governors and other Federal, State and Local politicians have been involved in illegal, dishonest, and questionable activities for years.

WE HEAR CRIES from Career Politicians for TERM-LIMITS and CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM, but will an Incumbent politician ever legislate himself out of office, or a dishonest fundraiser ever obey the law? A balanced budget, lower government spending, less taxes, a reduced deficit…..do you really believe it will EVER happen with the current crop of Career Politicians in power?

IT TAKES TENURE IN OFFICE for a politician to become rich, powerful, and corrupt. They are re-elected because they have accumulated enough public and private money to continually buy their re-election. Entrenched politicians continue their indiscretions and crimes using your money!

WHEN WILL IT END? How can we stop it? What can we do about it? Are we to be forever HELPLESS before the power of the rich politicians? NO! Is there ANYTHING voters can do? YES!

VOTE AGAINST ALL INCUMBENTS! Throw the rascals OUT!

IT’S SO EASY! IT’S SO SIMPLE! If candidates for office have the word “Incumbent” by their name, or “re-elect” on their campaign literature, or the name of the political office they now hold noted anywhere ……DO NOT VOTE FOR THEM! Vote for ANY OTHER candidate on the ballot, or WRITE-IN your name or the name of a friend. Always, always, always Vote Against All Incumbents! Never, never, never re-elect ANYONE to public office!

THINK OF IT! It’s THE ULTIMATE TERM LIMITS! It makes EVERY political office a ONE-TERM office. No more political hacks only concerned with getting re-elected. Voters simply Vote Against All Incumbents and “SHAZAM” they have established term-limits

TERM-LIMITS MEANS TERM-LIMITS! It doesn’t matter how charismatic, how many promises were kept, how good a job they have done, or how much government money they have brought into the elective district. IT DOESN’T MATTER! No argument should ever persuade the voters to re-elect any Incumbent. Period!

CAREER POLITICIANS ARE COMPLETELY ELIMINATED. No one can become too corrupted by the power of government when they are in office for only one term. Every newly elected public official will be motivated to keep the promises they made that secured their election. They will come into office with a focus on doing their job, not on their re-election. One-term offices will keep more control of the political process than any other method yet devised.

A ONE-TERM POLITICAL SYSTEM will revolutionize our entire governmental structure. Changes for the better will come about on the Federal, State and Local levels.

IT’S A FACT OF POLITICAL LIFE! The first thing newly elected politicians do is start raising funds and start planning for their RE-ELECTION! That’s when political favors are dispensed, special privileges are granted, and all eyes become focused on the NEXT election.

OUR CONSTITUTIONAL SYSTEM was designed to put controls on government, not on the people. It was designed to be a government OF THE PEOPLE, not of dictators, despots, or professional politicians.

SO THERE YOU HAVE IT! The corruption in our elected officials has to be obvious to anyone who can read the paper, watch the nightly news, or listen to the radio. We have all seen how futile and ineffective the efforts to bring about reform have been. We all wonder what we could possibly do that would make a difference. Now the answer is staring us straight in the face. We CAN do something! We can take ACTION! We can do it NOW!

AT THE VERY NEXT ELECTION, voters will vote ALL Incumbent Career Politicians out of office. We’ll start fresh. The newly elected citizens will take up the business of governing, legislating, policymaking and reform, not the business of getting re-elected. And, WE THE CITIZENS did it all with our one little, all-powerful VOTE AGAINST ALL INCUMBENTS!

Posted by: Ted at January 20, 2010 11:59 PM
Comment #327203

Just tell every one that you know to vote out all encumbants regardless as to whether they are Democrat or Republican (in other words do not vote for them) and then vote for someone not currently in office that you think may actually do something …again, regardless as to which party they may be associated with and preferably an Independent. This will actually turn our political system upside down into a real democracy (at least for a year or two). Then we, the citizens of this USA can decide where to go from there in order to catch back up and pass China who is now passing us by very quickly due to the incompentency of our congressmen, senators and president.

Posted by: Robert at August 7, 2011 12:49 AM
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