Third Party & Independents Archives

January 25, 2006

Washington needs a good flush !

The stink over Washington D.C. is rising so high, jets flying over it at 35,000 feet will have to drop the oxygen masks for their passengers. It just keeps getting worse. There seems to be no end of wasted tax dollars, gross negligence in oversight responsibilities, bribes for legislation, and the pursuit of doubling our national debt to $10 trillion dollars and more. But my representatives are not responsible for this.

The promise of leaner government and halting wasteful spending and the threat of a veto pen from 1994 to 2001 actually began to bear fruit from 1998 to 2001 as deficits were reduced, a surplus was achieved, and checks and balances between the Democratic White house and Republican House coerced each other toward the promise of better government. Then a Republican was elected President and with Congress in full control by Republicans, it all went downhill from there. The lies about Iraq, torture, and spying by the NSA and FBI and Defense Dept. on Americans and politically vocal interest groups here in the US, have been and are being well documented. But, my representatives had no part in all that.

After 2001, incumbents gave the same promises of peace, prosperity and freedom. And yet, if actions speak louder than words, they utterly gave up trying to live up to those promises. Anyone remember the Prescription Drug plan for Medicare passed in 2003? The White House assured Americans it was not going to even come close to the higher figures touted by the Congressional Budget Office, who estimated the costs to run closer to the 500 billion range. The White House insisted it would be less than 400 billion. But in February of last year, USA Today reported:

New administration estimates released Wednesday showed that the Medicare prescription drug benefit will cost taxpayers $724 billion over its first full 10 years, far higher than earlier estimates...

While the Washington Post reported on Feb. 9, 2005:

As recently as September, [the Bush appointed] Medicare chief Mark B. McClellan said the new drug package would cost $534 billion over 10 years. Last night, he acknowledged that the cumulative cost of the program between 2006 and 2015 will reach $1.2 trillion...
With estimates coming in this year confirming a growing 1 plus Trillion dollars, it is abundantly clear that what started out as a payback legislation to wealthy pharmaceutical special interests has turned into a cash cow for the industry. This is due directly to the quid pro quo between Republican leaders in the White House/Congress and the pharmaceutical industry. The Republicans overtly defeated amendments to the bill to permit competitive bidding for Medicare drugs under the program which would have saved tax payers 10's of billions. Now the taxpayers are reaping the debt and losses in coverage built into this corrupt legislation. But my representatives had no part in this.

I have been writing for years, that the national debt is going to become a grave issue after it is too late to reverse it. It has increased about 55% since 2000 to 8.2 trillion dollars and the rate of increase shows no sign of slowing. The White House and Congress blame Katrina and Rita, and Iraqi insurgents, and Democrats, and terrorists, and globalization and a few corporate bad apples like Ken Lay. I have been managing my budget and income all my life, responsibly, and like most Americans, I know that I need to have a reserve pad built into my budget for unanticipated expenses. Adding a a rainy day reserve into my budget means cutting back on other non-essentials so my income will equal my expected spending even when the unexpected happens.

This is not rocket science. Working Americans know what a budget is, and most know how to manage it. So, why are we going to see deficits again this year exceeding 400 billion dollars? Why are we going to witness a doubling of our national debt to over 10 trillion under Republican rule? My representatives send me newsletters saying it was not their fault we are running up this national debt.

Some CEO's, making as much as $200 million a year, are cutting jobs and wages for their workers. And our government is cutting taxes for these CEO's, rewarding their lack of performance even more, all the while our nation plunges deeper and deeper into debt. While cutting taxes for the very wealthiest, we are seeing cuts in educational programs, school lunch programs, food stamps, police and other 1st responder spending.

My representatives keep trying to convince me there is no relationship between cutting taxes for the wealthiest, and the cuts in support for America's children, schools, safety officers, and food support for the indigent and poor. Doesn't anyone see this is paving the future for crime waves unseen in decades? Lack of education, poverty, and lack of supervision and police, breed crime waves. But, my representatives tell me they are working hard on the problems facing America.

While our government sends billions overseas to Africa, Indonesia, Pakistan, Iraq, and a host of other nations, my representatives say they support Americans. As our government maintains a wide open border policy leaving us vulnerable to terrorists smuggling in at will, my representatives say they want to be reelected to protect and safeguard you and me.

While our government keeps raising their salaries, they refuse to raise the outdated minimum wage.

While our government sends thousands of American soldiers to die, and 10,000 soldiers to be maimed and wounded in Iraq, they ask for my vote so they can safeguard Americans. While our government looks to underfund and cut funds for long term care and treatment of our returning veterans, they ask for my vote so they can work to build the best military in the world.

Its not my representatives' responsibility, they say, that their campaign promises for peace have not been realized. It is not our fault my representatives say, that while a few million Americans are becoming more prosperous, 10's of millions are unable to afford basic health insurance, day care for their children, financial support for their aging parents, or skills upgrade training to find a job to replace the one lost at GM, Ford, or Chrysler, or Xerox, or Hewlett Packard, of Delphi or any of a host of others.

They say it is not their fault that government has grown fatter and far more wasteful of our tax dollars despite their promises of smaller and more efficient government. They say they are not corrupt as they donate bribe money for legislation to charities as if we won't ask why they didn't refuse it in the first place.

Do the Democrat and Republican elected officials who are, or are about to be, indicted for taking illegal bribes, putting aside the huge legal ones, tell us they are responsible and sorry? No. They get before the cameras and say they will be proved innocent. I suspect their logic is: they are innocent by virtue of everyone else being as guilty as they. Pres. Bush said he had no recollection of meetings or a relationship with Abramoff. Now we learn of a photo history of their having meetings together in the White House with Abramoff representing his tribal lobby groups.

The President went before the American people after Katrina and said he didn't think anyone could anticipate the consequences of Katrina. Now we learn the White House was well informed, and handed documents spelling out those consequences before Katrina made landfall. The President is saying he is not spying on Americans in reference to the NSA spying, while saying nothing about the defense department spying on Americans trying to do nothing more than highlight the tax dollar corruption and fraud perpetrated by Haliburton in the amount of billions of dollars. But none of this is the responsibility of my representatives.

My representatives are the good guys, public polls say. It's all of the rest of you out there with the corrupt, inept, and profiteering politicians that are giving my representatives a bad name. Now if all of you would just vote out your incumbents, and leave mine alone, this country would look to a far brighter future, my representatives appear to say.

The odd thing is, when I look up what all of your representatives are saying, I can't tell the difference between yours and mine. It is like an echo chamber. But, you know, they may be right. It may not be all their fault. I mean 94 or 96 percent of them get reelected, election after election, by you and me. That would appear to indicate there is another faulty party to all this corruption, waste and incompetence in government. Those who keep voting them back in saying, "It's not my guys who are responsible". But don't look to your representatives to admit such a gullible constituency. That is their ace in the hole.

Posted by David R. Remer at January 25, 2006 05:46 AM
Comments
Comment #116569

David

While I disagree with a lot of your post,it is a terrific piece and I appreciate the thought that you put into it.

I agree with the central theme that Washington needs a housecleaning.

However,these last 6 decades no matter who has been in office…republician or democrat,the stink emminating for Washington still smells as bad.

Fundamentally I think it’s the two party system at fault..in my view it has been highjacked decades ago by the truly powerful who have BOTh liberal and conservative views depending on the time period we examine.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at January 25, 2006 06:49 AM
Comment #116574

We have much to agree on Sic. Eagle. I did make note of Democrats in the article as about to be indicted as well in the bribes and their complicity in corrupt government for sale.

It is unavoidable however, to direct topical and timely criticism at those who hold the reins of power, and that is the only reason Republicans were mentioned so many more times. They came into power promising to counter the faults of the Democratic reign. All they have done is perfect it with doublespeak, as Bush will do in his State of the Union speech, address his and his party’s incompetence, corruption, and neglect as strengths.

He will say its not his fault, not his party’s fault. But, it is, and ours for playing the dutiful role of team booster, instead of demanding excellence, performance, and quality from them or giving them the boot.

And that was pretty much the point of the article. It is not that quality, excellence, and performance are unachievable in government. It is that we don’t demand it, and hold politicians accountable for its absence. This is the bedrock principle upon which Vote Out Incumbents for Democracy and Common Cause were founded upon.

It is our goal to begin to motivate voters to raise the standards and hold politicians accountable for those standards at the polls. If we don’t, what we are witnessing today will only worsen.

Thank you for the praise on the article. We do come from differing reference points as to what would be best for our beloved nation, but, we both love her and want the best for us all. That is common ground and Common Cause upon which to build.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 25, 2006 07:14 AM
Comment #116632

David:

Well written and well thought out. It strikes me that the “my representatives are not responsible for this” attitude of people is the worst part, and the part that might make VOID unworkable in reality. I’d agree that for VOID to work, all incumbents have to be targeted. I just don’t know if people will truly be willing to do that. They may SAY they will, but when push comes to shove, the polls suggest that people will still vote for their representative.

If we could get the re-election part out of the system, so that there is no incentive to take actions simply to get re-elected, that might stem some of the problem. If we had terms of perhaps 6 years, and a ruling that no one could hold consecutive terms, that might take away the incentives.

We’ve talked about gerrymandering as well, where the parties virtually guarantee themselves a win simply by the apportionment of the voters into districts. This too must stop.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at January 25, 2006 10:24 AM
Comment #116645

Good article David,

All valid points. And, I’d admire your optimism. Many want to view it as pessimism, but, it is really the optimism. It is also merely wise logic, because there is nothing to gain from giving up on the voters. I too hope that someday, the voters will figure it out. Hopefully, it won’t be too much longer, because the further we go down the wrong path, the more painful it will be to return to the correct path.

Yes, more education is badly needed. Voters have forgotten that the only basic, simple thing they need to do is the one simple, logical, common-sense, no-brainer, non-partisan, inexpensive, safe, peaceful, responsible thing they were supposed to do all along: vote out irresponsible incumbents, every election, until government is responsible and accountable too.

Why should voters vote out or recall incumbents ?
____________________________
Because, incumbents:
[] refuse to pass many badly needed, common-sense, no-brainer, constructive reforms (e.g. campaign finance reform, election reform, one-purpose-per-bill amendment, balanced budget-amendment, tax reform, etc.).
[] vote irresponsibly (e.g. pork-barrel, graft, waste, corporate welfare, etc.), look the other way because they lack the peer-pressure to police their own ranks, and continue to grow government and the national debt to nightmare proportions, which is threatening the future and security of the nation. The national debt is so large now, it would take 127 years to pay off the debt if the federal government started now to (a) stop borrowing $1 billion per day, and (b) also started paying back $1 billion per day (slightly more the daily interest alone). It is irresponsible and immoral to be heaping that much debt onto future generations.
[] are bought-and-paid-for, too beholding to their big-money-donors. and refuse to tackle tough issues or address our numerous pressing problems, for fear of risking re-election or defying their big-money-donors.
[] spend too much time and tax-payers money trolling for money for their campaign war-chests (and they use allowances funded by tax-payers to build staffs to do it in D.C. and their home state).
[] fuel the partisan warfare, and seduce voters into a circular pattern that distracts the voters from more substantive issues.
[] pressure and seduce newcomers into Congress to conform to the status quo, look the other way, or be shunned and isolated. This is how the incumbents maintain their cu$hy, coveted seats of power. Newcomers don’t stand a chance. Newcomers need voters to help change this. Newcomers probably resign to the rationalization that voters deserve what they get if they are too stupid to do the one simple, responsible thing they’re supposed to do to make government responsible and accountable too.
[] somehow still convince many voters to empower the incumbents that use and abuse the voters.
____________________________

Voting out irresponsible incumbents is not simply the right thing to do, but there are many other benefits and reasons to vote out (or recall) incumbents.

Education is badly needed because most voters do not yet understand the magnitude of the problem. They are still falling for the “just a few bad apples” lie.

Education is the key, because many voters have simply forgotten how it’s all supposed to work.

[] Many voters have given up, and don’t believe their vote matters. They have resigned to despair and futility.

[] Many voters (I used to be one of them) have been seduced into the circular pattern of petty, partisan warfare that distracts them from more substantive issues and pressing problems that threaten the future and security of the nation.

[] Many voters don’t care.

[] Many voters think everything is just fine, the National Debt and our pressing problems are nothing to worry about, and it will all work itself out somehow.

The sky isn’t falling (yet), but you don’t have to be the sharpest knife in the drawer to realize that decades of fiscal and moral irresponsibility will eventually have consequences.

But, I’m at a disadvantage perhaps, since I don’t have any of those really cool rose-colored glasses, that allow me to simply ignore the fact that crappin’ in your own nest will eventually snap the branch that supports it.

So, education and the facts is the key. Voting responsibly to remove irresponsible govenment is simply what it is all about. Someday, voters will figure it out, take off their partisan blinders, reject the circular pattern of petty partisan warfare, denounce government FOR SALE, realize incumbents of both parties are just takin’ turns gettin’ theirs, and finally learn how to maintain a balance of power (not simply shift it or strip government of all power to accomplish anything) between government and the people by simply doing the one simple thing they were supposed to be doing all along.

Why have that optimism that we will eventually figure it out ? Because no one really knows if voters will ever figure it out, there is nothing to gain by resigning to despair, and doing nothing will only guarantee failure.

Also, there is some historical precedent to have hope. Civilization, in general, has made some progress. Slavery, oppression, and tyranny is unacceptable to most. Civil rights is a term spreading to all corners of the world. There have been steps forward in the last 2000 years. Not just technological steps forward, but steps forward in terms of more and more nations striving to protect civil rights of their citizens and those of other nations too.

But, there are sometimes steps backwards. The U.S. government has been going backwards for several decades now. When will it get better? Only when it becomes too painful. The corruption will be reduced when too much corruption becomes too painful. We are approaching that point, always. The sooner voters understand it, the sooner, and less painful it will be to get back on the right track again.

Posted by: d.a.n at January 25, 2006 11:05 AM
Comment #116651

JBOD, thank you for your comments. Where you and I differ a bit on this issue, is that you still hold out hope that some other mechanism besides voters can restore goverenment to what it always should have been. I don’t believe term limits or any other mechanism within the control of politicians will negate the corrupting influence of power. I believe only the voters have that power, and they have been abdicating that power increasingly for decades.

If just 5 million previously non-voters were to show up in Nov. at the polls and vote against incumbents, incumbents would be dropping like flies in closely contested races. That is the power of small numbers.

I do hope that a sustained effort by Common Cause, Vote Out Incumbents for Democracy, Campaign for America’s Future, and other such organizations will be able to accomplish just this in coming elections. At the heart of their organizations is registering voters, and their message is that contained in this article. It is up to us, in small numbers to bring about the big changes that are necessary.

But, that has always been the case with big changes, they start with small numbers of people committed to them with a message that resonates as true and needed by the public at large. And these organizations are committed, and growing. Making oneself aware of flaws and failings and speaking out about them is probably the most patriotic act an American can perform besides voting. Yes, we should be thankful for public servants, but, we should also never lose sight of the fact that public servants are workers like the rest of us. And they have someone they must answer to, like the rest of us.

Even entrepreneurs and CEO’s have the IRS and a board of directors to answer to. And politicians, well by God, they should be answering to the people, not the lobbyists and special wealthy special interests, first and foremost. Something most politicians have forgotten during their tenure. Something we have allowed them to forget.

I need to get back to listening to former Gov. Engler testify before hearings on why Lobbyists and Special Interests should retain unfettered money and physical access to politicians over the will of the people. He is now a highly paid lobbyist for the Manufacturer’s Association which is seeking government handouts for their incompetence in competing with foreign corporations also doing business in the U.S. and quite profitably kicking American manufacturer’s asses.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 25, 2006 11:35 AM
Comment #116653

I definately Agree with your sentiment, and with Sic, that these problems are old problems, but our problem is that new solutions havent come up. These people still control the money, they have as much news time as they want, they get unlimited mailings to their constituency, where they now use scientifically formulated techniques to try and sway as many people as possible toward their reelection. They have the advantage of ear-marking, which, though it is sometimes used to send money to donors and supporters, is often used to bring money back to a community. Money dries up, suddenly so do the votes. Everything is structured for the incumbent to have advantage. When one looks weak, money is the only way to bring them down, and then you wind up with an advertising war. What does that mean? Only republicans can beat democratic incumbents and visa versa, because theyre the only ones with enough money. See any populists or greens or libertarians taking down incumbents? The best we can do is focus on local politics, and work our way up, thats the only way to make a substantive change, and even there it is difficult. Without a way to make our leaders accountable, they will continue to abuse their possitions, but the current system is set up to favor them. The dilemma is almost a paradox.

Posted by: iandanger at January 25, 2006 11:45 AM
Comment #116657

Consider this graph in 1950 and 2005 dollars (and ignore those that want to superimpose it onto the percentage of GDP).

Notice that the National Debt after World War II (in 2005 dollars) is only one-fourth what the National Debt is now !

That is, the National Debt now is 4 times larger than it was after piling up huge debt during World War II !

Then, consider how long and how much spending cuts it would take to pay of the National Debt in 127 years (and that is if nothing bad happens along the way).

David Remer is right. We’d better get this under control NOW before it is too late (if it isn’t already). Don’t believe the so called economists and finanacial analysts (wearing rose-colored glasses) that say it’s nothing to worry about.

It is something to worry about. Especially if you take into account many other pressing problems that all have the real potential to create a perfect storm that can devastate the economy. Ask yourself, how wise is it to ignore the combination of these many issues? How responsible is it to tell people there’s nothing to worry about? The math just doesn’t work out. There is a real potential for an economic meltdown, and we are painting ourselves further and further into a corner.

Just consider the following scenario:
(01) China and other foreign nations reduce their exposure to the falling U.S. dollar as the U.S. National Debt continues to grow to nightmare proporations (currently $8.2 trillion).
(02) The federal government starts printing more money to simply be able to pay the $1+ billion per day for interest alone, and the debt continues to grow, and inflation starts rise to double digits (as it did in the 1980’s).
(03) Foreign competition continues to grow, and manufacturing continues to move out of the U.S.
(04) GM, Ford, and other major corporations file for bankruptcy, and lay off hundreds of thousands of employees.
(05) Median incomes continue to fall as they have since 2001.
(06) Bankruptcies begin to increase.
(07) States and federal government revenues begin to fall.
(08) A category 5 hurricane hits Port Aurthur, Tx., disrupting oil refining for many months, and costing tens of billions in damage. The tax-payers still haven’t recovered from Katrina and Rita hitting the Gulf. The National Debt continues to grow ever larger.
(09) A gallon of gas jumps to $8 per gallon (in 2005 dollars).
(10) 77 million baby boomers start to retire (if they can), their incomes decrease, they pay less taxes, they spend less, and they start drawing Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid (entitlement systems that have already been plundered, mismanaged, and are already in big trouble).
(11) The federal government raises taxes on individuals and corporations too.
(12) More businesses and corporations move operations to other countries.
(13) The federal government prints more money. They are close to defaulting on the debt.
(14) Inflation increases to 25%. Pensions and life savings are eroded. Those that can (the wealthiest and most educated) move their assets out of the United States.
(15) There is a huge sell off in the stock markets and government securities. The stock markets are closed due to the panic.
(16) People start withdrawing cash assets from the banks to invest in real-estate, and other vehicles to preserve equity. Property prices increase accordingly.
(17) Many are unable to afford rent, much less buy a home.
(18) Many can not afford to go to college. Educated people are drawn to better paying jobs in other countries.
(19) The nation descends into a depression that lasts 20 years. The U.S. is no longer a super power, but an uneducated, debtor nation.

We learned nothing from the Great Deperssion of 1929. We had to learn the hard, painful way again. We have to start all over again.

Think it can’t happen again?

It can, and irresponsible incumbents are helping us get there fast.

The solution is not that complicated.
Education is the key. Voting responsibly to remove irresponsible govenment is simply what it is all about. Voters must take off their partisan blinders, reject the petty partisan warfare, reject bought-and-paid-for incumbents, denounce government FOR SALE, and learn how to wisely use their valuable vote (that many risked life and limb to secure) to maintain a balance of power (not simply shift it or strip government of all power to accomplish anything) between government and the people by simply doing the one simple thing they were supposed to be doing all along.

Posted by: d.a.n at January 25, 2006 12:20 PM
Comment #116682

Excellent article, David.

My own overall disgust with American government has left me without a party — and I agree that almost all incumbents should go.
Small criticism: I wish that VOID had a slightly more thoughtful viewpoint. By this I mean that instead of insisting that every single incumbent must be given the boot, you might have chosen to take a good hard look at each member of Congress, in order to rank them by number. Those who have been hardworking and who have done all they could to try to stem all the out-of-control behavior you’ve just outlined in your article could have been given positive marks — and perhaps even take a pass for actually doing their job correctly.

I’m afraid the scorched-earth nature of VOID’s goal seems so unfair and arbitrary to me, it really is the only reason I won’t be joining you. Which in turn, makes me wonder if there aren’t many others who feel exactly the same way?

Posted by: Adrienne at January 25, 2006 02:02 PM
Comment #116703

Adrienne:

My first thought about VOID was “Well, what about the good members of Congress—why vote them out too”. Sounds like where you are.

As I looked at it further, it seems to me that VOID has to be all or nothing for the following reason. Its fair to say that the people in Congress that I would deem to be doing a good job, you would likely disagree with. Because of our political differences, the Congressional reps that you like, I’d probably not like. So we’d each vote against those that we disliked, but they would be different people, and the end result would probably be the incumbents on both sides winning.

VOID does seem harsh, but in a country so evenly divided between the two major parties, gridlock might be the bigger fear rather than the possibility of losing some good members along with the bad. Just my thoughts.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at January 25, 2006 03:24 PM
Comment #116706

Adrienne, joebagodonuts,

I’d like to thank you both very much for the consideration you’ve given this concerning issue.

Please bear with me for a moment, and I will try to clear up a few issues and misconceptions. Please don’t worry too much about the welfare of incumbents, because (respectfully) others and myself have looked at many (almost all) Congress persons, researched their voting records, attendance records, what they say and do, etc., and none of them really deserve to stay. I will provide the reason for that below.

I have posted the challenge dozens of times for anyone to list only 10, 20, 50, 100, or even 268 (half of the 535) members of Congress that are responsible and accountable, truly support many badly-needed reforms, and don’t look the other way. Someone once mentioned John Conyers as a good incumbent. He has the next-to-worst attendacnce record in the House, and showing up to vote is supposed to be one of their primary purposes. Also, he was supposed to be investigating rampant election fraud, but nothing really came of it (probably because it was clear that both parties were involved in it). Someone mentioned Joe Biden. Well, he’s got some explaining to do about several instances of plagiarism (one of the embarrassing reasons he dropped out of the presidential race). Someone mentioned Ted Kennedy. Please. I don’t even want to waste my time on that on. Someone mentioned Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. He comes very close, as does John McCain, to one of the extremely few exceptions, because he is one of the very few that is putting up a bit of a fight against the status quo. But, Coburn too has some explaining to do about some of the BILLs he protested due to rampant pork-barrel, but still voted for? Even one of my favorites (not from my state of Texas), John McCain voted for $1 million for the brown tree snake in Guam (he sneaked it onto the end of a huge defense appropriations BILL; at a time when our troops are risking life and limb), and freely admitted about instances where he looked the other way too (on NPR in 2005).

Thus, no one can list but a very few, and even they look the other way. That is why the challenge to list responsible incumbents has gone unanswered. Even the most honest, most scrupulous among them are still guilty of voting for pork-barrel, resisting badly-needed, no-brainer, common-sense reforms (such as campaign-finance-reform, election reform, balanced-budget amendment, one-purpose-per-bill, tax reform, etc.). They all are fiscally irresponsible. That in itself is sufficient reason to oust them all.

Sure, people are only human you say?
That’s not nearly good enough anymore to overlook the severe irresponsibility of incumbents.
That is not a sufficient rationalization.

Thus, the bar is set so very low, the system is much too corrupt, and bought-and-paid-for incumbents work harder at maintaining the status quo, than being responsible and accountable. That is why their brains seem to turn to jelly soon after being elected. Newcomers to Congress don’t have any chance to pass any reforms. Newcomers find themselves isolated and shunned and threatened with the loss of party support if they don’t help to also perpetuate the status quo. The partisan machine has a strangle-hold on the system. Thus, incumbents easily retain their cu$hy, coveted seats of power, while making it extremely difficult to be ousted, since 90% of elections are won by the bought-and-paid-for candidate that spends the most money.

At any rate, the focus should not be on the lesser problem of an extreme few (if any) incumbents that may lose their seat, because, if they are really good, honest, scrupulous incumbents, they will survive despite anyway, despite VOID. If they are really good, the voters will retain them.

So, I would not call it a “scorched-earth”. VOID doesn’t wants to oust any truly responsible and accountable incumbents. That’s up to the voters anyway. VOID really just wants to oust the truly irresponsible incumbents, and that may quite possibly be all incumbents. As screwed up and perverted as the system is, it is hard to know who isn’t irresponsible. But, once sufficient reforms and transparency (e.g. one-purpose-per-bill) are in place to know exactly who to hold accountable, the easier it will be for voters to know exactly who to vote out (or recall), and who to retain. If some good incumbents got voted out, they may think about running again later ?

But, the problem now is:
[] Who are the responsible incumbents ?
[] Why are they not taking on this task ?
[] Do they merely think the voters are getting what they deserve for not voting out the bad apples ?
[] If there are some good incumbents that deserve to stay, why do they look the other way ?

Personally, I think most incumbents (99%) do not deserve to stay, and that is the unfortunate price they should pay for looking the other way.

None of my senators or representatives deserve to stay (Texas). I’ve researched their voting records, attendance, what they do and say, and I’m voting against all of them, because they are bought-and-paid-for, have voted against campaign finance reform, resist election reform, tax reform, refuse to address the National Debt, and continue to grow government and the debt ever larger. And, Cornyn has done a couple of other underhanded things that revealed all I needed to know about him. John Cornyn is also on the committee for border security. My question is: What border security?

So, remember, VOID isn’t telling you how to vote. That’s your choice. VOID is simply recommending that voters should vote out all irresponsible incumbents, and that may in fact be all of them. In my personal opinion, since they all look the other way, that is enough justificaiton to not let them stay.

Posted by: d.a.n at January 25, 2006 03:29 PM
Comment #116728

David—

Great post but I am afraid it is falling on the ear of American who; a. are Republicans and will stick together no matter what the administration does until the country official obtains it Third World Nation status, which they will blame on Liberals, and; b. those too jaded and disillusioned to care any more what happens to their nation.

We (Americans) didn’t used to be like this. What happened to our society over the last twenty-five years? How did we become our own worse enemies?

Posted by: V. Edward Martin at January 25, 2006 04:30 PM
Comment #116741

jbod:
“Because of our political differences, the Congressional reps that you like, I’d probably not like. So we’d each vote against those that we disliked, but they would be different people, and the end result would probably be the incumbents on both sides winning.”

That is true. Yet there are a great many things that almost everybody can agree on — don’t you think? Rating of members in Congress might easily be approached from that angle, rather than by focusing on differing political ideologies. For instance: all the insane porkbarrel crap being tacked on at the very last minute to important bills that urgently need passing. Everybody agrees that those who do that should immediately be given the boot, right?

d.a.n. — points well taken. I’ll continue to keep an open mind regarding VOID. I may one day reach the same conclusion — or not! ;^)

Posted by: Adrienne at January 25, 2006 04:59 PM
Comment #116751

JBOD, Adrienne, Dan, thank you for your comments.

Please allow me to make something very clear however, I do not advocate throwing all incumbents out of office. In fact, if we removed all incumbents in Nov., in December our government would come to a grinding halt until the parliamentarians could educate the new politicians on what they can and can’t do. That would be a disaster.

In reality, what I advocate is making incumbency so unpredictable, through balloting enough of them out of office as to cause the rest of them to realign their efforts with the needs of the nation and the majority will of the people to solve America’s problems in a multi-partisan manner, putting lobbyists and special interests on the back burner when the public’s agenda and the lobbyists agenda are at odds.

We don’t have to have a scorched earth policy, to make anti-incumbency work in restoring accountability, responsibility, and transparency in our Congress and White House. We don’t even have to ask Republicans and Democrats to vote against their policy. All we have to ask is that they vote for the challenger in the primaries and previously non-voters to show up and vote out incumbents.

In those states where there are close races, the incumbent will lose. And if enough incumbents lose, say, 10 or 15% of them over 2 or 3 election cycles, (remember, 94% are currently reelected), the shock of the growing anti-incumbent behavior at the polls will force remaining incumbents to reprioritize their agenda to reflect that of the anti-incumbent voters. Since appeasing the anti-incumbent voters will be the only way to insure their own reelectability in future races.

Now this is complicated politics, and as one Republican strategist put it on TV this morning, Republicans win on bumper sticker issues, not intellectual dissertations (the bane of Democrats). Hence, VOID must promote a bumper sticker message that will appeal to bumper sticker voters. But, the actual politics of VOID lies in the article published on Vote Out Incumbents for Democracy, entitled: Power In Small Numbers.

Real politics is very sophisticated and complex. But, grass roots campaigns which move voters must be elegantly simple to grasp and pursue. That is the hope for VOID, given half of the eligible voters in this country are disaffected with status quo politics and parties. Moving just 5% of this half that doesn’t vote, to show up and vote anti-incumbent would radically alter the political landscape of America and have a profound effect on incumbents coercing far more responsible leadership.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 25, 2006 06:04 PM
Comment #116755

Iandanger, you make a very cogent argument.

I have been and will continue to contact and try to convince 3rd parties that their only hope of competing with Democrats and Republicans is through Vote Out Incumbents for Democracy. If 3rd parties and independents would unite to move their consituents to show up and vote, incumbents would start falling like flies in races that are competitively close. And that is power. That is the power to force freshman politicians and incumbents alike, to pay attention to this block of voters that unseated too many incumbents and address their issues.

In other words, the 3rd party and independent voters have the potential power to lower entry barriers to 3rd party and independent candidates through the FEC and the Commission for Presidential Debates. But, to exercise that power they would have to move their voters to vote, and not vote for 3rd party candidates or indpendents, but, to vote for challengers regardless of what party they belong to.

Third Parties MUST force the Democrats and Republicans to level the playing field FIRST, and only after that, put forth their own candidates. And the only way they can force Democrats and Republicans to level the playing field is by uniting into a giant grassroots anti-incumbency movement that alters numerous race outcomes for Senate and House seats, unseating inordinate numbers of incumbents, over a couple of election cycles.

Only then will incumbents and freshman say to themselves, “my incumbency is in danger unless we lower the barriers and level the playing field.” And nothing motivates politicians like the potential of losing their careers as politicians. Until the leadership of 3rd parties and independents get it through their thick skulls that for them there is no getting around the wisdom, united we stand, divided we fall, they will remain unimportant in American politics. United toward anti-incumbency, Libertarians, Greens, Reform Parties, and independents can have a devastating effect on elections and alter the political landscape of America in a way that includes their voices and candidates in the elections for federal offices.

But to get there, they will have to tell their constituents to vote for Democrats or Republicans, whichever is challenging the incumbent, until the time comes when freshman and remaining incumbents begin to realize they have no tenure in Congress unless they accede to the demands of the 3rd party/independent anti-incumbency voting block to lower the election hurdles and level the playing field.

And I firmly believe multi-partisan representation in the halls of Congress would be the greatest thing to happen to American politics since the filibuster was established.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 25, 2006 06:22 PM
Comment #116764

David:

The promise of leaner government and halting wasteful spending and the threat of a veto pen from 1994 to 2001 actually began to bear fruit from 1998 to 2001 as deficits were reduced, a surplus was achieved, and checks and balances between the Democratic White house and Republican House coerced each other toward the promise of better government.

This is one of the best arguments for democratic control of the Congress. Split government works well because not much gets done. Democrats want to give Clinton the credit for the second half of the 90’s. It was what Clinton didn’t get done, and what the Republican Congress didn’t get done that made the second half of the nineties great. (No national health insurance, and no large tax cuts).

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at January 25, 2006 07:23 PM
Comment #116768

David,

Yes, that’s an important point. The unpredictability created will get the attention of bought-and-paid-for incumbents, newcomers, and their big-money-donor-puppeteers.

And, true, even if some would like it, the voters can’t vote out everyone all at the same time anyway, because:
(a) not all seats are up for election at the same time (Senators have 6 year terms with elections staggered every two years; Representatives have 2 year terms with elections every two years, President & VP have 4 year terms, with elections every 4 years and a 2 term limit),
(b) and some incumbents are still going to get to hang onto their cu$hy coveted seats because the voters in some states will continue to support the status quo, refuse to remove their partisan blinders, or simply think they have a good Congress person (despite their irresponsibility; resisting common-sense, no-brainer, resonsible reforms; growing government and debt to nightmare proporations, ignoring our pressing problems, pandering, peddling influence, trolling for money, votin’ themselves raises & cu$hy perk$, and all the while, lookin’ the other way, etc.).

So, there’s nothing to worry about with regards to an orderly change of our democratic republic, as newcomers replace outgoing incumbents in staggered stages. Yes, while it is theoretically possible to vote out all Representatives every two years, it’s extremely unlikely. So, that shouldn’t be a focus of concern.

As your Power In Small Numbers article points out:
_______________________________________
59 million voted for Kerry
62 million voted for Bush
78 million did not vote
_____________________________________
200 million eligible voters (TOTAL)
_______________________________________

Since elections are often won by only a few percent of all votes, it would only take a few percent of all eligible voters to significantly change the political landscape !

In that 2004 election, only 1.5% of all eligible voters could have changed the outcome.

So, all that is needed to oust incumbents is only a few measely percent of all eligible voters. It shouldn’t be too hard at all to figure out who is irresponsible and unaccountable, since they all resist reforms (otherwise, they would have been passed along time ago), they all vote for pork-barrel, and they all look the other way (they have to, otherwise they would have all have been reported and arrested already).

And, with 78 million (40%) of all eligible voters not committed to anything but futility or apathy, there’s a golden opportunity here to finally show them a way to finally have a voice in government.

And third parties and independents should be all over this like ants on a piece of candy. Why? Because it seems logical that they would be the ones most likely to benefit from it. They can also provide more badly-needed choices on the ballots.

Another important point is that voting out irresponsible incumbents in no way strips power from the government to accomplish anything, and does not allow voters to micro-manage government.

Voters can not be allowed to micro-manage government either, otherwise, we would have a pure democracy, and it would crumble fast as soon as the voters learn that they can vote them selves anything they want from the public treasury.

However, as it is now, Congress is so irresponsible that the same thing is practically occurring anyway, as pandering politicians bribe the voters with the voters own money. Voters begging the government to do everything for them, and pandering politicians buying votes with promises they can not keep, are both digging themselves a very deep hole that will be very hard to climb out of. While the wealthier PCs (Political Class) will probably survive the consequences, the average American will most likely have to bear the most painful consequences of their own irresponsibility.

Posted by: d.a.n at January 25, 2006 07:32 PM
Comment #116769

David:

I also think (As a Republican) that Impeachment hearings would be a good thing because it would allow the country to move forward. I don’t believe Bush lied about WMD. I think he used intelligence that was flawed. Many Democrats believe we were lied to. How is that resolved?

Because of the seriousness of the charge, the only avenue I can think of is Impeachment hearings. Unless there is information that has not come forward yet, I don’t think Bush would be impeached. However just sending our military into combat on bad information demands a consequence. Someone should be held accountable. Even if the votes were taken and Bush were cleared, the process of impeachment hearings, would be a just consequence of bad judgement.

I say thing because I think the Republican congress does not seem to be taking this matter seriously. It build into your argument that we need a new Congress.

On the other side, when I look at the Democratic party, I don’t think they have the competence to do what is right for the country in impeachment hearings. They look like the bar scene from Star wars.

You might be right. It might be time to throw all the bums out and get some new bums in there place.

Prediction:

Dems will pick up some seats but not enough to retake either house.

Craig

P.S. This reminds me somehow of a discussion I had with a Lesbian client once. She said she had been molested by her uncle when she was a child, and so when young men tried to kiss her she froze. Finally she had a lesbian relationship and had to deal with female hormones in relationships. She stuggled with which was worse, men’s sexuality, or women’s emotions. In desperation she went to God in prayer and asked Him if there was a third choice.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at January 25, 2006 07:35 PM
Comment #116785

Good post David,

My representatives are the good guys, public polls say.

Actually, my representative was Randy “Duke” Cunningham. Not such a good guy. I wrote him often trying to change his “rubber-stamp Republican” position on many, many issues.

As for the deficit, Democrats have already demonstrated that they can balance the budget. I say give ‘em the chance to do it again.

Posted by: American Pundit at January 25, 2006 09:18 PM
Comment #116787

I’m from NC - and with our lot of represenatives… don’t think they’re going to fit down a standard 3” waste pipe.

Remember Jesse Helms…

How about the “freedom fries” stupidity???

Hey - we even had Cass Ballenger… he told a reporter that he understood Lott’s racial comments… then when he caught a bunch of flack for it - he held a press conference at his home (in order to show his support for the black voters) by painting his lawn jockey statue white.

Posted by: tony at January 25, 2006 09:25 PM
Comment #116801

If you want change, vote for the Fighting Dems!!!

The Fighting Dems will bring change!!!

Go to the Daily Kos for info on the Fighting Dems in your area!!!!!

Posted by: Aldous at January 25, 2006 10:08 PM
Comment #116815

When did the Democrats, on the national level, ever balance any budgets?

Oh, when Clinton was President and the Congress was Republican? I thought so.

Posted by: sanger at January 25, 2006 11:17 PM
Comment #116824

May I ask when the Republicans, on the national level, ever balance any budgets?

And please spare us your Republican Congress nonsense. Any benefits the Republicans gained during Clinton’s era was lost in the Trillion Dollar Debts they raised since.

Posted by: Aldous at January 25, 2006 11:39 PM
Comment #116825

Funny, Aldous. I’m constantly almost fooled by your dry satire. : )
I was about to say something, like: Please ! ?

A.P.
There ya go again. Your partisan loyalties know no bounds do they?

But, perhaps I should be understanding, because I used to be the reverse of you. I was a good little Republican, and thought Democrats were the problem. I even voted for Bush (once, I’m sorry to say). Fortunately, I’m over that. It’s all too clear now that both parties are just takin’ turns gettin’ theirs. They don’t give a damn about the nation. Why should they ? Who says political crime doesn’t pay ?

There’s no doubt that Randy Cunningham is a piece of $#!+! ( Cunningham resigned from the House on November 28, 2005 after pleading guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud, and tax evasion for underreporting his income in 2004. The guilty plea constituted an admission for receiving at least $2.4 million in bribes. A special election to fill the vacancy left by Cunningham is scheduled for April 11, 2006. )
I’m waiting to see if Bush gives him and Delay a pardon.

But, you can find plenty of Democrats and Republicans that are corrupt. We’d all hold off on the all-out mud slinging until Abramoff is finished rattin’ on everyone and cuttin’ himself a deal for a reduced sentence. Heck, who knows…maybe he’ll get a pardon too, like all the 140 felons Clinton pardoned ?

So, there’s is nothing the Democrats are doing that would want me to switch to their party.

Also, neither Democrats or Republicans have ever balanced the budget in 46 years, because the National Debt has grown every year for the last 46 years . They (Democrats and Republicans) got close only in 2000 to even coming close (still 18 billion short) to balancing the annual budget. Not much consolation when there was still a $5.67 trillion National Debt. Now look at what they (both Democrats and Republicans) have done. The National Debt is now $8.2 trillion, and growing faster than ever. Interest alone is a staggering $1 billion per day ($42 million per hour).

Unfortunately, David Remer is absolutely correct.

Washington D.C. needs two, three, or four good flushs !, until bought-and-paid-for incumbents get the message.

Nothing else is workin’ , we’re runnin’ out of time, and the voters don’t really have any other peaceful way to responsibly remove irresponsible incumbents, and convince them to finally pass some badly-needed, common-sense, no-brainer, responsible reforms. Votin’ for Democrats or Republicans isn’t workin’ . That just empowers them to keep up the circular pattern that lets them hold onto their cu$hy, coveted seats, and continue to ignore the voters, and bribe the voters with the voters own money.

Posted by: d.a.n at January 25, 2006 11:41 PM
Comment #116826

sanger:

When did the Republicans, on the national level, ever balance any budgets?

Oh yes, when they approved that $200 million dollar bridge to nowhere!!! I forgot.

Posted by: Aldous at January 25, 2006 11:41 PM
Comment #116831

Someone offers a middle road to bring the extremes of the Republican and Democratic parties back to the center to represent the majority of Americans, and almost immediately, Democrats and Republicans fall into squabbling with each other over whose fault it is.

Sorry, it’s both of your party’s fault, and it is time to quit playing this bullshit blame game. It is time to start taking action to restore our democracy of, by, and for the people, and end this government of, by, and for the politician’s bank accounts and their wealthy lobbyist and special interest bribers and donors.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 26, 2006 12:13 AM
Comment #116833

I was talking to my accountant the other day. We got to talking about the irresponsililty of the idiots in DC. She told me something that made me stop in my tracks.
Said that we’re spending more than we’re taking in. The National debt is 8 trillion and growing. We’re barrowing 1 billion a day. All this I already knew. It’s what she said next that stopped me.
“Ron, this country is already bankrupt. We just haven’t relized it yet.”

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 26, 2006 12:19 AM
Comment #116849

David, Ron,

Sad isn’t it? I’m sad and ashamed to say I used to do the same thing (wallowing in the petty partisan bickering warfare, as if Democrats were the root of all evil).

I wish there was some way, some how, to convince others to take off their partisan blinders long enough to see how incumbents from both parties are havin’ a big ole laugh, as they fuel the never ending partisan warfare that distracts voters from the fact that incumbents are destroying this nation. Many voters don’t see how the incumbents work them all up into a frenzied, circular, pattern of thought and behavior, while incumbents fill their own pockets, resist common-sense reforms, and ignore serious problems with the real potential for an economic melt-down that will result in years of pain and misery.

I didn’t take off my partisan blinders until age 47. I complained about both parties, but always voted Republican. Perhaps, because my parents had. What finally opened my eyes ? I think the growing urgency of our pressing problems, and the continued, blatant, disgusting, disgraceful irresponsibility of incumbents in both parties, was the last straw. How can anyone, from either party, rationalize any of that? How can anyone defend either party ? I see things differently now, but my own path from partisan bigotry to non-partisan objectivity makes me realize how deeply ingrained the partisan can become, and how difficult it is to overcome it.

Ron Brown,
Unfortunately, what your accountant said is true. We have:
[] $8.2 trillion National Debt,
[] $32 trillion in personal debt nation-wide,
[] the PGBC and pensions are $1.6 trillion in the hole,
[] Medicare is facing huge short-falls,
[] 77 million baby boomers will soon retire (if they can afford to), will earn less, pay less taxes, spend less, and start drawing on already bankrupt Medicare and Social Security.
[] Hurricane Katrina & Rita, skyrocketing energy costs, the Chinese stop investing in our debt, inflation, continued loss of manufacturing, more and more corporations moving away, increasing foreign competition,
[] and all of these other pressing problems.

What is equally amazing and alarming are the wanna-be economists and financial analysts, wearing rose colored glasses or smokin’ somethin’ , that say there’s nothing to worry about. It will all work itself out.

Well, it will work itself out, but I’m not sure most Americans are going to like the way it unfolds.

I don’t know where the economy is going, and I don’t think anyone else knows either, but I do know that a lot of people are growing more and more worried, and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that so much fiscal and moral irresponsibility for so many decades will not eventually have consequences.

I’m planning for it. Seriously. I personally think it will start out with a recession, that will grow worse and worse, until we finally have to admit it is a depression.

While I hold out hope that voters will do the right thing to send a clear message to Congress, to start working on problems and stop ignoring them, I am still planning for what I think is inevitable.

We’ve paid off our home in Texas and cabin in New Mexico, paid off all our debts on everything, we’re moving investments (in case inflation gets really bad), keeping some cash on hand (enough for 18 months), learning to live on less, reducing living expenses, making the home more energy efficient, improving our marketable skills, and staying out of debt. I suspect we’ll also be taking our son and his wife into our home too if it they lose their jobs. They unfortunately have run up way too much debt, even though I tried and tried to teach him not to do that.

The really scary part is that most people can’t do that. Most Americans are in debt up to their eyeballs.

I don’t know what the future holds, and I’m not a paranoid, survivalist nutcase, but there is a real potential for an economic downturn, and anyone who says it isn’t likely, much less possible, is definitely the last person I want for a financial advisor.

Remember what happened in 1999 to 2000.
I suspected that a recession was coming then.
It started off with some hic-ups in the market.
Then layoffs. Then a recession. Then 9/11/2001 followed, which made things even worse.
Timing in the market was vital. Fortunately, we moved most things to cash before all the stocks and mutual funds plummeted.

That was then.
Now we’re in even worse shape than then.
We have massive debt (national and personal).
And, we’re at war.

I wish it was possible to paint a more cheerful picture, but it is difficult. We might muck through somehow, but it is only if we get some responsible government now, that isn’t FOR SALE, bought-and-paid-for, and fiscally and morally bankrupt.

Posted by: d.a.n at January 26, 2006 01:51 AM
Comment #116974

Dan, my eye opening came with a professor in college, Nikhil Bhattacharya, who praised me openly in front of the class one day when I synthesized an answer to one of his questions by combining what I had learned from psychology about perception with what I was learning from him about Ancient Greek thought. From that day on, I sought to see things for myself when it was apparent what I was witnessing was not making sense.

What I have witnessed on a regular basis since then more often than not, is an utter disconnect between the words that elected politicians and their actions after being elected. Too often they opposed each other, and I have sought to understand why that loss of integrity occurs after politicians are elevated to public office.

For some, campaigning masks a lack of integrity even before they enter public office. For others, integrity exists, but is seduced by the argument of elected contemporaries that they can’t do good in office if they can’t get reelected, and they won’t be reelected unless they play ball with the bad stuff being thrown around by party leadership (aka, incumbents many times over).

And for others, loss of integrity is an inevitable result of the compromise process which is inherent in our system of government and takes place slowly, bit by bit over the years in office.

The loss of integrity in Congress is systemic and unavoidable if the voters do not demand restoration of integrity at the polls. It really is that simple. For democracy to work, incumbents must be thrown out when Abramoff’s and turning of the Congressional head to abuses of law fill the public awareness. If the public responds apathetically, there will no longer be democracy, i.e. government of, by, and for the people.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 26, 2006 10:36 AM
Comment #116994

d.a.n
Like the old preacher says. ‘It don’t matter when you saw the light. The important thing is you saw it, and you went to it.’ Some see it earlier than others, and some never see it.
I don’t know if I was ever really a Republican. Both my parents were and they taught all us youngins Republican values. I called myself one and voted Republican in the first Presidential election (1968) I was eligible for. But from the first election I paid any attention to (1960) I really couldn’t see a dimes differance between the two parties. I quit calling myself a Republican in 1970. I’ve voted for Republican canidates as well as Democrat and a few Independants. But I haven’t been too happy with the choises most the time.
I wish I could say that things will get better and our children and grandchildren will have things better than we did. But I think they’re going to suffer because of our complacency with the economy and our elected employees. This bothers me more than anything. And it should bother everyone else.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 26, 2006 11:34 AM
Comment #117013

David,

I agree. Focus on the incumbents and voters is the key. Education is the key. Voters and incumbents are equally culpable.

Unfortunately, it is all indicative of a simple fact of human nature. At the lowest level, it is laziness, a natural tendency, which causes people to seek security with the least effort and pain. Many people, if the opportunity and insufficient consequences exist (e.g. law enforcement), will succumb to unethical and illegal methods. Thus, the very true saying: “absolute power corrupts absolutely”. So, while laziness is a natural tendency, it is immoral to surrender to it completely.

That fact of human nature, unfortunately, is the pyschology that must be factored into all that we do, and the way we design government, and other organizations. That is why transparency and accountability (i.e. law enforcement) is so important, but often much too slack, and always under attack by those that seek to pervert laws and rules for personal gain. That is why common-sense, logical, simplifications to the systems are so important; such as the one-purpose-per-bill amendment. Many such common-sense simplifications are possible, and would make huge leaps toward transparency. The increased transparency will lead to more outrage against those that abuse the systems, which will lead to more accountability (law enforcement). Then we will finally have responsibility.

Ofcourse, that’s all easier said than done. That brings us to the next phase of any kind decay and reform. Reforms to reduce corruption don’t seem to take place until the pain of less corruption is preferred more than the pain of more corruption.

We say we are a nation of laws. That is important, since a pure Democracy can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves anything they want from the public treasury. It is also important that elected government doesn’t bribe the voters with the voters own money (as is the case now). And, it is also important that a representative government isn’t stripped of all power to accomplish anything.

If the public responds apathetically, there will no longer be democracy, i.e. government of, by, and for the people

True. We are all culpable. Voters and politicians. But, politicians have some unfair advantages, and they will not reform themselves.

That is why it is now soley up to the voters. Unfortunately, the voters have a bad habit of waiting too long. Often, until it is much too late.

If the voters never learn how to compensate for that imbalance of power (simply by voting more responsibly), there is little doubt in my mind where it will all lead (again).

So, voters really have two choices:
[1] Vote wisely and responsibly now to peacefully force government to be responsible and accountable too.
[2] Or, continue the way we’re going now, and wait for it to all resolve itself the hard, painful way (again).

So, what do you think of this cycle ?

Economist, Harry S. Dent spoke of it in his books. Historical cycles do exist. I don’t believe such cycles are inevitable due to the infinite variables, but historical cycles do deserve some consideration, and his supposed 80 year cycle is interesting (and somewhat alarming).

Some people say things can not get better until they get much worse. Are we always condemned to that fate?

The way things are going, unless we get more responsible government now (if it isn’t too late already), it is not too hard to see a serious economic downturn in the not-too-distant future. I hope not, but the math and growing list of serious problems is really becoming difficult to ignore.

Posted by: d.a.n at January 26, 2006 11:57 AM
Comment #117016

Thanks Ron. Unfortunately, I was part of the problem. Better late than never I hope. The least I can do is now try to be part of the solutions.

Perhaps we should start a petty-partisan-warfare-wallowers anonymous ?

It would help voters to identify the PC (Political Class; i.e. incumbents ) that are runnin’ the country into the ground.
____________________________________________
I see PC people !

Posted by: d.a.n at January 26, 2006 12:10 PM
Comment #117080

Adrienne:

There are many in Congress who deserve to be booted out. Perhaps in that spirit, you can give me a condensed list of who you think should go—maybe a top 10 list? Any thoughts?

Posted by: joebagodonuts at January 26, 2006 02:10 PM
Comment #117516

It would be much, much, much easier to give you a list of who deserves to stay, and avoid the price they should pay, for looking the other way.

Instead, list 10, 20, 50, 100, or even 268 (half of the 535) in Congress that deserve to retain their cu$hy, coveted seats of power.

Unless you can name at least half the number in Congress, what can you conclude?

Thus, no one can list but a very few, and even those few look the other way. That is why the challenge to list responsible incumbents has gone unanswered. Even the most honest, most scrupulous among them are still guilty of voting for pork-barrel, resisting badly-needed, no-brainer, common-sense reforms (such as campaign-finance-reform, election reform, balanced-budget amendment, one-purpose-per-bill, tax reform, etc.). They all are fiscally irresponsible (both parties). Except for the very few we know to be responsible (if any), there is more than ample reason to oust the majority of them. This is not for the purpose of being mean-spirited. The future and secuity of our nation depends on voters to be responsible, and vote out irresponsible incumbents, and vote in newcomers that won’t be tempted, pressured, and threatened by incumbents to accept the status quo.

Posted by: d.a.n at January 27, 2006 10:16 AM
Comment #117548

LIST OF INCUMBENT THAT DESERVE TO STAY IN OFFICE.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

There’s ten that deserve to stay in office.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 27, 2006 11:37 AM
Comment #117559

JBOD, in practical terms, the top 10 that need to go are the 10 with polling closest to their challengers. The anti-incumbent movement’s purpose is to scare career politicians back to representing the people instead of special interests and lobbyists with agendas harmful to the public. The only way that will happen is by causing the 94% incumbency success rate figure to drop to 65%. And the way to accomplish that is to target incumbents who have the strongest challengers in the polls.

This is why Vote Out Incumbents for Democracy does not care if the incumbents unseated are Democrat, Republican, or Martian. The goal is to make incumbency untenable and unpredictable until government of, by, and for the American people is restored, instead of government of, by, and for the politicians and lobbyists and wealthy special interests.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 27, 2006 12:09 PM
Comment #117568

: )
That’s funny Ron. Scary too.

David,
Yes, you are absolutely correct and focused as usual. That math and your Power In Small Numbers is very important, because it shows how absolutely easy it would be to change the political landscape with only a few measely percent of the total voters.

Posted by: d.a.n at January 27, 2006 12:23 PM
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