Third Party & Independents Archives

December 05, 2007

Past is not Prologue

Good stewards of the future was a primary goal and intent of the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution in establishing a federal government. Thus, these documents set out ideals to strive for, citizen protections and borders to defend, and flexibility in government to meet the challenges of a changing and growing nation.

If a nation lasts and flourishes with the assent of its people, its form of government is successful. Today, there are no governments that survived the many centuries since the concepts of nation and organized bureaucratic government were first invented. Excluding the Icelandic legislative body (930 AD), the U.S. government appears to be the oldest existing intact national government on the face of the earth. But, it is just 219 years old (ratified in 1788). Using 50 years as a generation, the U.S. is only 4 generations old.

History is littered with the rise and fall of national governments. All such national governments were celebrated by some, as potentially perpetual. But, none were. Government is at least as complicated as human behavior. But, as America's founders recognized, having just fought a Revolution against England, a government will not perpetuate if it cannot accommodate the needs and demands of the people it governs. Frustrate the needs of the people too long, and that particular government will end.

America's founders, knowing these things, set down a prescription for government which could be sustainable in structure and by the assent of the governed. Borrowing from Greek and Roman concepts of contractual government, and the indigenous Iriquois' concept of democracy, the founders sought a form of government which could defend itself from enemies within and without, while ensuring the continued assent of the governed.

The greatest threat to America is not from foreign attack as Pres. Bush would have his loyal supporters believe. Our military is capable of repelling and countering such attacks, short of an all out nuclear war. The greatest threat to America comes from within. That threat is posed by our own politicians. The growing threat is evidenced by a prolonged and growing dissent by an increasing majority of citizens, called Independent voters. Independent voters now outnumber either Democratic or Republican registered voters.

These Independent voters have but three things in common with each other:

  • Their rejection of the Democratic and Republican Parties

  • Their distrust and disappointment in elected officials

  • A loss of faith in the political system that elects these politicians
.
As America's political system blocks and prevents this public dissatisfaction from replacing these politicians with those able and willing to protect and defend the nation's future, America's future becomes ever more tentative. The two party system once was an effective screening and filtering mechanism which assured the country of sound and capable leadership in federal elected office.

That is no longer true today as evidenced by our Congress and the Bush Administration. We are a nation divided on moral, ethical, power, and economic issues, and our government reflects and fuels those divisions, creating a government which is incapable of long term planning and implementation of solutions to address cross generational problems threatening the viability of the nation itself. Let's take a quick look at two such cross generational problems in need of long term consistently applied solutions.

Social Security and Medicare threaten the nation's future even more than the 1930's Depression and Dust Bowls of the Mid-West. If our government continues to fail to address these program's financial needs, 100 million plus Americans will face grave poverty and financial powerlessness for decades during the rest of this century. The American government has increased its debt 3.35 trillion dollars in the last 7 years while running a Social Security surplus in revenues. But, in just a few years, Social Security begins to run a growing 4 trillion dollar deficit just to keep benefits at current levels.

But, Medicare now faces, not 4 trillion dollars in shortfalls, but, forty trillion dollars in revenue shortfalls to sustain the program. Medicare and Medicaid provide medical care to the poor, prescription medicine assistance to the poor and middle class, and medical assistance to a growing retirement generation whose end of life years would otherwise be marked by horrible suffering, pain, and debilitations as well as poverty. Without a solution, working families will see ever growing amounts of their paychecks spent for the medical care costs of their retired and aging parents, in turn, impoverishing younger worker's futures when it comes their time to leave the work force due to age or disability.

In other words, workers will not be able to save for their own retirements if they are having to pay the costs of their parents and grandparents medical needs. It becomes a spiraling cross generational problem that leaves the older generations and working middle class in a financial tail spin.

On the other hand, if America is to continue to fund these programs as it does now, the government national debt will quickly reach unsustainable levels of 20 to 30 trillion dollars, destroying America's credit capacity and causing economic failures for the entire nation, and with those, erosion of America's leadership role in the world of the 21st century.

There are solutions. But, any solution adopted MUST be sustained and followed through to reach the effectiveness inherent in the solution. And therein lies the political debacle America faces. Our government is no longer flexible and capable. When Republicans are in power, one set of uncompromising solutions are promoted which negate and reverse solutions implemented by Democrats. And when Democrats are in power, they in turn reverse and negate the solutions implemented by Republicans. In effect, this results in no sustained long term solution at all and the problem grows worse with with each political reversal. Our government has lost its flexibility due to hardening of the two political parties.

Republicans want private industries to address the problem by offering plans for those who can afford them, while preserving profitability for those private industries. Democrats want a national solution in which all Americans are vested in both the costs of the solutions, and beneficiaries of them. Switching back and forth between these two approaches creates a circular motion in which no linear movement toward solution takes place.

It's like hopping in a cab at home to go to the airport, only to find the government driver going round and round in your Cul-de-Sac. The meter runs but, the passenger never gets to their destination. This has been the case since the early 1990's when analysts began warning of the need to address these long term cross generational problems with health care, entitlement programs, and insufficient future tax revenues to sustain them.

American foreign policy is another cab going round and round in the Cul-de-Sac. Republicans seek world hegemonic security in cooperation with, or control over, all other nations in the world in order to achieve national security at home. In theory, a workable solution, except for the unlimited escalating costs to maintain such hegemony against uncooperative nations like Afghanistan, Iraq, China, Venezuela, Cuba, and Russia.

Democrats seek an equally complex scheme based on a policy of less intrusion into the affairs of other nations while maintaining an overwhelming military strike capacity to deter threats. Their strategy is to allocate less resources to foreign affairs and more to domestic needs, which will mean less involvement in the conflicts between people's of other nations, so long as such conflicts do not impinge upon domestic issues and progress in the U.S. The goal in being less intrusive in foreign national affairs is to reduce the animosity toward the U.S. and thus reduce the threats against us. Of course this strategy's success depends a great deal more on the will and designs of foreign leaders.

For either of these strategies to work, a sustained and irreversible implementation must take place before the rewards of the solution can be reaped, and the costs assessed and deemed affordable. But, if Democrats and Republicans continue to switch seats of power, neither course of action can be implemented long enough to create stability and reap the rewards of implementation.

Thus it is, that on these and myriad other issues, Independent voter numbers are growing, as is their discontent with the political process that continues to keep politicians in office who obviously place the needs of their party and power ahead of the needs of the nation. These Party first politicians focus much effort and expense of government on the very myopic and short term goals of garnering majority party status from the other party, to the neglect of America's long term, difficult, and costly challenges facing her.

Democratic elections are no guarantor of good, nor sustainable governance. Not when those elections are dominated and controlled by two parties whose world views and national solutions oppose each other, and whose political party protections and safeguards result in musical chairs for the power to govern. Whether voters acknowledge this condition intellectually, or just feel it to be true, more and more of them are, for this realization, resigning membership in those two Parties for registered Independent voter status.

But, registering as an Independent voter is going to change nothing if their only choice of electable candidates are Democratic and Republican incumbents. Independent voters can only become a force for positive change by finding another unifying theme or action besides switching their vote between the two major parties which so far, has resulted in more than 92% of incumbents being reelected. There are several other options to choose from.

Voting out incumbents by voting in challengers, either of the same party or regardless of party, is a theme championed by independent-minded voters at VOID. It has great merit, if its strategy is reached and adopted by millions of Independent voters. Simply put, if the reelection rate of Democratic and Republican incumbents drops from the 90 percent range to 65 percent, politicians will feel Independent voters have painted a target on their backs, and seek to appease these Independent voters, instead of alienating them.

Since, what Independent voters want in common as a group, is better governance and less political party servitude, incumbent politicians will place a much higher priority on serving that end, and less priority on their political party's expectations since their political party will obviously not be able to protect their reelection in the wake of Independent voters targeting them. If just 25% of Republican and Democratic politicians in the Congress consistently put partisan differences in the back seat and compromise solutions in the front, governance would move away from political gridlock toward problem solutions.

Another option for Independent voters is to erect their own party. Some Independent voters are busy creating a number of Independent parties. The problem with these is, they nearly all tend to be specialized wings of either the Democratic, Republican, or other third party congregations, with agendas and platforms too extreme for even the mainstream parties. Any Independent Party will suffer the same pressures and internal political decisions which mainstream parties suffer. Upon achieving power, they would become as partisan as the current parties sharing power.

An exception exists to this concept of an Independent Party with a centralized party platform in what is known as CUIP or, The Committee for a Unified Independent Party. CUIP purports to not be a political party at all, but, an organization to promote the election of Independent candidates to office. CUIP has some high powered backers and faces associated with it, which are familiar to the Wash. D.C. crowd on Capital Hill. Curiously, CUIP doesn't seem to incorporate as a central theme, the Vote Out Incumbents Democracy approach, leaving it implied instead.

One of the primary functions of our U.S. Constitution and its arduous amendment process, is to provide stability and continuity in the face of national public passions and fleeting majority reactions to events. And these checks, balances, and limits upon radical change served the American government well, more often than not. But, these institutionally stabilizing factors which were designed to give continuity and persistence of policy to our government have been undermined by the Democratic and Republican Parties of today, which are committed to destroying the continuity of policy and longevity of strategy promoted by the opposition party. The resulting circular motion in government leaves the nation stuck in place as the tidal waves of catastrophic economic, and subsequent social and political failure, approach.

Of course, the third option available to Independents, which has always been available to the American people since the very beginning of our government, is the same route taken by our founders: Revolution. An overthrow of the current government and political system in favor of starting anew, as stated in our own Declaration of Independence:

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

It is clear to many Independent voters that to avoid another Revolution, the public must exercise their rights of suffrage, the vote, to the purpose for which it was intended, to remove politicians from office when government fails to meet the needs and expectations of the voters. Surely, this concept promoted by VOID is a the more moral, ethical, and rational alternative to allowing conditions to become so dire as to warrant the carnage of another Revolution.

The Republican and Democratic Parties have over the decades erected self-serving mechanisms like the Federal Elections Commission, Commission on Presidential Debates, and other organizations and agencies, controlled by the them to serve, and preserve, their two party system dominance to the exclusion of all others. The vote is the crucial mechanism by which failed government can be turned around without Revolution.

The Democratic and Republican Parties have rigged the game, the money, and the rules such that the people have no real choice for federal elections but to choose one of the two party's candidates. But, more and more of these 'D' and 'R' candidates do not represent the people but their supporting Party instead. Independent voters, who now out number either Democratic or Republican voters no longer feel represented.

Something has to eventually give. Either the Independent voters will give themselves over to a united and powerful strategy to reverse the current course, or the government itself will fail the nation, the people, and our future. Powerful people in all forms of government, if allowed, will rig the laws and processes to keep themselves in power.

The people's vote therefore is not needed to keep incumbents in office. If dissenting voters do not vote, only one vote is required to keep a politician in office, their own. The primary and fundamental purpose of the vote is to remove powerful people from government office. If the Vote Out Incumbents Democracy organization fails to reach and convince Independent voters of this essential fact, the status quo will continue. And the status quo in federal government has become unacceptable and unsustainable.

The concept of good stewards of the nation's future in federal government is a cornerstone of America's past success and survivability. That cornerstone is cracking. Should it fail, the America we have all known will not survive intact. The only non-revolutionary way of restoring good stewards to federal government, is to vote out the bad stewards: the ineffective, the corrupt, and the loyalists to party over country.

And the only way that can happen is if independent-minded voters commit to vote for challengers instead of incumbents; better ones if available, any if not. And they must continue doing so until reelection of Party incumbents is no longer dependent upon Party backing and financial support, but, upon meeting the demand by independent voters for good stewardship.

Nations and governments fail. Ours will too unless, the Independent voters, at the ballot box, force the politicians to be good stewards of our future. Our past success is not prologue to our future unless Independent voters do the following: work and spend what it takes to educate themselves to vote results instead of promises; elect qualified candidates instead of marketable ones; and elect good stewards instead of those who covet power. Good governance is the responsibility of the voters. The politicians were never meant to be anything more than hired servants to that end.

Posted by David R. Remer at December 5, 2007 06:00 AM
Comments
Comment #240019

David,
In 2006 we saw that conservative, though probably not partizan Republicans, were willing to vote for Democrats who would claim to hold conservative principles. So far all that has done is empower the leftward leaning leadership of that party from districts impregnable to change.

I heard a snippet of a discussion on one radio show yesterday that talked about the balance of power in many areas, particularly , in this case, the power of labor unions to defy change in education. The real problem is not governmental. Unions are not governmental entities per se, but are part of a human , if not evolutionary, tendency for structures to establish enclaves of power in certain environmental niches from which it is difficult to dislodge them. It is possible for such niches of power to overwhelm and sicken the very environments on which they depend, so that the environment itself dies, taking the organism, whether a virus in a human, a union in an industry, or a party structure in a government with them.

It is an error to focus on goverment as THE problem rather than as an environment that suffers from the same sort of scavenging or opportunistic organisms as any natural enviroment.
The challenge to us is to find ways of introducing dynamism into the environment so that we can minimize the number and size of these pustules of diseased power.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at December 5, 2007 09:20 AM
Comment #240027

Government won’t become more responsible and accountable until the voters do, and that ain’t gonna happen by repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with 95% to 99% re-election rates.

Until enough voters feel the painful consequences, these regressive/oppressive systems (a 30+ year trend) will continue to increase their pain (for the majority of voters). These systems that did not all come about by mere coincidence. The majority of voters must eventually recognize that they are most responsible for their own predicament since it the majority of voters that literally reward (repeatedly) the very same lying, corrupt, FOR-SALE incumbent politicians with 95% to 99% re-election rates.

David, In 2006 we saw that conservative, though probably not partizan Republicans, were willing to vote for Democrats who would claim to hold conservative principles. So far all that has done is empower the leftward leaning leadership of that party from districts impregnable to change.
Yes, but that’s because voters only focused on one party, instead of realizing reality, which is that most (if not all) incumbent politicians in BOTH parties are FOR-SALE, corrupt, and irresponsible.

It’s because too many voters are distracted with cheer-leading for THEIR party and winning seats for THEIR party.
Too many voters are distracted with the blind partisan warfare, and the politicians that fuel it.

There’s the voter paradox:

  • Voters whine and complain about do-nothing, FOR-SALE Congress and give it dismal approval ratings as low as 11% ,

  • But then turn around and reward most of those incumbent politicians with 95% to 99% re-election rates.
Most likely, only the painful consequences of that circular pattern of behavior will finally disrupt the cycle. That pattern of behavior is largely a result of master parasites who are very skilled at manipulating others by fueling the partisan warfare and capitalizing on the voters’ apathy, complacency, and laziness (i.e. just pull the party-lever; it’s so easy to just pull the party-lever). As a result, many voters are actually cheer-leading and empowering (repeatedly) the very incumbnet politicians that use and abuse them.

It is also a feedback problem.
Voters do not readily recognize the direct consequences of their voting habits. As a result, too few take it seriously, as evidenced by the massive number (40% to 50%) of 200 million eligible voters that don’t even bother to vote, and the massive numbers that blindly pull the party-lever without even knowing all of the names of the candidates they are voting for. And some voters are simple one-issue voters, which are easy to manipulate and bribe with their own tax dollars.

The minor philisophical differences between the bought-and-paid for incumbent politicians is not important when most (if not all) incumbent politicians are so utterly FOR-SALE, corrupt, arrogant, and irresponsible.

The problem is that voters are simply letting the two-party duopoly take turns gettin’ theirs, votin’ themselves raises (9 times in the last 19 years) and cu$hy perks and more ways for self-gain. That will change when it becomes too painful. And it will. It already is.

The challenge to us is to find ways of introducing dynamism into the environment so that we can minimize the number and size of these pustules of diseased power.
There is a built-in self-correction mechanism: Pain. At least, that’s what history shows us.

The only way to short circuit that cycle and avoid or mitigate the pain is from education.
We can get that education:

  • (a) the smart, peaceful, responsible way,

  • (b) Or the hard, painful way (again and again).
The problem is, pain is a lagging factor, and there’s no guarantee that the lesson will be learned in time to avoid complete demise. History shows us that too, as nations come and go. It is often too late to avoid or mitigate the pain by the time it is all too obvious.

At one time, England was the empire in which the sun never set.
Who, among them would have ever dreamed that in a few decades it would no longer be true?

Again, those regressive/oppresive systems have been there for a long time, but 40% to 50% of voters don’t even bother to vote. Many that do vote, blindly pull the party-lever, and abdicate their true voting responsibility to THEIR party. The problem is ALL of use, and voters are the largest group. The voters will suffer the consequences of their own disinterest, apathy, and complacency until it becomes too painful. Only then (if in time), will they become more interested and educated, as they did in some of the highest anti-incumbent voting periods in the nation’s history (e.g. Civil War and Great Depression), and stop blindly rewarding corrupt incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election (the party seat retention rates in Congress have been, on average, 96.5% since year 1980). Until then, the majority of voters have the government that they deserve, and will continue to learn the hard way.

BTW, the Constitution is being violated. Allow that to continue, and see what’s next.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 5, 2007 11:31 AM
Comment #240031

d.a.n, education is indeed required. Both political and academic education. Political for the adults, academic for the young. Both must re-establish for their students the primary and fundamental purpose of the vote, to remove power from office, and explain that all too fundamental truth, that good governance is where the politicians fear the voters, bad governance is where the people fear the politicians, and the way to move from bad governance to good governance is by voting out incumbents on a large scale.

These basic principles are lost in the minutia of politician’s communications to their constituents about what good they do for them, while NEVER mentioning that the country is headed for failure while they are in office. It only takes a lot of ineffective party loyalists to undermine and destroy our nation’s future.

The politicians need not be evil or corrupt to ruin the nation, they only need to be self and Party serving, to become ineffective stewards. And that is the state of our government today.

A few bad apples cannot destroy a democratically elected government and nation. To accomplish that requires a large number of politicians with priorities other than the nation’s future, like their Party and reelection.

Which is why the hope for our future resides with the Independent voters rejecting Party and incumbency at the polls. Only by a massive rejection of both the main Parties and their incumbent politicians, can the replacement politicians be made to accept that the Independent voter’s demands for good stewardship and positive results, not the ideological Parties, will determine their reelection.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 5, 2007 12:16 PM
Comment #240038
David R. Remer wrote: Which is why the hope for our future resides with the Independent voters rejecting Party and incumbency at the polls.
Absolutely. And it is almost a certainty that will happen in time, because pain is a wonderful motivator.

Of course, naturally, main-party loyalists hate that recommendation. But it will most likely happen all by itself due to the pain and misery caused by the cycle of corruption:
,-(1) corruption, oppression, pain,
| (2) courage, responsibility, rebellion,
| (3) liberty, growth, abundance,
| (4) selfishness, complacency, fiscal irresponsibility
| (5) apathy, dependency, fiscal & moral bankruptcy,
` - - return to step (1)

It’s difficult to believe that a cycle does not exist? Maybe education can help make the painful part of the cycle shallower?

However, the sooner the better. That is, we can all do ourselves a favor and do it sooner than later, because the later it comes, the more painful it will be. There has been progress through the millennia (e.g. 2.00 steps forward, and 1.99 steps backward), but more education is needed to make real progress, and there are no guarantees that we will sow the seeds of our own demise. We are not invincible. The signs are overwhelming: almost total fiscal and moral bankruptcy.

Yes, more and immediate education is the key, because our education is already on the way. We are now only left with how we want to get it. As with many things, it comes down to choice. We should be grateful that we have that choice, and not squander it by ignoring it or undermining it, or by forgetting the one simple thing we were supposed to do all along. And that is not rewarding them with perpetual re-election.

Which is why the hope for our future resides with the Independent voters rejecting Party and incumbency at the polls.
Yes, the numbers of independent voters are growing and may now possibly be the largest group of voters? It’s a natural result of the growing cycle of corruption. Anti-incumbency rates have historically grown with corruption and conflict.
Only by a massive rejection of both the main Parties and their incumbent politicians, can the replacement politicians be made to accept that the Independent voter’s demands for good stewardship and positive results, not the ideological Parties, will determine their reelection.
Yes, and the sooner the better.

Because that’s the real danger.
The longer the corruption is tolerated, the worse it will get later (and it isn’t linear).
The longer the corruption is allowed to grow, the more difficult it is to stop it.
This is a fact of human nature that must be thoroughly accepted and dealt with.
Otherwise, the cycle will continue to repeat itself over and over.
It takes a lot of corruption before a country fails, but we should be very careful to understand the signs, causes, and avoid the possibility of it happening by avoiding the beginnings.

The economy will begin falter.
Not just a recession.
We are probably seeing the signs of that now.
The U.S. dollar is at historic lows against many major world currencies, foreclosures are in the millions, household incomes are stagnant (or falling), debt is rampant, excessive money-printing is causing inflaiton, government is FOR-SALE to a few that abuse vast wealth to control and influence government, corpocrisy, corporate welfare, pork-barrel and graft are rampant, and Iraq and Afghanistan are costing us dearly (in lives, limbs, and monetarily), blatant lies are increasingly common-place.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 5, 2007 01:20 PM
Comment #240055
Voters whine and complain about do-nothing, FOR-SALE Congress and give it dismal approval ratings as low as 11% ,

But then turn around and reward most of those incumbent politicians with 95% to 99% re-election rates.

Pray tell..for whom are we to vote? There are usually nobodies running against the incumbents or the opposition candidate is even worse than the incumbent.

As long as one has to be independently wealthy (and fewer of us will ever be able to attain independent wealth) to run for federal office, who will ever run who actually has the interest of the common good, the middle class, the workers, kids, the elderly or the poor as their platform??

Posted by: Rachel at December 5, 2007 04:15 PM
Comment #240057
The only way to short circuit that cycle and avoid or mitigate the pain is from education. Posted by: d.a.n at December 5, 2007 11:31 AM


This is true, the only way to short circut the cycle is thru education. It truly is a problem of environment as well. You cannot open a newspaper to educate yourself of the needed solutions.


It is also a feedback problem.

Feedback is a problem in itself. Media will not focus on a problem long enough to identify the pieces. You cannot solve a problem without understanding it. You cannot expect the common man to identify the problem if he’s only hearing about the repercussions.


Education is the key to this but it’s not going to be a quick fix tomorrow. Education must start in the classroom. Students K-12 must be educated with the constitution. Not a parroting of the constitution like the pledge of allegience. Historical reference to why the constitution was written as it was and it’s meaning in reference to the laws of their times must be in detail. The validity of the past must be emphatic when compared to the present. Discounting our past because of the laws and opinions of the present is ignorance.

What are we if we live without constants in our history? We are just liars.
What are we if we discount our past because of our present? We are just hypocrits.
What are we if we ignore our history? We are just doomed.

The challenge to us is to find ways of introducing dynamism into the environment so that we can minimize the number and size of these pustules of diseased power. Posted by: Lee Jamison at December 5, 2007 09:20 AM

One response I got at one time was:

If you don’t like what your school is teaching then you should go to the school board!

Lee’s post made me think of it. What good does taking time out of your lives to go to a school board meeting and voice your opinion if it’s only going to be considered when it coincides with the best interests of the school board members.

Let’s stick with the school board as the fundamental governing body of this scenerio.
It’s not a governing body ie congress or the senate. It’s a corporation. Given life by a governing body and made to look like a governing body via a popular election of it’s board members instead of shareholder elections. Is that a god complex!, or what!? It’s a tangent I hope someone picks up on.

Our current situation is that we have an encumbent school board who may consider your proposal, or;

We could go to the people of the school district and ask them one question:

Do you support the Constitution Education curriculum, and if so would you run for the position on the school board to guarantee it’s enactment?

There are three answers to that question. Yes/Yes, Yes/No, No/No.
Finding enough people to fill a school board should not be a problem. Anyone who answers Yes/Yes becomes a candidate and agrees to run on a platform of Constitution Education Curriculum being enacted and upon it’s enactment, to call a convention to identify and evaluate the next pressing problem concerning the education system and resigning to the results of that convention.

That is true governance envisioned by our founding fathers. Identify the problem, Identify the pieces, Identify the solution. Then go home.

In this case it could be the “Zephram Cochran” of our Constitution Education Curriculum!

Posted by: Weary Willie at December 5, 2007 05:22 PM
Comment #240058

Rachel,
It is not illogical to simply change the incumbent at every election cycle until it becomes clear incumbency is not an advantage and there will be no “career in public service”. That is simply a choice the electorate has not tried recently. If a clear majority of congress was new every two years there would be tremendous pressure to end the perks of seniority and the loads of corruption associated with it.

It is an irony of history that the greatest reform president was probably not T.R., but Chester Arthur- the Tammany Hall insider who took advantage of public pressure after the assassination of James Garfield to completely reform the public service structure in the federal government. The key words are “public pressure”.

It is our job, not any party’s, to reform government.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at December 5, 2007 05:28 PM
Comment #240060

http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents/jg20.html
http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents/ca21.html


What was the public pressure? Is it defined anywhere? Was it emotionally driven?

Was it a public reaction to an execution of a President?

Posted by: Weary Willie at December 5, 2007 06:07 PM
Comment #240063

I think I changed the subject. Sorry.


If a clear majority of congress was new every two years there would be tremendous pressure to end the perks of seniority and the loads of corruption associated with it.

I agree whole-heartedly with that statement. But only one-third is “new” every two years.

That may be a problem that could be rectified if 3 of 4 states considered it an issue.

Posted by: Weary Willie at December 5, 2007 06:16 PM
Comment #240065

WW… true that the Senate could only be 1/3 new every two years, but the H of Reps could, conceivably, have 100% turnover every two years.

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at December 5, 2007 06:21 PM
Comment #240066

Rachel asked: “Pray tell..for whom are we to vote?”

Read the article. I know its long, but, it answers your question very thoroughly and explains why voting out incumbents responsible for bad results in government, will improve the behavior and actions of politicians of all parties.

America’s problem is not that the Democrats OR the Republicans are in control. The problem is that these Parties’ efforts to secure longevity for their incumbents supersedes the nation’s and the people’s needs. And those efforts are premised on marketing and advertising, NOT good governance or stewardship of the nation’s future.

With marketing and advertising one can sell homes to millions of people who can’t afford to make the payments on those homes. But, just because a candidate can be marketed and advertised for reelection does not mean the people can afford to. The fact is, the people cannot afford to keep reelecting 90+ percent of incumbents and expect different results from their government. It is the 90+ % reelected incumbents who are responsible for the horrible state our government is now in.

But, the good news is, we don’t need to replace all incumbents. Only enough to threaten the remaining incumbents with getting the boot in the next election. Then, and only then, will the politicians, incumbent and freshman, recognize that reelection will depend NOT on their Party’s support, NOT on campaign donations, but, on how well government solves the nation’s problems. And they will act accordingly, in order to get reelected.

When the voters make reelection depend upon good governance, good governance will follow. It just doesn’t get any simpler this. The hard part is getting this understanding out to the 10’s of millions of Independent voters who can make it happen. That takes money, people, and organization. And the only organization I know of who is actively doing more than paying lip service on some blog and pursuing that course is VOID.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 5, 2007 06:24 PM
Comment #240067

Doug and WW, it is not possible nor necessary to replace ALL incumbents. It is only necessary to remove a sufficient percentage of them, to make the remainder sweat whether they will be next to get the boot. Their priorities and behaviors will change very damned quickly after that. Most of them, anyway. And that is what America’s government needs, politicians who realize that reelection depends upon good and responsible governance which solves more problems than it creates.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 5, 2007 06:27 PM
Comment #240068

Lee said: “It is our job, not any party’s, to reform government.”

Dead on right. The Parties’ job is to acquire and keep power by dividing the electorate and marketing and advertising their candidates as somehow superior to the other party’s. Good governance will never be the concern of political parties if it is not the concern that drives voter’s decisions in the voting booth. Good governance is hard work, expensive, and requires multi-partisan cooperation and compromise. Why go through all that when hiring marketing and advertising and polling companies is so much easier, no more expensive, and DOES NOT require multi-partisan cooperation and compromise?

As you say, reforming government to solve the nation’s challenges instead of exacerbating them, is up to the voters, and voters organizations who can get the information and strategy out to other voters, growing the number of reform votes on election day.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 5, 2007 06:35 PM
Comment #240071

David! I don’t think the vast majority of people realize a federal government position, elected or not, is suppose to be a part time position!

It is the States and local governments that make up this Union that are to educate our children and protect our land and feed our stomachs. Not the federal government.

Federal government’s role is defined in the constitution and for 500 or so prissies to assume they have control is the ultimate paper tiger!

Can VOID work from the top down? NO! Can government work from the top down? NO!

Home schooling is the ultimate form of self government if you would look at it that way.

I asked an Amish guy how much it costs to send his child to school each year. He said, “It costs a lot!” I asked him how much is “a lot” and he said, “About $300”. When I told him it cost me $3700 for each student each year, he just snickered a little and feigned suprise.

Amish support their elected officials with their prayers. If their prayer is “Help Me, Mr. Government” they haven’t a prayer.
That’s why they depend upon themselves.

Posted by: Weary Willie at December 5, 2007 07:24 PM
Comment #240074
Rachel wrote: Pray tell..for whom are we to vote? There are usually nobodies running against the incumbents or the opposition candidate is even worse than the incumbent.
How do you know the challenger is worse?

Please examine STEP 03 closely.

Rachel wrote: As long as one has to be independently wealthy (and fewer of us will ever be able to attain independent wealth) to run for federal office, who will ever run who actually has the interest of the common good, the middle class, the workers, kids, the elderly or the poor as their platform??
There are options. You haven’t been looking. There are 3rd party and independent alternatives. How is rewarding corrupt incumbents better?

And even when there are no better alternatives, please see STEP 03.

Stop Repeat Offenders.
Don’t Reward Irresponsible Incumbents with Perpetual Re-Election.

And please visit VOIDnow.org .

Posted by: d.a.n at December 5, 2007 08:08 PM
Comment #240075
Weary Willie wrote: Can VOID work from the top down?
Not likely.

It’s a grassroots approach.
It’s growing.
Like VOIDnow.org and FOAVC.org, they are growing as the pain grows.

They both grow hand-in-hand.

BOTH organizations (of purely unpaid volunteers) only suggest sooner what will happen later.

But sooner is better than later.

Later is more painful.

Government will not become more responsible and accountable until the voters do.

That’s where STEP 03 comes in.
That’s where VOIDnow.org comes in.
That’s where FOAVC.org comes in.

We need enough voters to understand that repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election is NOT working. Who do you think this system benefits most?

Government will NOT become more responsible and accountable until the voters do.

It’s that !@#$!@#%!#@#$%^ simple.

Unlike everyone else that wants to blame the OTHER party, it’s the voters that must choose.

Choose, or suffer.

It’s really that simple.

As the suffering grows, the people will figure it out.

The SOONER the better.

The longer the corruption is allowed to grow, the more painful it will be later.

If you do not believe that, keep rewarding irresponsible, FOR-SALE, bought-and-paid-for, corrupt INCUMBENT politicians with perpetual re-election and see WHERE it gets YOU.

We have the government WE deserve, since WE elect it (OVER and OVER and OVER).

Posted by: d.a.n at December 5, 2007 08:21 PM
Comment #240077

d.a.n

That’s only if you haven’t a clue as to who is on the ballot!

You can call it the “Anti-name-recognition ballot”.
The ANRB!

It would still extract the same result.

My solution is:
Keep your own money. Encourage your employer to keep your money too. Ask your employer to keep the money he pays to employ your body. Insist your employer save the insurance, 401k contributions, social security and medicare taxes, income taxes, and all of the burdens levied on a business that has employees.

Ask your employer to replace the 16th amendment with a better health care program or a better savings program.

And then go home and enjoy having children.

Posted by: Weary Willie at December 5, 2007 08:28 PM
Comment #240078

Consider these regressive systems, which did NOT all come about by mere coincidence.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 5, 2007 08:33 PM
Comment #240079

Weary Willie,

We’ve been missing one alternative.

STEP 03 outlines that alternative.

We have choices.

It’s about choice.

Suffer, or prosper.

Some want to prosper on the backs of others.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 5, 2007 09:08 PM
Comment #240080

Regressive systems.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 5, 2007 09:09 PM
Comment #240081

Regressive systems.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 5, 2007 09:09 PM
Comment #240084

Do you think every problem is incapable of being solved without the federal government?

I don’t think you do.

What do you think of my Constitution Education Curriculum!
http://www.watchblog.com/thirdparty/archives/005669.html#240057

Posted by: Weary Willie at December 5, 2007 09:40 PM
Comment #240089

It’s refreshing to see the people with whom I most often disagree saying things that make good sense.

I agree that a 92% reelection rate is beyond appalling it is pathological. I’ve read so many threads in the last hour on watchblog I can’t be sure if it was this one, but someone likened this problem to an illness, and that’s exactly what it is.

R and D are essentially two wings of the same power vulture of doom.

Wouldn’t it be nice to see the sweet bird of freedom instead.

There are some liberal ideas that are great for America, there are some conservative ideas that are great for America. But because of this R and & D system, you never can get lucky enough to have a candidate who would give you both because believing in a worthy liberal cause makes conservatives write off a candidate, and believing in a conservative cause makes most liberals rabid with anger.

Like David said, booting incumbents is the only way to change things and avoid the awful carnage of another revolution. Though I honestly don’t think we could have a revolution against the government anymore - weapons technology and the military’s unlimited budget make the hodgepodge of rifles and handguns owned by the typical (gun owning) American a trivial pittance in the face of unmanned drones and weapons that can throw out a million uranium pellets a minute.

Scary times.

Posted by: Yukon Jake at December 5, 2007 10:21 PM
Comment #240092
It is not illogical to simply change the incumbent at every election cycle until it becomes clear incumbency is not an advantage and there will be no “career in public service”.

So, even if the incumbent is doing a good job, s/he should be voted out just to not vote for an incumebent? We should just elect anyone just because they’re not an incumbent?

What hogwash!

Posted by: Rachel at December 5, 2007 10:58 PM
Comment #240096

Rachel said:

So, even if the incumbent is doing a good job, s/he should be voted out just to not vote for an incumebent? We should just elect anyone just because they’re not an incumbent?

What hogwash!

Rachel, you are absolutely right. There are a number of web sites out there advocating removing ALL incumbents, but, these are created by persons moved by the passion of disappointment in their government. They have not thought the issue through to its logical conclusion.

Removing all incumbents is a terrible idea. First, it would leave the people with an incompetent government, one without experience or historical wisdom of parliamentary process and legislative rules which are the tools of government. It would be like trying to build a house with a complete workforce of untrained illegal immigrants who have never built anything before. Bad idea.

Second, it is a fantasy. It is not even in the realm of possibility that in an election all incumbents would lose. Belongs in a comic book, not the real world of politics and government reform.

Lastly, the idea of throwing out all incumbents rejects the individual voter’s intrinsic right to vote for the candidates of their choice.

VOID advocates none of this. VOID simply asks each voter to ask themselves if this is the government they want and are they satisfied with its results. If the answer is no, VOID asks them to consider if their representative is effectively working for the reforms needed. If the answer is no, then, and only then, does VOID ask the voter to consider the positive potential of voting for the challenger instead as part of a larger strategy of reducing the 92% reelection rate to 70 or even 60%, which would alter the behavior and priorities of a very large number of remaining incumbents and new freshman politicians.

You are so right, Rachel, to call the concept of voting out ALL incumbents, good and bad, a HogWash idea. Fortunately, the leadership at VOID are not moved by illogical passions, but, rational, realistic, and strategic problem solving that can result in better government and a more secure future for America.

A good politician is hard to find, and they should absolutely be reelected if the majority of their voters recognize this. That is as American as Apple Pie and should never be messed with. Suffrage was paid for with enormous, suffering, loss of life, and sacrifice, and the right to vote according to one’s own reason and intelligent direction must be defended at every turn.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 6, 2007 03:54 AM
Comment #240097

Yukon Jake, thanks for your comments.

I would offer the following counterpoint. With more than a trillion dollars, tanks, HumV’s, sophisticated weaponry, and 165,000 American soldiers, America is unable to eliminate an insurgency in Iraq the size of only one of our large states, armed with vastly inferior weaponry, and lacking sophisticated communications.

Revolution in America is, and will always remain, an option to an oppressed and dejected populace, with the potential of success. We need look only to the rag tag Colonial Army under an inexperienced and flawed commander named George Washington and their victory over the most sophisticated British Army of their day, to recognize that Revolution is never without hope of success if there are no alternatives.

G. Washington acquired the experience and his rag tag Army became organized and disciplined despite major losses and defeats. And when it dawned on Washington that the path to victory was not in defeating the British toe to toe, but, through hit and run tactics designed to drive up the costs and duration of pursuit by the British, his genius had arrived and victory became not only possible, but, an historical reality.

Every century sees the wealthy and powerful and unaware leaders of cutting edge militaries fail this fundamental lesson of history: an insurgency is the worst form of enemy to fight. Insurgencies do not require parity of weaponry or battle tactics to win, they only require the support of the citizenry, creativity, and the commitment and ability to outlast the far more expensive and sophisticated opposition forces. Like Mahatma Gandhi said of the British occupation of India, “In the end, they will simply choose to leave.” At which point the revolution is won.

Winning Revolutions is always an enormous gamble and incredibly costly. But, winning Revolutions is, in hindsight, the easiest part of a Revolution. Putting in place a better form of governance to replace that of the defeated oppressor, without becoming oppressive, is by far, the more difficult task set before Revolutionaries, and where they typically fail in their quest for a better future.

It is hard to imagine that if there were a successful Revolution in America in modern times, that she would be able to assemble the quality of minds, commitment, and wisdom that could rival that of the signers to our original U.S. Constitution. In modern times, we breed specialists with narrow fields of knowledge and expertise. In our founding Constitutional Convention were assembled some of the best trained general education minds in the world.

It was this Generalist and panoramic nature of their education that was so brilliantly capable of both communication across lines of specialization as well as anticipating and focusing upon the design of the end product, as opposed to an assemblage of parts which could have been more efficient and precise, but, less durable, lasting, and oppressive.

Though I support an Article V convention, I have serious reservations about the attendee’s ability to avoid installing a far more precise, efficient, and specialized wording that could lead to oppressive and authoritarian enforcements. The attendee’s would after all, most likely be specialists in their areas of endeavor, and lack education in the classics of literature, philosophy, and history, which underwrote our original U.S. Constitution.

A perfect example is the injustice and fury created by the far more precise and efficient 3 Strikes Law of modern legal specialists. The 3 strikes law and mandatory sentencing are antithetical to the wisdom and spirit of the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Though I dare say, few would recognize it, today.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 6, 2007 04:33 AM
Comment #240103

Weary Willie,

The public service process of the day, prior to Garfield’s assassination, rewarded supporters of those who managed to win high office with lucrative public offices. (Sound familiar? Say, similar to something today?) That provided strong candidates with ready workers and a semi-feudal system of public support- a deeply corrupt system.

It was a deranged, spurned, public office-seeker who shot Garfield. The current system for getting support for candidates at all levels has developed over the course of 120 years to circumvent the reforms enacted in Arthur’s day. It is more sophisticated, more pervasive, and more corrupt. To beat it we must circumvent the advantages the corruption gives to those who curry favor with incumbents and divide us to conquer the electorate.

So, Rachel and David, I think the disadvantages of incumbency in the current atmosphere greatly outweigh the advantages. Incumbency has become the path to gathering an extra-electoral constituency of insular bureaucracy, business ties, and Washington oligarchs the purpose of which is to overthrow the real government of the United States- “we the people”.

You can see this at work in a number of areas, but nowhere more clearly than in the issue of immigration where the clear will of 70% of the American people is being thwarted by a tiny minority of political insiders and big business interests.

Do we need institutional memory? Yes. That is why the Senate has six-year terms while the House has only two-year terms. But, as can also be seen in the immigration debate, where the Senate has been the larger of our problems, the great majority of institutional memory in our government comes not from the agenda-compromised insiders, but from the politically aware population who, twenty years before, saw these same efforts to undo the law of the land (with promises of curing a problem) only to realize later they had been lied to.

The people of this country are the government. We own the shop. We suffer today the results of having placed that mantle on the shoulders of our shop-keepers, thinking we could go off and mind our own business while they kept the books and took out the trash. Now they think they own the place. Ultimately it is our business to run the shop and watch the shop-keepers. For a while it will be necessary to enforce some iteneracy, and I think a strident iteneracy, among our employees while we pay extra attention to the workings of our property. If that means tossing out good people with bad people, so be it.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at December 6, 2007 09:29 AM
Comment #240113


I find it ironic that many citizens of a hedonist society seem upset that their politicians are also hedonists. Do we blame our politicians for having a borrow and shop till they drop our nation over the precipice mentality which is a direct reflection of our entire society? Shouldn’t we expect an irresponsible society to have an irresponsible government? Which do we admire the most about our society, our ability to create wealth or our ability to squander wealth?

Government is a reflection of the society that it governs. To have a better government, you need a better society.

Posted by: jlw at December 6, 2007 11:50 AM
Comment #240134
Weary Willie wrote: What do you think of my Constitution Education Curriculum!
Education is one of the fundamental components of making things better, because
  • 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

Our problems have a basic, fundamental root cause.
It’s part of human nature, and understanding it can not be over-stated.
Most people, naturally, seek security and prosperity with the least amount of effort and pain, but some (Cheaters) often resort to unethical (even illegal) methods.  Without sufficient Conscience,  Education, Transparency, and Accountability, the Corruption grows, and Power can exacerbate the problem.  A lack of  Conscience  creates a lack of emphasis on  Education, which creates an environment ripe for Corruption.  A lack of Transparency creates opportunities for self gain.  A lack of Accountability means there are no consequences, and results in a lack of all Responsibility.

Humans have always had a problem with corruption because it is rooted in laziness, apathy, and complacency. 
The root problem is US, and it is quote simply a very fundamental human trait. 
However, it is obviously not well understood, since we fail to account for it in many of our systems.
Some understood it and tried to build checks-and-balances into the systems, but over time, corruption has grown out of control. Corruption is always looking for a toe-hold. Understanding that fact is very important (which requires more education), so that systems can be designed to account for the human this factor.  Unfortunately, there are some people (cheaters, of varying degrees) that are always attempting to abuse the systems to reduce or eliminate transparency, accountability, and responsibility.

It’s up to the electorate, and it had better stop messing around before they lose their right to voter and/or get an accurate vote-count altogether. Sound impossible? Just read some history to see the rise and fall of nations throughout the millennia.

Rachel wrote: So, even if the incumbent is doing a good job, s/he should be voted out just to not vote for an incumebent? We should just elect anyone just because they’re not an incumbent?

What hogwash!


Who said vote out good politicians?

So, what’s your solution?
Keep repeatedly rewarding irresponsible, FOR-SALE, corrupt politicians with perpetual re-election?

No, the idea is and should be to keep the good politiicians, and Vote out the bad ones.

Having said that, can you name 50, 100, 150, 200, 250, or even half (268) in Congress that are not irresponsible, FOR-SALE, vote on pork-barrel, graft, waste, and corporate welfare, do not look-the-other-way, or uphold their oath to uphold Article V of the U.S. Constitution ?

Unless someone (and no one has yet in two years) can name at least 268, what’s that tell you about Congress?
I’ve looked at their voting records, and almost all vote on pork-barrel, waste, 9 raises for themselves in the past 10 years (while our troops go without armor, medical care, and promised benefits).
Have you?
Go to OnTheIssues.ORG and start looking at their voting records.

So, what sense does it make to whine and complain about corruption in Congress, give Congress dismally low approval ratings (as low as 11%), and then reward those same incumbent politicians with 95% to 99% re-election rates? ! ?

That’s the voter paradox, and the politicians know all about it and love it.
The politicians do all they can to fuel the distracting, destructive, divisive, circular partisan-warfare and pit voters against each other (like the also despicably pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other).
And the politicians’ best invention ever was the party-lever.
The party-lever is a perfect example of capitalizing on the voters’ laziness (i.e. it’s so easy to pull the lever).
Too many voters blindly pull the party lever, as evidenced by Congress’ cu$hy, coveted 95% to 99% re-election rates.
They have almost no policing amongst their own ranks.
This explains their arrogance and ability to ignore the voters and still get re-elected.

But the blame can NOT all be placed on the politicians.
The electore is the largest group, and it complains endlessly, but continues to repeatedly reward incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election.

However, despite the slowness of progress (e.g. 2.00 steps forward, 1.99 steps backward), I think the voters will probably figure it out eventually.
The voters will hopefully figure it out when their disinterest, apathy, complacency, and blindly pulling the party-lever finally becomes too painful.

If not, then things will get more painful.

The electorate has a choice (as long as it can vote and get an accurate vote-count):

  • (a) Keep rewarding bad government with perpetual re-election and watch it grow more corrupt, along with the painful consequences.

  • (b) Or, become more educated and responsible, and vote wisely to make government more responsible and accountable, and mitigate the painful consequences of decades of corruption.

Stop Repeat Offenders.

Don’t Repeatedly Reward Corrupt Politicians in Congress With Cu$hy 95%-to-99% Re-Election Rates.

jlw wrote: Government is a reflection of the society that it governs. To have a better government, you need a better society.
jlw, you understand it perfectly.

It is all of US.
Government won’t become more responsible and accountable until the electorate does.

As with many things, it’s about choice.
The hard part about the following formula is Conscience, because we must first choose virtue and Conscience.

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

However, there is one motivating factor that can eventually (if it doesn’t come too late) substitute for Conscience and virtue: Pain.
Also, Education can help compensate, when enough voters understand (and this is where history is important) the eventual painful consequences of their actions now.

Weary Willie wrote: Feedback is a problem in itself. Media will not focus on a problem long enough to identify the pieces. You cannot solve a problem without understanding it. You cannot expect the common man to identify the problem if he’s only hearing about the repercussions.
Again, that’s where history becomes important. The painful consequences of actions today can take decades to unfold, and then there’s not a lot that can be done to mitigate the pain.

The point about feedback is that it occurs, but it is often too slow to learn from. Thus, nations rise and fall, but it often takes decades or centuries, as evidenced by history.

Thus, the saying, “Those who can’t learn from history are doomeed to repeated it.” - George Santayana

But then, there’s also the saying “We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.” - George Bernard Shaw

What George Bernard Shaw states is often correct, but I refuse to believe it must always be that way.

More quotes: www.wisdomquotes.com/cat_history.html

Posted by: d.a.n at December 6, 2007 03:44 PM
Comment #240140

jlw said: “Government is a reflection of the society that it governs. To have a better government, you need a better society.”

I would posit that the growth of the Independent voters and VOID constitute the beginning of a better society.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 6, 2007 05:22 PM
Comment #240141

Lee, you make a very powerful argument and presentation for the choir. Too powerful perhaps, for potential converts. All or none arguments have the ring of Revolution in them, and while the vast majority of citizens are housed, fed, and relatively autonomous, Revolution, even at the ballot box, is a scary prospect.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 6, 2007 05:26 PM
Comment #240148

http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/bdsdcc:@field(DOCID+@lit(bdsdccc0802))

Sect. 2. The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second year by all the people of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous branch of the State Legislature.
Sect. 3. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote.
Immediately after they shall be assembled in consequence of the first election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three classes. The seats of the Senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the second year, of the second class at the expiration of the fourth year, and of the third class at the expiration of the sixth year; so that one third may be chosen every second year; and if vacancies happen, by resignation or otherwise, during the recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary appointments until the next meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such vacancies.

Thank you, Doug. Thank you for pointing out the senate is limited to this 2 year revolving election plan. The second paragraph of Section 3 was the starting point. Who were the senators who served only 2 years in their first term?

Is that a trivia question? One that could be on “Are you smarter than a 5th grader?”

Posted by: Weary Willie at December 6, 2007 07:20 PM
Comment #240152
Do we need institutional memory? Yes. That is why the Senate has six-year terms while the House has only two-year terms. But, as can also be seen in the immigration debate, where the Senate has been the larger of our problems, the great majority of institutional memory in our government comes not from the agenda-compromised insiders, but from the politically aware population who, twenty years before, saw these same efforts to undo the law of the land (with promises of curing a problem) only to realize later they had been lied to.
The memory issue is important.

However, with 95% to 99% re-election rates in Congress (never below 70%), there’s not much danger of that.

Perhaps 4 years terms (still, with elections every two years) in the Senate would be better, since that’s were much of the corruption resides?

However, tinkering with those things is not really necessary. The real problem is 95% to 99% re-election rates, and only the electorate can change it. The Do-Nothing Congress isn’t likely to reform itself. Not until forced to. And the longer the electorate allows the severely bloated and corrupt federal government to grow more corrupt, the more difficult and painful it will be later to change it. Already, we are seeing Constitutional violations (e.g. Article V), pre-emptive wars based on lies, the worsening 30+ year disparity trend, and rampant pork-barrel, graft, corprate welfare, and government FOR-SALE.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 6, 2007 07:40 PM
Comment #240156
tinkering with those things is not really necessary

You can’t tinker with things on a national level. Quit giving the federal government the majority of your tax dollar.

Posted by: Weary Willie at December 6, 2007 08:29 PM
Comment #240159

We need to be States again. We’re big boys now!

Posted by: Weary Willie at December 6, 2007 08:58 PM
Comment #240162

WW, your hyperbole gets more over the top as the elections approach. The Majority of your tax dollar? I don’t know about you, but 100% of my tax dollars go to the government. Which constitutes about 19% of what I make. Compared to other modern nations, I am thankful for such a bargain.

Now, lets focus on the wasted portion of those taxes and get more worthwhile government service per tax dollar spent, rather than advocating law breaking and jail for tax evaders, the obvious outcome of individuals electing to quit giving their tax dollars to government as you recommend.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 6, 2007 09:11 PM
Comment #240169
WW, your hyperbole gets more over the top as the elections approach.

No it doesn’t! My hyperbole is none of your concern because you are not my doctor!

That statement is as about as stupid as this one:

I don’t know about you, but 100% of my tax dollars go to the government.
Posted by: Weary Willie at December 6, 2007 10:28 PM
Comment #240170

Why?

Why, Mr. Remem, does 100% of your tax dollars go to the government?

Posted by: Weary Willie at December 6, 2007 10:51 PM
Comment #240171

I fat-fingered that, Mr. Remer. Pardon me.
My question is why do you give 100 percent of your taxes to an entity that expects your servitude?

Why do you pay someone to frack up your life for you?

The founding fathers fought and died to free their children of a corporate government.

How do we repay them? With another corporate government?

I don’t know about you, but 100% of my tax dollars go to the government.


Posted by: Weary Willie at December 6, 2007 11:28 PM
Comment #240173

Weary WIllie,
It’s a joke… it’s like saying 100% of the food you eat goes to your colon.

Where else do you think your “TAX” dollars go besides the state and federal government.

That statement isn’t stupid, it’s funny - and true for he, you, and me.

It’s a shame, IMO, that so much does go to Uncle Sam, and I find the notion that comparing ourselves to other first-world socialist nations around the world as a good reason to be happy to pay what we pay about as ridiculous as saying women here aren’t lashed and beaten when suspected of wrong-doing so women in America should just be happy with their status because it’s better that some place else.

You can’t set, OR ACCEPT, policies simply because it is worse elsewhere, and the fact that I’d pay more taxes in Britain, or Spain that I would here doesn’t make me feel any better about paying what I feel to be a ridiculously unfair share given my non-existent use of federal programs and services, besides snow plowing and road maintenance which are paid with my property taxes - which I’m fine with.

David probably didn’t mean all this, but the statement wasn’t qualified, and it should have been.

Posted by: Yukon Jake at December 6, 2007 11:51 PM
Comment #240175
Which constitutes about 19% of what I make.

How is it then that 47% of all income in the US goes to the government? How are you avoiding all of this taxation?

Or, are you sure you’re counting it all?

Posted by: Rhinehold at December 7, 2007 12:39 AM
Comment #240176

Yukon, US taxes compared to any European nation’s is a classic economy of scale example. Our rates are lower but, we have many times their population, vastly more territory to oversee, manage, and defend, the largest most expensive military in the world or history, and on a per capita basis a relatively peaceful society which works together rather than blow each other up.

All in all, I consider that a bargain. Not that we shouldn’t and couldn’t eliminate a few percents of wasted, counterproductive, and illegally obtained tax dollars. Not that we shouldn’t insist with our vote that we get much more effective government service for our tax dollar.

I just learned that 1 out of 3 dollars we sent to Iraq have been stolen or lost and never used for those dollar’s intended purposes. Given 1.2 trillion dollars, that’s about 400 billion tax dollars wasted and stolen. I personally take offense when my government loses my tax dollars and allows my tax dollars to be stolen. I hold my politicians directly responsible by voting for their challengers when they seek reelection.

Its the least I can do with my disappointment and outrage over being ripped off by my government’s politicians responsible for the care and correct use of my tax dollars.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 7, 2007 02:00 AM
Comment #240178

Rhinehold, tax deferred instruments are very important to keeping one’s taxes low. Living in a state without personal property or income tax also lowers one’s overall taxes significantly. No sales tax on food is another huge saving. I have lived in Oregon, Michigan, Missouri and Texas. I left Texas for a job in Missouri, and a couple years later when I had to make a career change, I left that monumentally high tax state to return to Texas about as fast as a rabbit crossing the road in front of a Mack Truck.

I figure those who choose to live in ways that result in 40% tax rates must also feel they are getting quite a bargain, or they wouldn’t choose to live in America, and the State they reside in, or make the purchases they make.

There is one obvious rule to reducing taxes. This rule, 99% of Americans never realize, being the well bred consumers they are. When you work for yourself, neither your labor or products you make are taxed.

I built my own house, saved oodles in taxes. Built my own solar water heater - no taxes. Service my own vehicles - no taxes. Grow some of my own food, no taxes. Do my own landscaping, babysitting, and some clothes making, no taxes. Built most of my own computers and recycle their parts in upgrades. Fewer taxes. 86 Cadillac DeVille, 1973 and 1974 Volvos, no taxes for the many, many years others paid them on new car purchases.

If people don’t like taxes, there are myriad ways to avoid a huge assortment of them legally.

Every purchase and service you elect is loaded with taxes, SS, Medicare, and liability insurance taxes, phone taxes, etc. passed on to the consumer in the purchase price for that product or service. Make fewer purchases, save oodles of hidden taxes.

Single worker families pay half the taxes of two wage earner families. So, either marry someone with a fine salary or get a job which allows the spouse to work at home producing and creating all those things one doesn’t have to purchase. Saves a bundle on taxes.

I love living in America. The freedom of choices I enjoy are incredible, including all these to avoid paying the taxes others gripe over constantly. Won’t hear me griping.

I am safe from invasion, enjoy fine roads and national parks to travel and temporarily reside in, my savings and investments are safer in America, for the time being, than any where else in the world. My rural country air is clean, no radiation venting up under my home, a single wood burning stove heats my entire 1450 s.f. home on 5 acres of trees providing an endless free supply of fuel. A couple window AC’s run several hours a day to cool the home in the summer saving taxes on electricity.

I repair plastics instead of purchasing replacements, weld metal instead of buying anew, recycle on the County’s dime, and haul my own trash every other month to the dump.

There are myriad of ways to save on taxes. I walk a mile each way to the corner store and save gasoline taxes, which keeps me healthy which saves on medical taxes.

It just takes a commitment to examining the issue and choosing to live in ways that circumvent them, legally. Or, choose to pay them and gripe a lot. It is after all, an historical American past time. America is a great nation to live in. That’s why I work so hard to insure its future for my daughter, which includes paying the taxes I owe as a result of my choices to live here.

For me, the taxes I pay are an excellent bargain, one which permits me to enjoy this nation’s bounty and liberties to determine my own lifestyle leaving others to enjoy, or gripe, over theirs, in relative peace and harmony. This country works very hard and pays a lot to insure our communities are not overrun by people in desperate need threatening the property and lives of those who have what they need.

I gladly pay the federal taxes I do for Soc. Sec. and Medicare for this very reason alone. I don’t consider SS and Medicare taxes so much as taxes, rather as an insurance policy for being left alone on my rural 5 acres in peace and relative security. I consider these taxes enlightened self-interest upon paying them. Something Adam Smith taught me about in Theory of Moral Sentiments and Wealth of Nations.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 7, 2007 03:01 AM
Comment #240195
I just learned that 1 out of 3 dollars we sent to Iraq have been stolen or lost and never used for those dollar’s intended purposes. Given 1.2 trillion dollars, that’s about 400 billion tax dollars wasted and stolen. I personally take offense when my government loses my tax dollars and allows my tax dollars to be stolen. I hold my politicians directly responsible by voting for their challengers when they seek reelection.
The government and Federal Reserve (a privately owned bank) has the solution: Which is why we have this:
    The U.S. Dollar in the last five years:
    • $1 U.S. Dollar fell from 0.98 EURO to 0.6825 EURO between Jan-2003 and Oct-2007
    • $1 U.S. Dollar fell from 1.80 British Pound (GBP) to 1.07 GBP between Jan-2003 and Oct-2007
    • $1 U.S. Dollar fell from 1.57 Canadian (CAD) to 0.926 CAD between Jan-2003 and Oct-2007
    • $1 U.S. Dollar fell from 1.78 Austrailian (AUD) to 1.077 AUD between Jan-2003 and Oct-2007
    • $1 U.S. Dollar fell from 1.46 Swiss Franc (CHF) to 1.13 CHF between Jan-2003 and Nov-2007
    • $1 U.S. Dollar fell from 3.51 Argentine Peso (ARS) to 3.13 ARS between Jan-2003 and Nov-2007
    • $1 U.S. Dollar fell from 31.8 Russian Roubles (RUB) to 24.59 RUB between Jan-2003 and Nov-2007
All in all, I consider that a bargain. Not that we shouldn’t and couldn’t eliminate a few percents of wasted, counterproductive, and illegally obtained tax dollars. Not that we shouldn’t insist with our vote that we get much more effective government service for our tax dollar.
Yes, there is MUCH room for improvement. The level of bloat, waste, graft, pork-barrel, and corporate welfare is HUGE. Just check out these subsidies for one farm (H Bar H Farms Gp / Farwell, TX 79325):
    Year / Conservation Subsidies / Disaster Subsidies / Commodity Subsidies / Total USDA Subsidies 1995-2005:
  • 1995 _ $0 ___$0 _____ $40,614 ___$40,614
  • 1996 _ $0 ___$0 _____ $52,806 ___$52,806
  • 1997 _ $0 ___$0 _____ $42,550 ___$42,550
  • 1998 _ $0 ___$0 _____ $76,898 ___$76,898
  • 1999 $5,040 _$0 _____ $80,000 ___$85,040
  • 2000 $1,050 _$0 _____ $147,208 _ $148,258
  • 2001 $1,050 _$4,992 _ $229,849 _ $235,891
  • 2002 $1,711 _$0 _____ $131,314 _ $133,025
  • 2003 $1,050 _$0 _____ $128,299 _ $129,349
  • 2004 _ $0 __ $0 _____ $-8,199 __ $-8,199
  • 2005 _ $0 __ $76,348 _ $0 ______ $76,348
  • Total $9,901 $81,340 $921,339 __ $1,012,580
Also, the tax system is REGRESSIVE. Warren Buffet paid (in year 2006 on 46 million) a 17.7% income tax rate, but his secretary paid 30% income tax on $60,000. Some people think we have a PROGRESSIVE tax system. It’s not. It’s not even NEUTRAL (i.e. a flat income tax).

I don’t think we’re getting our money’s worth. Not even close. The cookie jar isn’t only being raided big-time, huge debt is being piled on too ($9.1 Trillion National Debt with over $1 Billion per day in interest alone on that $9.1 Trillion National Debt, $12.8 Trillion borrowed and spent from Social Security with an approaching 77 million baby boomer bubble (now with 10,000 to 13,000 new Social Security/Medicare recipients per day!) , $450 Billion of PBGC pension debt, hundreds of billion$ of unfunded Medicare liabilities, hundreds of billion$ of unfunded liabilities for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, hundreds of billions in annual losses to U.S. tax payers for services for illegal aliens (e.g. education, medical, Medicaid (32% of illegal aliens receive welfare), law enforcement, prisons, border patrol, crime, election fraud, and our own despicable politicians pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other for profits and votes), etc, etc., etc.).

The total federal debt is about $22 Trillion. That represents many times that amount in interest which could literally centureis (i.e. it would take 153 years to pay off if we stopped over-spending now, stopped borrowing over $1 Billion per day, and started paying down the debt by $1.1 Billion per day).

Where will the money come from?

They’ll print it!

Get ready for inflation. Especially with the presidential candidates bribing voters (again) with their own tax dollar$.

It’s not easy to live at the expense of everyone else, but that doesn’t stop politicians from perpetuating that myth.

And when the mortgage meltdown started, WHO did the government and the Federal Reserve bail out? The banks. And they called it increasing liquidity. If people think it is bad now, just wait. It can, and it probably will, get MUCH worse. Already, a 1950 dollar is only worth 11 cents (or less). Remember double digit inflaiton of the late 1870s and early 1980s ? Get ready to revisit those days. The money has to come from some where. When they can’t borrow it, they will print it. They will not have the discipline to deal with it responsibly. Especially when the majority of voters are rewarding that behavior and Congress with 95% to 99% re-election rates and asking the government to take care of them from cradle-to-grave.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 7, 2007 09:29 AM
Comment #240205

David,

You are not counting in all of the taxes you pay when you purchase a good or service of any kind, the hidden ones that are embedded.

I understand there are ways to avoid some of the more onerous of taxation but the reality is that in the end you are paying more than 19% of your income in taxes.

And the fact that 47% of all income earned in the US ends up, eventually, in the hands of government, while convincing those who pay those taxes that they aren’t actually paying them, is one of the biggest scams ever created, a feat that would make Charles Ponzi most jealous indeed.

Posted by: Rhinehold at December 7, 2007 11:14 AM
Comment #240487
I don’t know about you, but 100% of my tax dollars go to the government.


It wasn’t until March 3, 1849, the last day of the 30th Congress, that a bill was passed to create the Department of the Interior to take charge of the Nation’s internal affairs. The Department of Everything Else: Highlights of Interior History

1934 The Taylor Grazing Act is enacted to regulate economic uses of public lands. Distribution of Grazing Receipts: Receipts from grazing on section 3 lands are distributed three ways: 50% goes to range betterment projects, 37½% remains in the US Treasury, and 12½% is returned to the state. In Wyoming, the 12% is administered by thegrazing advisory boards established under Wyoming Statutes 9-571 and 9-572.
http://www.blm.gov/content/etc/medialib/blm/wy/cfo/pics.Par.3085.Image.250.293.1.gif http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en.-WidePar-000100-Image.WideParimage.2.2.gif
We discharge our responsibilities on a $16.5 billion total annual budget. DOI raises more than $6.3 billion in revenues collected from energy, mineral, grazing, timber, recreation, land sales, etc.

Fiscal responsiblility? Anyone?


Interior is a large, decentralized agency with over 73,000 employees and 200,000 volunteers located at approximately 2,400 operating locations across the United States, Puerto Rico, U.S. territories, and freely associated states.

http://www.osmre.gov/history.htm

February 2, 2004
Secretary of the Interior, Gale Norton announced an Abandoned Mine Land reauthorization proposal would provide funding to eliminate all significant health and safety problems within 25 years
December 8, 2004
President Bush signed the 2005 omnibus appropriations bill with a provision extending the Office of Surface Mining’s authority to continue collecting Abandoned Mine Land fees through June 30, 2005.
February 10, 2005 Four federal agencies agree to offer joint framework to imporve permit applications for coal mining operations that place dredged or fill materials in waters.

Can you imagine ol’ GW saying “..place dredged or fill materials in water.”, instead of “waters”! That’s an act of politicing if he could get that word passed.

It’s like the difference between a person and a citizen in the eyes of the Judicial branch of Our Government.

It’s actually like the movie “A Wonderful Mind”. A triumph over imagination.

Posted by: Weary Willie at December 10, 2007 07:50 PM
Comment #240591

I’m with Rachel. Without knowing exactly where the challengers stand on issues, how do I know I should vote for them? I certainly don’t want to put in someone worse!!!

Sometimes I think Americans vote according to the following thinking: Better the One (evil) you know is better than the one you don’t know.

Frankly I think I prefer Romney - if he weren’t so blooming conservative. I don’t like the idea of him\or anyone appointing more conservative judges or his stand on abortion. I do, however, like the idea of auditing the government.

Posted by: Linda H. at December 12, 2007 02:00 PM
Comment #240592

Or maybe they vote for what they hope is the lesser of the two evils - as I have done many times.

Posted by: Linda H. at December 12, 2007 02:01 PM
Comment #240595

Linda said: “Without knowing exactly where the challengers stand on issues, how do I know I should vote for them? I certainly don’t want to put in someone worse!!!”

If the incumbent is effective, a challenger can’t be worse than a 90+ percent reelection rate for Congress. If a few bad apples get in to replace some bad apples leaving, the voters and nation still win; because reducing the reelection rate of incumbents will motivate many more politicians to improve their performance, or face being the next one to lose reelection.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 12, 2007 02:14 PM
Comment #240596

Linda, also, voting out incumbents is a prescription for a better Congress, not a better president. The dynamics of Presidential elections in an entirely different ball of wax.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 12, 2007 02:16 PM
Comment #240646

David
You know I am well aware of the differences between the the dynamics of the Presidential elections and those of Congress.

My point is very simple. By the time a challenger for either Congress or President has become well known enough for the average person to actually hear about them, they have already aligned themselves with either the Republican or Democrat Parties. By then their ideas are generally the same as the incumbents they are challenging. Then they have to stick to the Party Platforms”

If as you say:

registering as an Independent voter is going to change nothing if their only choice of electable candidates are Democratic and Republican incumbents. Independent voters can only become a force for positive change by finding another unifying theme or action besides switching their vote between the two major parties which so far, has resulted in more than 92% of incumbents being reelected.

Please tell me who is running for President,and Congress (from any state) that is not backed by either of the two parties? In other words Who is the Independent Candidate this year?

I’ve already asked this question before, and I ask it again.

Ralph Norman, and the guy from Texas (I’ve forgotten his name) are the only Third party candidates I can recall, and I know they’re not running this year.

BTW. David,
I think you actually meant to say all persons running for office, the challengers as well as the incumbents running for re-election.

only choice of electable candidates are Democratic and Republican incumbents.

Posted by: Linda H. at December 13, 2007 11:06 AM
Comment #240682

Linda H, actually there are 4 Independent presidential candidates running for the 2008 election. CUIP has them identified on their web site.

And Linda, do not forget what motivates politicians - reelection. If the reelection rate drops significantly, politicians will alter their actions and behavior to meet voter expectations warranting their reelection. The Dem. and Rep. parties are part of the problem, but, voting out the incumbents from both parties can be part of the solution, regardless of the disposition of the challengers that succeed them. They too will want to be reelected, and if they know they won’t be unless they act better than their predecessor, they will act better.

The voters have to take the power to reelect away from the Parties unto themselves guided by only one criterion, better governance than what currently exists. They can do this - they only need to be informed that they can.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 13, 2007 05:43 PM
Comment #240695

Also remember, Linda H, that it is STILL 2007. The Green and Libertarian parties have no had their nomination process yet so we don’t know who they are running. Of course, with nearly a year of free press on the Rep and Dem candidates because of the nosensical and unnecessarily drawn out primary process, most people will never hear about it…

Posted by: Rhinehold at December 13, 2007 11:11 PM
Comment #240823

Rhinehold, which is precisely why public campaign financing is so desperately needed, and private bribery of candidates so detrimental. It would level the playing field for third Parties in part, and wrest control of the FEC away, in part, from the duopoly parties as third parties gained offices in federal government.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 16, 2007 01:47 AM
Comment #240979

Rhinehold,
That was my point. I don’t even have the foggiest who to try to follow this year. I do hope that Nader and what’s his name don’t run again. Maybe Gore will run under the Green Party platform. Now that would be interesting!!

David,
I was unable to identify the four presidential candidates on the site you mentioned.

I forgot to ask you what would happen if there was no re-election for incumbents? It makes for an interesting question. No re-election - no campaigning ahead of time, no need for major campaign funding, no moving to Washington to live, no glory, no continuity, maybe no reason to run?

Just thought I’d see what you guys think of the idea.

Posted by: Linda H. at December 18, 2007 05:43 PM
Comment #241068
It wasn’t until March 3, 1849, the last day of the 30th Congress, that a bill was passed to create the Department of the Interior to take charge of the Nation’s internal affairs. The Department of Everything Else: Highlights of Interior History
1934 The Taylor Grazing Act is enacted to regulate economic uses of public lands. Distribution of Grazing Receipts: Receipts from grazing on section 3 lands are distributed three ways: 50% goes to range betterment projects, 37½% remains in the US Treasury, and 12½% is returned to the state. In Wyoming, the 12% is administered by thegrazing advisory boards established under Wyoming Statutes 9-571 and 9-572.

http://www.blm.gov/content/etc/medialib/blm/wy/cfo/pics.Par.3085.Image.250.293.1.gif


We discharge our responsibilities on a $16.5 billion total annual budget. DOI raises more than $6.3 billion in revenues collected from energy, mineral, grazing, timber, recreation, land sales, etc.

Fiscal responsiblility? Anyone?


Interior is a large, decentralized agency with over 73,000 employees and 200,000 volunteers located at approximately 2,400 operating locations across the United States, Puerto Rico, U.S. territories, and freely associated states.

http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en.-WidePar-000100-Image.WideParimage.2.2.gif


Shouldn’t there be some way to get receipts and expendatures to balance?
Why should we condone a 10 billion dollar deficit in one department of the federal government?

Linda H. Perhaps you have stumbled onto the best kept secret in our nation’s history!

No re-election - no campaigning ahead of time, no need for major campaign funding, no moving to Washington to live, no glory, no continuity, maybe no reason to run?

These are the expectations of a delegate elected to an Article V Convention!


Posted by: Weary Willie at December 19, 2007 05:26 PM
Comment #241074

I think commedians should mimic Ron Paul. He’s animated and passionate. What better medium could you have! Saturday Night Live could do an entire year of Ron Paul stuff!

It’s a shame he’ll get murdered if he’s nominated! Commedians could make a fortune mimicing him. News stations would have hard-ons for the entire term! It would be great!

Posted by: Weary Willie at December 19, 2007 07:27 PM
Comment #241339

David,

you wrote:

The Democratic and Republican Parties have rigged the game, the money, and the rules such that the people have no real choice for federal elections but to choose one of the two party’s candidates.
Yes… but…

The game has been rigged more by the monied elites that control both parties and independents through campaign contributions. The parties rig the game but they are only a “mask” worn by the elites. They cater and kowtow to the monied elites.

The problem is the lack of public financing of elections, but the rich and powerful elite will never let that happen. They like spending their money on elections.

Posted by: Ray Guest at December 24, 2007 12:58 AM
Comment #241479

Ray, there is merit to you your argument that the wealthy elite and political parties have a mutual interest in rigging the game.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 26, 2007 12:05 PM
Comment #241480

Linda H: asked: “I forgot to ask you what would happen if there was no re-election for incumbents?”

Simple, there would be a slate of Freshman politicians in office seeking NOT to suffer the fate of the failed incumbent’s that preceded them. The beauty of voting out an incumbent is that it sends a message to the Freshman that in most cases would be un-ignorable. “Don’t fail like the incumbent did in office”.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 26, 2007 12:10 PM
Comment #241481

Linda H. quoted me: “…registering as an Independent voter is going to change nothing if their only choice of electable candidates are Democratic and Republican incumbents.”

The key to understanding this quote Linda is to read the rest of the essay in which it was found. The key is to reduce the incumbent reelection rate from over 90% to 60% or below, which will have the monumental effect of changing the core purpose and will of the political party’s themselves, redefining their reason for existence, and resolve to serve the voters and nation’s future first and foremost as the price to power, instead of serving the wealthy special interests who control their campaign reelection funds, first and foremost.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 26, 2007 12:16 PM
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