Unbelievable is perhaps the only word to describe the past weeks in our Nation’s Capitol.
The finger-pointing and blaming and “he-said, she-said” is worse than an elementary school playground.
We pay these folks in Congress $174,000 a year to do this?
Watching our President this morning on Meet the Press made my head spin. Seeing statements from Boehner and Reid and McConnell are just as ridiculous. Instead of solving the damn problem, these elected officials are more interested in playing the political game so that their side ends up “looking better” for the next election.
And now they are hoping to pass a “bare-bones” piece of legislation that, at the very least, stops any tax increase and extends those unemployment benefits for roughly 2 million Americans. In other words, they’re gonna kick the proverbial can down the road!
Does anyone realistically believe that these problems become easier to solve as we creep closer to 2014 mid-term elections? By mid-Spring of 2013, all the focus will be on mid-terms… and after the mid-terms, that focus shifts to 2016 Presidential Politics. So Obama has just over a year to get anything done— including coming to terms with the fact that this country is flat-out broke.
Someone on Facebook the other day said that we should just get rid of the United States House and Senate. Then what? The President just does whatever he/she wants, sorta like a dictatorship? Obviously, we need checks and balances. However, when both sides are increasingly scared to give, even a little bit, the system breaks down and comes to a grinding halt.
I’ve never advocated this before… but I honestly believe that it is time for the electorate to stage a revolution. No— I’m not talking about picking up our guns and torches and storming Washington. But I am “talkin’ ’bout a revolution” at the ballot box, Tracy Chapman. In 2014, it should be our shared goal to make sure that each and every single Congressional District in our country has a contested race. We need to make sure that incumbents are being challenged, being questioned and being honest. Every voter in every district in this land deserves a choice between two qualified candidates.
This is the first step in throwing out the bums in Washington that just can’t seem to do the job that they’ve been elected to do. Once we have contested races across the country, we can make choices, through vigorous debate, about who would better accomplish the job. Truthfully, I think it’s time that we all just put it into our minds and say, “vote out the incumbents, unless they start acting right and doing their job between now and 2014.” In the past, I’ve never been willing to vote against my district’s incumbent, who has served since 1983… part of the reason is that I’ve seen no qualified candidate to ever run against her. However, I’m telling myself right now, that if I’m asking others to vote out their incumbents, I have to be willing to do the same.
But let me back up just a minute… 1983? Serving since 1983?!!? Jesus, I was born in 1982. Some folks will say that you can’t vote out someone with that much seniority, because seniority is what brings home the bacon for the district. I, on the other hand, look at it this way: why the hell aren’t there term limits? This would eliminate the vaunted seniority system, which clearly isn’t working. Congressmen and women are too focused on their re-election campaigns and how they will “look” to voters than actually getting stuff done. If there were a limit of 5 consecutive terms (10 years), perhaps this problem would be lessened. But pigs won’t vote for their own slaughter, this we know.
So what do we do? What can we, as voters, do to send a message to Congress that this type of drama, seen during the fiscal cliff debate, is completely unacceptable? Number one, ensure that every race is competitive. Number two, vote the bums out. It’s high time for 435 new faces in the House of Representatives… and 33 new faces for the Senate races that are happening in 2014. Likely to happen? No. Would it shake up the system enough to get things flowing again? Absolutely.
468 in 2014. That’s my plan.
Call your Congressperson. Call your Senator. Make your plan known. Maybe they’ll wise up before it’s too late.
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