About a year ago, this blog, joined with many others in voicing strong opposition to what would become the new bankruptcy law. Among the most interesting results of that experience was my awareness that our political system was dangerously out of whack.
Of course, many of you will snort and loudly say "DUH!".
How many times have we heard of some nut case shouting about some piece of legislation that would doom people and thought, get over it. Last year, I was one of those nut cases. Legislation that would impact less than 1/2 of 1% of our population was rammed through Congress on the premise that a significant portion of those affected were criminals and they should not be allowed to get away with it.
My former political party, the Republicans, acted the way the Ted Kennedy's of the world always complain they act - serve the corporate interest and the hell with the citizen. I can not tell you how much it hurt me to claim Ted Kennedy was right. I could not remain a Republican. Everything that they should have stood for was corrupted by that law. In a letter to President Bush and email to Sen Herb Kohl, I renounced my support of the Republicans that supported that law, promised to work actively against their attempts at re-election and would consider myself party-less for the first time in my adult life.
It should be shouted at every opportunity that Congress has abdicated its role as the representatives of THE PEOPLE. It is not just earmarks. Bill after bill, law after law is designed to create a benefit for a select few. And if the consequences can be limited to individuals without sufficient political clout (money) to prevent it, all the better.
I have suggested, here and elsewhere, that the first step in correcting the problem is to vote every single incumbent out of office. All of them. Unfortunately, almost every Congressperson has a sufficient base in their own district that will claim their representative is one of the good guys and should be left in. But I am wrong. Changing the Congress will not change the process. The bureaucracy and the lobbyists create a parasite/host symbiosis - you try and figure which is which because I can't tell - that is only minimally affected by whatever warm body occupies a seat on Capitol Hill.
No one in their right mind would seek political office. All you need to know about the vetting process is that unless you are 1) politically connected and sponsored; 2)without a blemish - figuratively and literally; 3) completely compliant with the monied interests; 4) politically correct for your area, you are going to be smeared like a mouse under an 18-wheeler. We have thousands of people with the experience and skill to represent us in Congress - but who wouldn't touch the idea of running for office with a 10 mile pole.
This past weekend, someone asked me my opinion of Hillary Clinton's position on illegal immigration. I said it didn't matter. She was pandering to whatever group she was talking to at the time. But it is not just Sen Clinton. They ALL do it. Sen Feingold claimed principle was driving his censure resolution but two things suggest he was pandering also. First, there was/is no impact except politically to the President with passage of his resolution. If he really wanted to impress upon the President and others that the President was acting illegally and should be called on it, he would have sponsored a bill of impeachment. Second, despite protests to the contrary, we are in a war and his resolution complained of the prosecution of that war. It is the President as Commander-in-Chief that has the Constitutional authority to wage war, and Congress - at one time - voted to approve that authority. If Sen Feingold feels the President is not acting correctly with regard to the war, he can sponsor legislation WITHDRAWING Congressional approval. But he did neither of those things. So, like others, it was political pandering.
I voted for Feingold in the past, it won't happen again. I voted for Bush, and will not have the chance to vote against him in the future. I will vote against Sen Kohl this time around and I will vote against every single incumbent on the ballot. It is not a perfect solution, or even a relatively good start, but until politicians start to really worry about their 'careers', no one, NOT A SINGLE ONE, will ever get my vote twice.
When your choice is the lesser of two evils, it is time to change how you get your choices.