Saturday, February 17, 2007

We voted for this?

In November of 2006 the people of this country spoke at the ballot boxes. Exactly what they said may be less than crystal clear to some, but it certainly revolved around two issues, one being the war in Iraq and the other being corruption and cronyism in government. It seemed pretty clear at the time that the voters wanted change in both of those issues; they wanted an end to the war in Iraq and they wanted cleaner government.

I realize that it is early days, but so far I do not see even a start of the change that the voters demanded, merely self-serving pretense.

The war rages on while Congress dithers with non-binding resolutions and the individual members thereof are more concerned with how their stance will affect their chance at reelection than with how it will affect their country. The House passes a resolution pretty much along party lines, while the Senate cannot even bring itself to debate such a thing, let alone vote on it.

Representative Murtha writes a bill to require that our soldiers be properly rested, equipped and trained before they are sent into combat and he cannot muster the whole-hearted support even of his own party.

The House passes a long overdue minimum wage increase and the Senate kills it because they want a bill that also contains $8 Billion in tax cuts for their business campaign contributors. Individuals making minimum wage don’t contribute to political campaign funds.

Various committees are holding "investigations" into corruption, but so far they are nothing more than stage plays. They ask where the huge amounts of money disappeared to, for instance, and then they calmly accept any nonsense answer that they are given and move on.

"Well, we were in the middle of a war, and it was difficult to get receipts."
"Oh, okay. Thank you."“
Next question.

The things that are done in government are not going to change until the way that things are done changes.

From the moment that today’s politician is elected that person is planning for reelection. The final vote is not even made official and that person is already trying to obtain money to finance reelection campaign coffers. For the entire term of office the actual process of governing takes a back seat to "deal making" and financing the business of reelection. Every vote, every speech, every move is made with consideration of how that move will affect reelection or, worse, how it will affect eventual election to higher office.

To change the corrupt manner in which our government works we need to rid ourselves of the career politician. We don’t need campaign finance reform and we don’t need term limits. We just need to quit reelecting them.

In the Senate we only had a shot at one-third of them last year. We get a shot at another one-third in 2008. We could have cleaned the entire House last time but we didn’t quite get the job done. We need to sweep with a bigger broom in 2008. Forget party lines, vote for cleanliness. Vote for "fresh air" to clean up a smog-ridden city.

We made a start last year, but we aren’t there yet. We need to not stop.

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