Many, in light of Senator Ted Kennedy’s recent demise, may have have expected a deferential, reverent retrospective on the end of Camelot, and a tribute to a foe whom Republicans could truly embrace. However, given Senator Kennedy’s less than noble actions outside of the Senate, and his outright destructive and mean spirited antics inside the halls of Congress (during Senate confirmation hearing and throughout the abortion debate of the last four decades), it is incumbent upon this politico to refrain from commentary. I heed the words my mother taught me–if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all–especially after the man has just expired.
Instead, as Massachusetts voters look to replace the Liberal Lion, I would tug your attention toward Rasmussen’s recent poll of Americans, which indicated that 57% of voters, if given the opportunity, would not just replace their own Congressman, but would go so far as to replace the entire U.S. Congress. If this item were a proposition on the ballot, that amounts to a landslide margin against the incumbents. This is a resounding defeat for the entrenched forces within Congress currently, who have wrenched their fiefdoms from more qualified candidates by harnessing the power of the purse.
Throughout most of American history, Congressional seats were turned over approximately 50% of the time. Citizen legislators dominated the American political landscape until around the middle of the twentieth century, which brought FDR and the epidemic of professional politicians. Since, incumbents have retained their seats 80-90% of the time. Not-so-coincidentally, the Federal debt has ballooned during this time. So, how do we right this wayward ship? Of course this writer has an idea. Inspired by a $3 billion “Cash for Clunkers” program passed by the very same aforementioned permanent fixtures of political corruption, which was poorly planned and executed and which wrecked unintended havoc in a variety of ways, a modest proposal struck me today. I endorse a “Cash for Clunkers” program for Congress.
That is, clearly, Senators and Congressmen have become unresponsive and unrepresentative of those who elected them. A ballot initiative which would dispose of each and every wayward Washingtonian is just what America needs today. Those effective and responsible Congressmen will surely understand that they are being sacrificed for the greater good–and there are plenty of qualified and able folks in the blogosphere, ahem, to replace these clunkers. Of course, we can’t forget the “cash” part–just think of all of the cash we can save by eliminating the 10,000 earmarks and $19.6 billion that these political animals consume each year. By returning this to the people in the form of tax cuts, this would certainly stimulate the economy, from the new down even to the used car market.
This Congressional recess should serve as a reminder that the country is never better served by our government than when they are on vacation. Let’s make that vacation permanent. After all, 62% of Americans think “Cash for Clunkers” was a bad idea. This is a “Cash for Clunkers” plan that America–at least 57% of us–can embrace.
David Teesdale, an eternal optimist, believes strongly in the notion of creative destruction. So get to destroying, folks. You can send constructive comments only, however, to firstname.lastname@example.org and comment here.