An irrational rant by hysterical, right-wing extremists?
Actually, it’s a very rational opinion held by nearly all conservatives, most independents and a growing number of liberals. In fact, an October 2010 Rasmussen Poll revealed that “voting out every single member of Congress” was favored by 88% of Tea Party members, 38% of Democrats, and nearly two thirds of Americans overall.
Little wonder the party controlling both the White House and Congress got “shellacked” in the 2010 elections (where Republican’s gained 63 seats in the House, five seats in the Senate and added of six governorships ).
Even incumbent Republicans aren’t safe, as evidenced by the successful primary challenges several faced (just ask Utah Senator Bob Bennett or Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski). The electorate is fed up with entrenched politicians who are more concerned with accumulating power and getting reelected than with the will of their constituents.
Never was this disdain for public opinion more blatant than during the ugly legislative process that gave us Obamacare. Despite poll after poll showing the country’s clear opposition to nationalized healthcare, outrageous deals were struck to secure deciding votes.
Who can forget the “Cornhusker Kickback”? In exchange for Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson’s vote, Democratic leaders committed to full federal funding of expanded Medicaid coverage in the state (despite the fact that Obamacare slashes Medicare by $575 billion). Nelson provided the key 60th vote needed to overcome the Republican filibuster.
And, how about the “Louisiana Purchase”? In exchange for her support, Democrat Senator Mary Landrieu secured $100 million in extra Medicare subsidies (again, for voting for legislation that reduces Medicare subsidies for non-Louisiana residents).
So, what’s the answer to limiting the power of these imperial elected officials? Term limits would take a constitutional amendment, and would be vehemently opposed by the many vested interests that benefit from the current system.
An awakened and informed electorate is the best answer, and it increasingly appears that we have just that. We must continue to educate the public on governmental abuses and demand that those responsible be held accountable. And, when the elections roll around, we need to throw the bums out.
In the interim, maybe voters could secure waivers from destructive legislation. After all, over 1000 waivers from Obamacare have been granted so far.