Likelihood of Success

Ron Coleman’s pretty good blog

Throw the bums out

Posted by Ron Coleman on May 22, 2007

Who isn’t disgusted with the whole load of them?  Nothing is needed more than term limits.  Mark Tapscott agrees (via the Captain) and thinks that what the Internet has done for media, it can do for politics:

What’s needed is a massive and continuing infusion of new blood — citizen legislators — in Congress. The careerists will never agree to that, of course, so it will have to be imposed from the outside. That’s where the Internet, the wisdom of crowds, term limits and a potential new post-partisan political movement converge.

Of this, I am skeptical.   Media are just that:  Media, i.e., conduits.  Freed of technical and economic constraints, information and expression can now flow as never before.

Politics, though also a base of power as the established media powers still are, is not a medium at all.  It is an accretion of power and institutions.  That power is given back to the governed only in the most grudging fashion, and usually while at the same time it usurps more with the other hand.

This is not necessarily so bad.  Government should have stability.  Change in societal expectations about government is best made gradually, not only because of “social order” but because massive economic and social decisions are made on the basis of reasonable expectations about the regime.

Fine.  That’s what a constitution is for.  Now let’s fix ours, using its own mechanisms, and nail down term limits for legislatures, once and for all.

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2 Responses to “Throw the bums out”

  1. Bob Miller said

    In 1976, my boss and I were faced with the sorry choice between Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter for President. We had a great solution, which we sent as a letter to the Editor of the New York Times, who somehow failed to print it.

    The idea was to add “none of the above” as a choice on the ballot. Depending on the percentage of the total vote so cast, consequences would escalate:

    Level 1: Candidates to restart their campaigns from scratch
    Level 2: Parties to repeat their conventions, excluding their previous nominees
    Level 3: Candidates to go to jail for the term they sought

  2. K said

    I won’t for a moment disagree with those who would like 99.44% of our Congress to vanish from human affairs.

    The real problem is not electing good people but in figuring out who they are. Politicans now say whatever they believe will keep them in office. The few that do not are considered mentally defective by peers.

    In Congress one can almost always avoid any clear responsibility. You can sabotage campaign promises in committee w/o fear of coverage. You can vote one way in a voice vote and say you voted the other. In committee you can have some else put a flaw in a bill. And then vote against it because of the flaw.

    When asked about a recorded vote you say you could not stop passage but in trade got an appropriation that was good for the district. Or more simply lie and say that you misunderstood and voted the wrong way; you were using cough medicine that day.

    Say a bill was not strong enough, or was too strong. Promise you will introduce a bill that fixes all that next session. Anyone can introduce bills and then make no effort to pass them.

    And, that is for starters. His actual campaign can usually spin any problem away while distorting his opponents position too.

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