“You have no power here.” King Theoden of Rohan to Gandalf the Grey; The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Pundits, particularly those in the GOP machine, are wondering if the Conservative candidates, if elected, have the “right stuff” to make it through Congress unscathed and uncorrupted. The Capital’s polluted halls are filled with the ghosts of politicians who were bribed into compromise.
Last week, Rush Limbaugh warned against giving into this weakness. There is nothing in the Constitution that says our representatives must “go along to get along,” duck their heads, or swim for the middle of the cesspool.
Yet many of the representatives and senators are career politicians. They crave the coveted committee seats controlled by the Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority Leader. Once they’re seated, they need not fear the voters. Congress is a closed-club. Only on the most serious of charges could they be impeached; an action the public doesn’t have the will for.
One only need to study the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste’s 2009 Congressional Ratings to see what a sorry record even Republicans have in terms of pork projects and earmarks. Some of the projects can be defended; but most are pure waste. It’s all about buying votes, the reason politicians, until recently were so dismissive of the public and particularly the Tea Parties.
The very cover of the Congressional Ratings book tells the tale: High-minded politicians march into the Capitol building, and come out chuckling pigs carrying sacks of taxpayer money. If the Conservatives do win, what will prevent them from suffering the same fate?
The New England and Mid-Atlantic states have an especially sorry record on pork. In New Jersey, other Rep. Scott Garrett (R-5th Distr), only one other N.J. Congressman rises above the 50 percent mark: Rep. Leonard Lance (R-7th Distr.) and he only manages a 63 percent – that would be a D minus in any educational institution. The Democrats’ records, of course, are abysmal.
Representatives in other states, such as North Carolina, fare much better and do better for their districts and their country. New York, on the other hand, has an abominable record for bringing home the pork. Only one member of the entire delegation (a Republican – Chris Lee of the 26th District – the Finger Lakes Region) manages to just get above the 50 percent mark. There are only two other Republican Congressman from New York – Peter King and John McHugh, whom Obama appointed Secretary of the Army. While McHugh has a good career record in general for voting down pork, his record was no better than any Democrat’s in 2009.
Is this the GOP’s idea of going along to get along? Are the younger middle class voters any better? Some pundit said it’s not a good idea to criticize potential voters. But as I’m not a politician, I intend to criticize away. Instead of watching Dancing with the Stars this week, take a good look at the 2009 Congressional Ratings booklet and see where your senators and representatives stand on wasting your money.
When you enter your vote, are you going to vote for what is right and decent? Or are you going to go along to get along?