An Early Rant

December 10, 2009 at 4:03 pm (Politics) (, , , , , )

Okay.  I tripped over this little post on Snopes today, about people doubting that in 2010 the entire House of Rep’s would actually be up for re-election.  Moreover, they stated that they can’t remember this ever happening before – why isn’t the Media making a bigger deal of this rare, unprecedented event?

Because, as you would know if you’d paid attention in your freakin’ 4th grade social studies (which is the EARLIEST point I remember being taught about it, but that’s probably because of a spotty memory), this happens every two freakin’ years.

That’s right ladies and gents – it says right there in the Constitution that the entire house of representatives goes up for election every two years.  Pelosi?  She’s up in 2010.  Baldwin?  Up in 2010.  If they’re a congressional representative without the word “senator” in front of their name, they go up in 2010.

Similarly, 1/3 of the ones who do have the word ‘senator’ in front of their names go up in 2010. 

Just like they were in 2008, when everybody was swooning over electing the first black President.

Why is it so freaking hard for people to figure out?

Probably because (a) half these people don’t bother to vote except for President (and even then, we have piss-poor turnout rates) and (b) when they do, they just tick their name down next to ‘incumbent’ and ignore it, or worse, next to the party line box… which, due to the rampant gerrymandering on both sides, is often basically the same thing.  Because of this sort of thing, we never hear about those elections except for commercials we’ve taught ourselves to tune out

This is the sort of thing that pisses me off, people.  The idea that there are people in this country – people who say they’ve been voting for the last 30 freakin’ years – who can’t even remember the simple fact that, yes, your congressional rep goes up every 2 years.  These people are voting… and they are demonstrating, at the same time, such a dunderheaded ignorance about the very system they’re proudly (or, sadly, more often reluctantly) taking part in that it’s frightening.

I’m not saying we should have a basic civics test in order to vote (though I wouldn’t be against it, I’ll admit).  Those sort of things are fairly easy to manipulate.  But tell me.  Who did you vote for in the last election?  I can, at least for the national-level elections.  If you want to ask, I even will.

Now, if you can remember who you voted for, can you remember why?  I’ll admit, I’m sometimes part of the problem that I’m railing against here.  When I don’t know much about either candidate, if I’m satisfied with the way things are going, I’ll vote for the incumbent, all other things equal.

But that’s after I’ve looked into most of the races that are for something more important than dog-catcher, run through my head for any names that ring a bell for or against, and then (I’ll admit) considered whether or not the party they’re running under generally agrees with my politics.  I only go “Incumbent” when it’s Republican or Democrat and I’ve got nothing else to go with.  It’s a court of last resort for me.  For a lot of people, it’s just the default – who cares about the race, unless it’s a big one for the President?

Otherwise, how do you explain Congress having approval ratings lower than Bushes and the same party that was in power at the time staying there?  How can we have sub-20% approval ratings, and a 90% retention rate of incumbents?  Think about it, folks.  Two people out of every ten approve of the job that the candidates are doing… and yet they keep 9 out of 10 candidates on the payroll, so to speak.  How does this happen?  Laziness, pure and simple – there’s no other reason.

Personally, I dislike the incumbents we have in there enough that, sometimes, I vote against the incumbent on principle.  On the national level, there is only one incumbent who can be reasonably sure of getting my vote – and I’ll tell you exactly why he’ll get it.  When Senator Feingold comes up for re-election, I’ll be voting for him, as long as I’m still a Wisconsinite.  Why?

When the PATRIOT Act came up for its first votes, it passed with one single dissenting vote – Feingold’s.  Everybody else in the Senate who had the balls to speak up apparently felt that we needed a bill that trampled over civil liberties and ground them into the dirt.  Nobody else seemed to think that this bill could be abused, or at least that if it could be, that we could deal with that later.  Frankly?  Bush didn’t abuse the PATRIOT Act nearly as much as he could have, and consider all the noise we heard about it then.  Obama had been known to campaign on the fact that if he’d been in the Senate at the time, he’d have voted against it too… funny, how that rhetoric went away once he was in the Senate and had voted to extend and expand upon the worst parts of it.

I’ll admit, I’m a little paranoid about my governing officials.  I tend to believe that, if you go ahead and give them a way to punish dissenters and silence opposition, eventually some of them are going to think to go ahead and use it.  Consider, if you will, the fact that the EPA was given the power to basically pass law without having to go through that pesky legislation process, by declaring a substance hazardous to human health.  Now, they’ve done exactly that with CO2 – giving them carte blanche to ‘regulate’ a substance that we’ve just discovered poses an overblown threat at best, thanks to a few hackers hitting the CRU.

I don’t mean for this to turn into a PATRIOT Act rant, or one about ClimateGate.  All I want to do is to spread the word.

Yes, you IDIOTS, the entire House of Representatives DOES come up for re-election every two years, along with 1/3 of the Senate.  So guess what.  Quit bitching about the fact that you don’t like your Congress.  Quit bitching about the fact that they’re not doing any good.  Admit that there’s a freakin’ reason that even the mainstream media had to finally come out and admit that Congress – especially the House, which was then under Democratic control – had lower approval ratings than Dubya, widely perceived as the most unpopular President in decades.

AND VOTE THE BUMS OUT.

You realize, deep down inside, that both sides are corrupt as all Hell.  That the Democrats and the Republicans are both in the pockets of big-money special interest groups.  The Republicans are all getting their funding from big corporations – big banking, big oil, and big insurance.  The Democrats are all getting their funding from… big corporations – big banking, Wall Street fat cats, and groups like ACORN (or, as I like to call them, H&R Block for child sex slavers.)  They’re both taking money out of the same tills.  They’re both beholden to exactly the same special interests.  And as long as the American public keeps proving that the best way to keep in office is to blanket the media with ads, there’s no reason to actually behave like the American public matters – because they don’t.  What matters is your ability to schmooze and collect funds so you can buy more ads and better spin doctors.  And once you get in that office, milk it for all you can, because you’ve got a 9/10 chance of sitting there for practically eternity.

We, the People, have created a monarchy in this country.  It’s time we started switching the King and his Court out every once in a while… the way we were meant to when we became We, the People.

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2 Comments

  1. H. o'Dagg said,

    It’s funney, and kind of sad really, but all my neighbors how it works. But then again, I live in “Little Mexico”, and most of them either are studying for or have passed their Citizenship tests. Maybe, in the name of an educated electorate,we should re-think our immigration laws.

  2. Wisconsin was properly prepared! « Dinner Table Taboos said,

    […] Before anybody accuses me of being a Republican stooge, allow me to say that I plan on voting for at least one Democrat in the coming election, assuming he doesn’t say something that royally screws up my respect for him before then. And that’d take a lot, since we’re talking about the respect earned by being the only person who stood up to the PATRIOT Act, something I’ve covered before. […]

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