Thursday, May 14, 2009

When Local Masochism Becomes National Sadism

"Republicans need Washingtons, not Specters" is yet another fine column by Star Parker (photo). She addresses the problem of politicians who place personal career above true public service. However, she omitted something very important. Some excerpts from Parker's column: A new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll shows 42 percent self-identifying as Democrats compared to 31 percent as Republicans. But the same poll shows 35 percent identifying as conservatives compared to 24 percent as liberals. Parker continues with a wicked analysis of Arlen Specter, the former, so-called "Republican" who just switched parties. According to Dick Polman of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Arlen Specter's switch to the Democratic Party shows what's wrong with Republicans -- they can't tolerate moderates -- and not what is wrong with Specter. But there is little doubt that Specter changed parties because polls were showing him getting his clock cleaned in the Republican primary by conservative Pat Toomey. More revealing about Specter is that, in light of this, he didn't simply choose to retire. Parker says that Specter has been in office far too long: Here is a 79 year old man, elected five times to the US Senate as a Republican, who concluded that it is so important that he continue -- that he have a sixth term, serving well into his eighties -- that he totally shafts the party that supported his national candidacy for almost 30 years. She compares the unprincipled Specter unfavorably to President George Washington: Consider that the first American politician to term limit himself was George Washington. As Washington's second term came to a conclusion, many around him felt his leadership was indispensable to the fledgling nation.Yet Washington, who led the nation in war, and then as its first president, took himself out of the running. He knew that America fought to throw off the yoke of kings and the capricious use of power. Parker makes a good point about Specter and politicians like him who make "public service" a lifelong career. I agree overall with Star Parker, however it should be pointed out that the problem is not just with the Arlen Specters and the Richard Daleys. It is also with the voters, who repeatedly enable the lifelong, overly entrenched insiders to stay right where they are. Parker touches on term limits in her column, but doesn't come right out to advocate them. I personally have mixed feelings about term limits. Here's where Parker omitted the important element in all of this: The voters. They tend to keep re-electing politicians who are hacks, that the they themselves continuously complain about. Think Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago, a man who constantly disrespects the people, has no problem with city council members abusing eminent domain, tore up an airport without consent, and is widely believed to be corrupt. He keeps getting re-elected. "Sure, he's a corrupt bastard," the thinking in Chicago seems to be, "but he's our bastard." On the one hand, I'd love to see Daley term-limited out, but on the other hand the voters have a right to excercise their choice - even if it is idiotic. Election after election, we are reminded just how many idiots are allowed to vote (dead or alive) in Chicago. This happens in other cities, too, of course, and the old saying about the people getting the government they deserve is always true. That's okay with a local official, as with a mayor or county board, but it is quite a different matter when we jump up to the federal level. It's one thing for imbeciles to keep imposing bad mayors or city council members on themselves. A bad mayor in one city has little or no effect on the residents of other cities, but when the electorate in that city send a bad representative to the United States Congress, it can produce direct effects (good or bad) on the rest of the nation. A bad public official, elected by residents of Chicago to represent them in the House of Representatives or the Senate, for example, can write or vote on laws that directly influence the livelihoods, safety and freedoms of every other American. It's bad enough to send an idiot to Washington once, even forgivable. We all make mistakes, but when an electorate continues to rehire the same idiot for the same job, thereby enabling him/her to repeat the same idiotic performance in Congress for decades, it transcends local masochism. It is tantamount to sadism, imposed on a national scale. Misery may love company, but the company doesn't always appreciate the imposition. MORE COLUMNS from Star Parker... Leave a Comment on our Guestbook! CommieBama Hats and More Chicago News Bench RSS Feed Follow ChiNewsBench on Twitter