When I saw this scene this morning, the phrase, “the cold comfort of death” popped into my mind. I know I’ve hard the phrase before, but I don’t know where it was. I googled the phrase, but none of the entries were familiar. A number of the entries seemed to have something to do with a video game, and another few dealt with poetry. No. I’ve heard the phrase somewhere else.
Forgive me in advance if I ruffle your feathers today. I have a feeling that I may get on my soapbox and preach, rather than just relate what I see around me. First, let me give you a link to a video and story about an event that I watched this morning: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2012/12/21/defiant-tim-huelskamp-exasperates-msnbc-hosts/. As I do most mornings, I watched Morning Joe on MSNBC. While most of MSNBC’s programming is pitched to the liberal population, the host of Morning Joe, Joe Scarborough was to the right of Newt Gingrich when they were both serving in the House of Representatives. This show is probably the closest MSNBC comes to balanced coverage.
Anyway, Representative Huelskamp, on the issue of the “fiscal crisis” expressed the same point of view that all of the Republican candidates for president had expressed during their debates, and I’m paraphrasing here, no tax cuts at all…only spending cuts. No compromise. He is representing the people who elected him.
On the issue of a possible assault rifle ban, no. People kill people, weapons don’t. No compromise. He is representing the people who elected him.
It makes me wonder if our representatives truly do represent us. In other words, are they really a reflection of the people the represent? 47% of the members of congress are millionaires. 43% are lawyers. 85% are white. 83% are men. Congress had a full 109 days of work planned for 2012, but I don’t know how many they actually put in.
The numbers don’t mean that our representatives can’t do a good job representing us, but I believe the numbers make it harder for them to understand us. Political parties at the state and federal levels have so rigged the game that it is almost impossible to vote a person out of office, or to vote for a third-party candidate. Incumbents in the US House of representatives are routinely reelected at a rate exceeding 80% and Senators are reelected, on average, over 70% of the time. While I have never before believed that term limits were a good idea, I now think it is time that they were mandatory. Of course, that would take a constitutional amendment, but I would now support such an amendment. Let’s face it, we can’t do much worse than we already are.
Hey, I may get back up on my high horse again tomorrow.