Monday, July 26, 2010

We the People

PRINCETON, NJ -- Gallup's 2010 Confidence in Institutions poll finds Congress ranking dead last out of the 16 institutions rated this year. Eleven percent of Americans say they have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in Congress, down from 17% in 2009 and a percentage point lower than the previous low for Congress, recorded in 2008.
Copyright © 2010 Gallup, Inc.
Wanna know what I wanna know? I wanna know what makes someone have little or no confidence in Congress. Does it mean that they don’t like the member of congress? The bills? The behavior? What exactly is it that they don’t like? Do the respondents even know what constitutes Congress?

And you wanna know what I wanna know about Congress? When do the people sitting in those chambers stop being the Democratic senator from the great state of Confusion or Republican congressman from the fifth district of the Yenne Velt? When do they start being Congresspersons concerned with the welfare of We the People?

This isn’t about being a Democrat or a Republican; it’s about having honest and fair representation in Congress. It’s about feeling like my congressperson represents me, my state  and my district whether or not I voted for him or her.

I must be some kind of Pollyanna to believe that once elected, these folks represent the entire district and not just some partisan caucus. I happen to believe that the intent of the Constitution is to ensure the representation of all citizens, not just the ones that agree with you. Whatever happened to the concept of constituency?

And this is also about We the People being smart enough to know when we’re being conned by elected officials who claim to have our best interests at heart when, in truth, they are too busy grandstanding for the sake of grandstanding. I’m all for open debate on any issue, but if you’re going to say “No,” to something, at least have the good graces to do your homework and come up with a workable alternative.

Forget the cult of the personality! Stopping legislation because you don’t like the President is not good enough. Give us an alternative version of that bill you don't like!  Or how about just working to find a middle ground where everyone gets something.

Y'know, I don’t think any of our elected officials ever passed “Works and Plays Well With Others” in kindergarten.

 Tip o'the Week:  
Nobody cares about your political proclivities; 
they do, however, care about how annoying you are on the subject


  1. People have lost faith that Congress will act in their interests. The reason is simple: because of the high cost of campaigning, members of Congress are beholden to the corporations, lobbyists, wealthy individuals and other special interests that write the big checks.

    We desperately need campaign finance reform to preserve our democracy. Enact public financing of Congressional campaigns and much of the sleaze can be taken out of politics.

  2. The problem is twofold. Firstly, the individuals who are most qualified to lead have no desire to: insomuch as they have no desire to put themselves and their families through the scrutiny of the electoral process. Of those who seek political office, it is dubious that their motives are solely for the betterment of their constituents. Rather, I would argue that for most elected officials, money, power, and notoriety are their driving forces in running for office. And when it comes time for re-election, representatives will not stay true to their platforms, but bow to ideals and desires of the individuals/groups who are most likely to buoy their chances to serve for another term.

    As far as partisan politics are concerned, I see no hope of change in the immediate future. Even with most of the nation leaning towards the middle of the political spectrum, candidates are forced to side with the left or right if they hope to have any support from either of the two major parties. Additionally, it is hard to champion a policy when only 52% of the voting public in one's district agrees with its content. Should the voice of the other 48% be ignored because they are not in the majority? And how does a simple Yea/Nay vote express the subtleties considered in the final vote? Perhaps congress should be forced to give solid rationale as a supplement to their vote in order to prove their choice was in the best interest of their constituents and not at the whim of their own personal agenda.

  3. From the NEW YORK TIMES
    Op-Ed Contributor
    Why I Was Angry
    By ANTHONY WEINER [Member of the House of Representatives from Queens and Brooklyn]

    Published: August 3, 2010
    “Instead of engaging in a real debate about how to address the challenges we face, Republicans have turned to obstruction, no matter the issue, and then cry foul after the fact. They claim to want an open legislative process with more consultation and debate, but the truth is they simply don’t want to pass anything.”

    This is _eaxcatly_ what I was talking about. When do our elected representatives begin to represent us, and not some partisan secret agenda? This is the fundamental issue undermining our faith in Congress.