June 21, 2007

A Dangerous Crisis In Confidence

Mark Tapscott hits a deep vein of discontent in his essay today at the Examiner. He notes the crisis in confidence we currently have in our political system, and warns that both parties can expect to reap the whirlwind:

First, the dramatic reversal of partisan political power seen in the November 2006 election was either simply a fluke or, more likely in my view, an inevitably lost opportunity for the winning Democrats. Short of an historically unprecedented philosophical reversal of course by the majority, it is hard to see Congress regaining anything remotely like a high level of public respect any time soon.

Seen in this light, Rep. Rahm Emanuel's recent declaration that the American people "are very happy with the things we have done" seems especially out of touch.

In fact, having raised and then frustrated public hopes for a fundamental change of course in Washington, the Democrats lost opportunity could well end up accelerating the crisis of public confidence that became increasingly evident as the previous GOP congressional majority frittered away the support that had kept it in power for a dozen years.

Second, Republicans should take no comfort in the Democrats' declining ratings. President Bush's insistence on pushing a bi-partisan immigration reform measure that is opposed three-to-one by people who are familiar with its provisions is indicative of the overall alienation of the political class from the views and concerns of everyday Americans.

The opposition to the Bush/Kennedy/McCain immigration reform appears to be hardening, too, as indicated by this UPI/Zogby International survey that finds only three percent - three percent! - of those surveyed approve of the way Congress is handling the issue. Bush gets only a nine percent approval rating on the issue in the survey, which has a 1.1 percent margin of error.

This results from more than just a bad policy choice on immigration in this session, but the immigration experience serves as a good example of what ails the political process. Congress has decided to pursue a deeply unpopular solution to a generational failure of both parties. Congress has made promises and passed laws that purported to fix the immigration problem, but usually has failed to follow up and ensure that the solutions get implemented. The border wall of last year and the visa reform of 2004 are excellent examples of why Congress has little credibility.

It doesn't limit itself to pressing issues of national security, either. Everyone in politics knows that the entitlement programs will drown the American government in red ink, both sooner (Medicare around 2016) and later (Social Security around 2025). We've known this for at least 25 years, and clearly Congress needs to act in some fashion to modify both programs to keep them solvent without bankrupting American taxpayers. In the past 25 years, Congress has done nothing of significance to stave off the coming economic crisis, paralyzed by demagoguery on both sides.

Both parties have won control of both chambers of Congress by promising to end undue influence of lobbyists and corruption on Capitol Hill over the last 15 years. As soon as both come to power, they inevitably conclude that maintaining their power overrules their promises of clean government, although the Democrats may have set a speed record in that regard this session.

Is it any wonder that the public now rates Congress as less credible than almost any other national organization?

It's a dangerous development. Congress is, after all, the people's branch of the government. The judiciary has no accountability to the people, and the states elect the President, at least formally. Congress writes laws, determines tax policy, and in general dictates the direction of our representative government. If we cannot trust ourselves with that power, eventually the people will turn to another, less representative form of government to get the difficult issues addressed.

What will America look like when that happens?

UPDATE: I meant to include this as part of the argument regarding immigration, but had Congress actually and honestly done its job on border security and visa reform, I suspect they'd have at least somewhat less opposition to the normalization process they're proposing.


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Comments (43)

Posted by starfleet_dude | June 21, 2007 11:53 AM

Everyone in politics knows that the entitlement programs will drown the American government in red ink, both sooner (Medicare around 2016) and later (Social Security around 2025).

Pardon me Ed, but Social Security isn't going to go broke in 2025 or even 2075. The Social Security Trust Fund that Ronald Reagan signed off on is something that isn't just a fiction, but a promise made back in 1983 to those paying into the system since then, and unless you think it's o.k. to pay off the billions in treasury bills issued to the Chinese but not honor the promise made to the American people, I suggest you do some research into the issue instead of repeating more talking points.

Posted by NahnCee | June 21, 2007 11:54 AM

What we're seeing with the immigation issue, is since the Feds refuse to get involved, the states are taking the lead on implementing new legislation and putting the necessary guns in place to enforce the borders. I don't see this as being a less representative way of doing business, but I'll bet if it continues as a trend, the Feds are gonna get uppity about it. Be interesting to see which side the Supremes would plunk on then.

Posted by _Jon | June 21, 2007 11:55 AM

A 93% re-election rate will tend to make the elected act this way...

Posted by Weight of Glory | June 21, 2007 12:11 PM

"eventually the people will turn to another, less representative form of government to get the difficult issues addressed. "

This could very well happen. On the other hand, this country could find itself rediscovering its roots in federalism. I seem to recall Reagan bringing in many of the nation's Governors to communicate the idea that we are a loose federation of states bound by a national constitution, whose federal govt. is limited in its reach by that very doc. I have thought for some time now, that we will either slip towards dictatorship, (and no, not because of Bush and the eeevil neo-cons) or we will go back to an extremely limited federal govt., and a rediscovering of states rights and autonomy. One of the positive signs of this country tending towards more freedom and independence is the very recent boom in the freedom of expression that exists in the blogosphere and talk radio. This dramatic increase in political free speech is staggering and not insignificant. The article doesn't bode well for the political class, but I think that it could be a very good sign for us. Only time will tell, but I have hope.

Posted by nandrews3 | June 21, 2007 12:14 PM

It's always tough to take seriously complaints -- or expressions of "concern" -- about broad discontent with partisan politics coming from the very same people who, at the end of the day, always keep trying to get ahead by acting as partisan water carriers.

Hey, Ed, those are some brave words about the past failings of Republicans in Congress. But somehow I guess none of this mattered that much to you during election season -- when you turned your blog into a vehicle for fundraising and phone-calling for GOP congressional candidates.

Everything you've mentioned in this blog post -- the failure to deal with entitlements, the administration's determination to push its version of immigration reform, the self-serving nature of congressional majorities -- was equally evident last fall. You were even willing to call out Speaker Hastert -- at least briefly -- for enabling Mark Foley's behavior. In the end, it didn't matter. You had water to carry and a majority to try to maintain.

By now it looks like you're pretty much committed to climbing the right-wing media ladder. Since that's the choice you've made, don't expect your occasional off-message bursts of candor to be taken seriously by anyone. If you think there's a problem with how Congress and its partisan majorities go about their business, well, you're part of the problem.

Posted by Captain Ed | June 21, 2007 12:24 PM

For those who miss nandrews3's regular comments here at CQ, here's the general gist: I hate you when you disagree with me, and I hate you when you agree with me.

Even shorter: I hate you.

Yawn ....

Posted by RBMN | June 21, 2007 12:43 PM

As they say, the World belongs to those who show up. Some of those in office now leave a lot to be desired, on both sides, but they showed up. I give 'em that.

The best solution, short of running yourself, is become a party delegate or just campaign for your favorite challenger in the primary. Then if they win, just hope they're able to maintain their independence a little longer than the last guy.

Despair: never a good solution to anything.

Posted by nandrews3 | June 21, 2007 12:44 PM

Wow, Ed, great rebuttal. Definitely up to your usual standards of argument.

Also up to your standards of factual accuracy. I thought you were honestly interested in holding Hastert accountable for his enabling of Foley, back when that came out, and I said so at the time. Later it became clear you didn't think it was really important after all.

If you want an example of hating somebody, look at your own postings on Jimmy Carter. So, you don't like being called out yourself. Well, get a grip. And get a cup of coffee, too, while you're at it.

Posted by james23 | June 21, 2007 1:01 PM

I think that the Senate in particular is at rock bottom. I'd love to see it scrapped altogether, but would settle for a 2 term limit. The insularity and general out of touch-ness we see, especially in the Senate, are a direct result of six year terms without limit.

Posted by Captain Ed | June 21, 2007 1:03 PM

Accuracy? You seem to forget that I not only argued for his resignation as Speaker over the Foley fumble, but also for his questionable earmarking connected to properties he owns in Illinois. I didn't retract either one, but the midterms made the point rather moot. Hastert was part of the problem that caused the midterm losses.

If you think my rebuttal lacked substance, it's because as usual you skipped right over the substance of the post in your haste to get personal. You sing the same song in every thread.

Posted by Angry Dumbo | June 21, 2007 1:05 PM

Captain I agree with your point that we are hip to the fact that Congress no longer does the public's bidding. As Jon said, with a 93% re-election rate why should our elected officials have to respond to the will of the people?

One contributing factor I see is the now widely acceptable treatment candidates as commodities (think of McCain Feingold, 527's and how many voters have $25 million to contribute in an election cycle). Money is driving politics like never before, but you have to have millions to ante up to play with the likes of Soros, Lewis, and Bing, et al. Although Congress recognized this trend in its last term, to no one's surprise our brave little porkers failed to act.

Posted by nandrews3 | June 21, 2007 1:24 PM

No, Ed, I'm not forgetting anything (or at least anything that's important). Your criticisms of Hastert were made moot before, not after, the election -- because, regardless of the corruption in the party congressional leadership, you set your criticisms aside, toed the party line, and devoted yourself to trying to elect the party's congressional candidates.

It's a fair litmus test. Quite a few conservatives made a different choice from the one you made. My original point stands: If you think there's a problem with self-dealing partisan majorities in Congress -- well, you had a choice, and you chose to be part of that problem.

My point about accuracy had to do with your mischaracterization of my past comments, which you've now repeated. I haven't always sung the same song on your comments threads. If I have lately, well, it's a song that's inspired by true events.

Posted by MattHelm | June 21, 2007 1:29 PM

What is scary here is that I can see the day where a twenty first century American Cromwell does his version of Pride's Purge and the American people will cheer him. I would hope that we do rediscover our federalist roots before it's too late.

And starfleet_dude--promises are made to be broken and the last couple of Congresses--both Democrat and Republican--have shown a willingness to do just that in order to maintain their perqs. Don't think for a minute that they won't jettison the Trust Fund--after all, they're trying to ram shamnesty down our throat...

Posted by Lew | June 21, 2007 1:33 PM

The problem is that there is such a thing as "the political class" in the first place. In so far as it can be shown to actually exist, it must be separate from ordinary Americans by definition. Intuitively, I suppose that we must conclude that it does in fact exist, because otherwise the behavior of People like Trent Lott makes no sense at all.

The ground is shifting under their feet and they don't know what to make of it. They are acting like frightened children whose sense of control is slipping from their grip, and they are casting about frantically looking for someone to blame it all on. Going off to Washington or getting elected to the Senate no longer provides the necessary distance from the prying eyes of the people. We are looking over their shoulders at every turn and they can no longer feel comfortable exercising their expertise and judgment for our presumed benefit. We see them all too clearly for their comfort and they don't really understand why we don't politely defer to their hard-earned expertise.

They are just frightened, that's all. They'll get over it, or they'll get out!

Posted by Rose | June 21, 2007 2:24 PM

Posted by: Captain Ed at June 21, 2007 12:24 PM

Good call, Capt.
And it shows from the very first post anyone reads, I'd say.

Posted by Rose | June 21, 2007 2:33 PM

If you want an example of hating somebody, look at your own postings on Jimmy Carter. So, you don't like being called out yourself. Well, get a grip. And get a cup of coffee, too, while you're at it.

Posted by: nandrews3 at June 21, 2007 12:44 PM


Unfortunately for your point, it isn't always a bad thing to hate certain people - in fact, it is healthy and life-affirming to hate SOME people - like Caligula, Stalin, Marx, Hitler, Mao, and Jimmy Carter.

Looks like you have decided to throw your lot in with Jimmy Carter.

Good for you! A good strong decision - that is what is required of this Life! A good, solid, binding resolution.

Thanks for making sure there is NO ambiguity about your position.

Posted by Bruce | June 21, 2007 2:52 PM

"Normalization" is nothing but weasel-speak for amnesty. It's Bush-speak. It's like "compassionate conservativism" which means - SHHH! WE'RE NOT GONNA ENFORCE LAWS AGAINST LATINOS FOR BUSINESS AND VOTING BLOC REASONS".

Jorge's plan is crumbling and I'm laughing my ass off!

Posted by bill | June 21, 2007 2:55 PM

Repeal the 17th Amendment so that we can recall the scoundrels in the Senate.

Posted by JEM | June 21, 2007 2:58 PM

Somewhere in Trent Lott's office is a notepad with a line drawn down the middle.

On one side is the total of the contributions from individual voters likely to be aggrieved by his position on immigration.

On the other is the sum he's received, or expecting to receive, from poultry processors and casino/hotel operators in his state (and potentially elsewhere) who want the cheap-labor pipeline kept open.

Voters just aren't worth enough to matter.

Posted by Mike M. | June 21, 2007 3:00 PM

This is a great piece by Mr. Tapscott. He is absolutely correct, and there was a thread here on this very theme that I commented in about a week ago.

Most people on the left are still convinced that our current crisis of confidence is almost entirely due to Iraq. They are wrong about this. Make no mistake, people are sour about Iraq, but it goes far deeper than this.

The essential core of the disconnect between the people and our Representatives and our crisis of confidence can largely be boiled down to one simple fact. The overwhelming majority of the elites in America share the common view with their brethren in the other advanced western nations that the old model of nationalism and nation-states needs to be swept away in favor of a new international order of global bureaucratic and corporate government (the often-mocked phrase "New World Order").

Unfortunately for these elites, the overhwhelming majority of the regular middle class and working class people in the west (even in liberal countries such as France and Great Britain) utterly reject this view, and still maintain a strong core of nationalism and national identity in their hearts. In fact, just the very word "nationalism" itself tends to send a shudder of fear through the elite class, as many of us have subconsciously been trained to automatically associate nationalism in our minds with things like belligerence, jingoism, aggressive militarism, and racism.

But like most things in this life, there is absolutely nothing wrong with nationalism, in moderation. It's called patriotism. Taken to an extreme, of course nationalism can get out of hand, even to the point of being a deadly threat to others. But nobody should ever be ashamed of being proud of his country, even here in the United States. Most of us feel like we live in the best country that has ever existed on earth, and the elites are not going to succeed in laying a guilt trip on us for it.

We are simply not ready to go gently into that dark night of a New World Order. So you elites out there had better learn how to deal with it.

Posted by flenser | June 21, 2007 3:25 PM

"Congress has decided to pursue a deeply unpopular solution to a generational failure of both parties. "

Not only that, but the Senate has chosen to bend and break all of its own hallowed rules and traditions in order to short cicuit the legislative process. Watching laws being made is always a distastful process, but in this instance its a lot more disgusting than usual.

The corruption which is so evident in all this never seems to get the attention it deserves. Rich people are paying of Congress so that they can get away with breaking the law. This is literally what is happening here. And both parties are complcit in it.

George Borjas has documented the results of this. The US economy is largely unaffected in the aggregate. But if you break things out, you find that American workers are taking a pounding.

It is striking that the so-called "party of the people against the powerful" as the Dems like to call themselves, is actually more in bed with the rich crooks than even the Republicans.

Posted by ken | June 21, 2007 4:25 PM

On target with Congress' unwillingness to follow up to see if existing laws are being enforced. They simply pass something and then walk away. Worse, they pull the funding plug on the very enforcement or oversight activities they establish.

The Immigration Amnesty Bill will create a field day for liberal judges who must interpret the morass of loopholes and contradictions Congress built into it - - But what the heck? Congress is incapable of making any law that is simple, clear, concise, realistic and straightforward.

Liberals AND conservatives in Congress love judges legislating from the bench. It takes the heat off of them for promulgating rotten bills in the first place. And republicans claim they don't want judges doing that? Can anyone imagine a judge out there who will not rule on something?

Posted by Rose | June 21, 2007 4:55 PM

"eventually the people will turn to another, less representative form of government to get the difficult issues addressed. "

HOW ON EARTH could it get LESS REPRESENTATIVE than today 's government?

One judge overturns an 87% election result, and calls the ELECTION "UNCONSTITUTIONAL"?

90% of the nation opposes most legislation now proceeding through Congress - but Congress will only work on legislation that is ACLU-proofed!

The fear in Washington should be that the People will rise up and do whatever it takes to get representation that obeys the will of the LEGAL AND LIVING voters. AND re-establishes the Constitution as the Final Arbitor of WHAT WILL BE!

They've just about exhausted their ability to call the group that they are in front of a PARADE, by any definition, including Bill Clinton's.

Maybe they won't wake up til they smell the tar and feathers.

Posted by Realist | June 21, 2007 5:06 PM

Our ruling elite is way ahead of you peasants. While you rant in the comments section of an obscure blog about replacing them, they are well on the way to replacing you.

Soon you will be replaced by Mexicans and Muslims who are comfortable with massive governmental corruption and will provide reliable bloc votes for the elite.

I still find it almost unbelievable that they accomplished the destruction and dismemberment of our formerly magnificent country in the space of just fifty years, but that's the way it is. Just shut up, bend over, and pay for it.

Posted by Neo | June 21, 2007 5:21 PM

Let's put the blame where it belongs. While politicians are liars, when they aren't kissing babies, they are trying to steal their lollipops, I place the bulk of the blame here on the media. Besides spending a majority of their time trying their best to make the current Administration look bad (when was the last time we had a story that said the economy was doing well, that wasn't on CNBC), the "press" has done it's level best to do "poor" journalism.

We have all seen those "interviews" on the "news" programs where 1, 2 or more experts an/or politicians are "interviewed" for 90-seconds. Darn, I don't know why these guys and gals even show up (yes, I do) for 3 sentences. This isn't informative. It certainly isn't journalism.

I seem to remember those programs on PBS, where officials, former officials and (real) reporters actually talked about a topic for at least 60 minutes. In the end, the answers weren't always obvious, but the complexity was. OK PBS, what am I getting for my dime ?

Frankly, I don't see the complexity of the immigration issue .. you stop more coming in and then "deal" with those who are here. Some politicians just want to deal with the stream of new (let's call a spade a spade) illegald, just hoping that if and when they are legal that it will help their party. PARTY .. party, shoot .. what happen to country ? These people should be horsewhiped on the steps of the Capitol for all to see.

It's time for PBS and those other lack luster users of the public airwaves (CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, CNN, BET) to begin a real debate of the "issues". It might take a few nights of air time to cover just one subject, but please .. it's got to be better than some of those unreal "reality" shows.

Let's start with "immigration" and then "climate change". Please recognize that often there are more than 2 sides to these "issues", so case a wide net for participants.

Posted by patrick neid | June 21, 2007 5:36 PM

the real scary truth is that we ultimately get the government we deserve. i'll leave it to others to argue over the minutiae of how exactly we got here but i'll stick with the historical record of past empires.

government basically starts off as a beneficial parasite providing, at an agreed price certain benefits. slowly over time it morphs into a benign cancer while still providing the basics at a slightly higher price. finally it ends up a malignant cancer, where i think we are now. the "New Deal", appropriately named, was the start of the malignant cancer stage. that's when the cancer cells of entitlements came into vogue. when will they kill us is anyone's guess. the certainty however is that they will kill us--or at least the country we have known.

all empires sow their own seeds of failure. the good news it takes a long time, or at least it used to, for the patient to die.

Posted by Grim | June 21, 2007 6:15 PM

A less-representative system is not certain to be the 'next step.' We could simply call a Constitutional Convention, and iron some things out.

Posted by onlineanalyst | June 21, 2007 6:25 PM

Don't be discouraged. We have quite a number of senators and representatives calling a spade a spade and responding to the will of their constituents.

As I told the most recent RNC solicitor (as I had in previous calls), I will direct my donations directly to candidates who reflect my conservatism on fiscal responsibility, national security, sound economic and energy principles, and the trouncing of the shamnesty bill.

The RNC will no longer determine in my state with my hard-earned donations that Arlen Specter is the cat's meow at the expense of Pat Toomey or that Rick Santorum should fall to the "inevitability" of Bob Casey, Jr. Instead my candidate of choice gets his reward directly into his own coffers. That decision means that some of my contributions will be going to worthy out-of-state contenders, too.

We have some great members of Congress; our support should be going to them. Readers here are informed enough to know who those members and candidates are.

Here is another bit of good news: Nancy Pelosi (who is unaware of exactly what her role is as Speaker) may be facing a challenge to her assumed role as world jet-setter and ambassador-at-large via her questionable behavior vis-a-vis the Logan Act.
Check out this article in The Hill: http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/house-republican-wants-to-restrict-pelosis-travel-2007-06-21.html

Posted by Drew | June 21, 2007 7:38 PM

With Congress' approval rating at 14%, just how many days will it be before they see single digits? Anyone know the 'Vegas line on this?

Posted by Drew | June 21, 2007 7:40 PM

With Congress' approval rating at 14%, just how many days will it be before they see single digits? Anyone know the 'Vegas line on this?

Posted by docjim505 | June 21, 2007 8:13 PM

Here's the meat of the problem: do you trust your government? I think that an increasing majority of Americans are starting to answer "no". Republicans take it for granted that democrat politicians are incapable of telling the truth and act from partisan interest if not naked self-interest. Democrats feel the same about GOP politicians.

Problem is that everybody's right. The only reason we DON'T throw the lot of them out is because we think that the other side would be even worse. I've come to despise Trent Lott, but given a choice between him and a filthy democrat, I'd take Lott every time. I'm sure that there are democrats who feel the same way about Dingy Harry or Sheets Byrd.

Natch, there are those on both sides who believe that their side can do no wrong. I think that they are a small though vocal minority: I think that the American people KNOW that things are seriously broken in DC, but those who aren't hyper-partisan are so apathetic that they don't think they can do anything about it. Does it really matter to the average American whether Foghorn Leghorn Lott or Dingy Harry is the Senate Majority Leader? Is there a tangible difference between SanFran Nan and that fat idiot Hastert? I'd wager that most Americans really CAN'T tell the difference. Politicians have become empty suits spouting the same slogans and issuing the same empty promises... and getting caught in the same rackets and pecadillos.

We Republicans like to jeer at Cold Cash Jefferson. The filthy dems come right back with Duke Cunningham. Sandy Bergler or Scooter Libby? Clinton lied about Monica. Bush lied about Iraq. Hillary had secret meetings about health care. Cheney had secret meetings about energy. Partisans from both sides will answer "Yes, but..." when their side is under attack or quibble over the details, but I think that John Q. Public doesn't care about the details too much. What he DOES know is that the people in DC that he used to trust to run the government "of the people, by the people and for the people" are playing games, cheating, committing outright crimes, and patting themselves on the back for the good job they're doing even while they do nothing.

Iraq's not going well. We haven't caught bin Laden. The deficit is out of control. Global warming. Social Security is going bankrupt. Old people can't afford drugs. Our schools are a disaster. Gas prices are going through the roof. There seem to be a thousand problems facing the country, and the politicians neither the capablity nor or even the interest in fixing them. Rather, they act increasingly plutocratic, thumbing their noses at the people who elected them, safe in the knowledge that, barring some disaster, they'll be reelected again.

The system is BROKEN.

What do we do?

Posted by ERNurse | June 21, 2007 8:23 PM

Nandrews, if you can't contribute something positive to the discussion, STFU and go to Daily Kos, you liberal pantywaist crybaby.

Posted by brooklyn | June 21, 2007 8:32 PM

the problem remains, Liberal Democrats will vote Democrat Party out of their deep hatred and bigotry for Conservatives.

no matter how badly they feel towards politicians, they will continue to embrace those who produce bad policy.

Conservatives seem eager to make matters far worse, to spite imperfection, when they stand for understanding Government will always be imperfect.

sitting home, empowering the Liberal Agenda is no answer, and just as bad as some of the poor politicians making bad policy.

some Pundits are part of the problem, because they seem to be encouraging this complete abandonment of the process.

all of the unpleasant mindset, has more to do with than just ONE ISSUE.

immigration is a problem, but decades old, and is not the only thing we have to face.

but it seems some of the finest, cannot see anything but...

like when Liberals speak of Global Warming or President Bush, and apply these as the cause to all the problems on the planet.

sincerely, as much as immigration is a problem, if a Conservative says that is the only thing, in an obsessive manner, they are not seeing clearly anymore.

Posted by MikeD | June 21, 2007 9:47 PM

I think you have nailed it docjim505. I don't have an answer to your question but I wonder if we aren't getting closer to the situation summed up by the cartoon of two buzzards sitting on a branch. One says to the other: "Patience my ass! I'm gonna kill something!

Posted by Keemo | June 21, 2007 9:51 PM

Great essay Docjim.... What do we do?

You're busy doing it Doc... Captain Ed and many others made a decision to get involved; CE put his time away from work into this blog; others have made similar choices. There is a good reason why the blogosphere has "taken off" so rapidly; the big media had become so anti-American & obsessed with negative news complete with personal assassination served up as the main menu each evening. All Americans have grown tired of the constant American bashing dished out by the network news outlets; thus the success of talk radio and now the new media accessed through the internet. How refreshing it was for me to find Captains Quarters, Powerline, Polipundit, LittleGreenFootballs, & Townhall; how refreshing it was for me to have the oppertunity to engage in the comment section here at CQ and get some built up steam off my spirit; how refreshing it has been to watch CE and others grow and develope their writing skills while maintaining principled behavior towards all (even the likes of nannydrew).

The blogosphere has given all of us a chance to voice our feelings, frustrations, sadness, happiness... My frustration with the corruption involved with politicians started back when Ted Kennedy got away with murder, and has grown each year as I have learned what a ficticious "boys club" DC really is; anything goes for our boys in DC; above the law... I'm a proud American who was devasted by our military defeat in Vietnam; a defeat that was brought about by the boys club in DC...

The DC crowd, as well as the big media crowd, are freaking out simply because they are watching as hundreds of thousands of Americans are learning the truth about their private world; learning just how far from the founders creation DC has drifted; just how corrupt most of these people really are...

The truth will set us free Doc... Nobody believes the big media anymore; it's beyond a "lack of trust" with the media folks; Dan Rather helped this process along very well... The same scenario is playing out with our politicians (all of them) at this time; nobody believes them anymore, and the trust factor is down to 14%... But yet, these folks want to bring on the "fairness doctrine " in an effort to squash open debate; these folks want to squash bloggers for the same reasons.. These folks want their boys club to remain in tact. The old timers are really going nuts; the younger critters are watching in horror. Quite frankly, these folks are an embarrassment to all of us. All eyes are firmly planted on all of these critters; no longer can they deflect the attention by using the old media. Once these folks are forced to actually work for the people, most of the old timers will fade away, to be replaced with a new breed of politician; most likely, this new breed will be made up of less lawyers and more MBA types... Laywers are damaging this country; we have far too many of them looking for ways to get rich by using methods that were not a part of the original plan for this profession. What do we have in both houses of Congress; a huge group of lawyers..

Posted by Tom | June 21, 2007 11:16 PM

With the amoral decay afflicting both parties, we are entering a rudderless era akin, in my mind, to the corruption, confusion and breakdown of party politics in Germany late '20s-early '30s that led to Hitler's ascendancy. We have not been through the social and economic convulsions that beset Germany after WW I, but we may be closer than we think. It will only take a couple of major economic disasters to swamp our boat: housing and/or stock market crash, brisk inflation, midEast explosion....Some real possibilities. The country is way overleveraged, and thus so vulnerable.

Posted by Californio | June 22, 2007 2:42 AM

I worry about the safety of our precious Congress, Senate, et al in these dangerous times. Perhaps they would all be safer if we moved the Congress (House and Senate), the President, and the Supreme Court to an industrial park somewhere in Virginia/Maryland. Then we could put spend on a massive airdefense network around the Capital, White House and all the other historic beloved buildings. Oh, and by the way, budget in a couple of unarmed guards for that industrial park.

Posted by docjim505 | June 22, 2007 3:37 AM


I have started having similar worries. Our representative government is becoming increasingly ineffectual even as our elected leaders become increasingly arrogant and even tyrannical. Which way will things go? Will the political class continue to take power and priviledge for themselves (McCain-Feingold, Fairness Doctrine)? Or will some catastrophe create a situation where enough Americans decide that the Constitution just doesn't work anymore and opt for some other form of government? The libs clearly detest democracy and are perfectly happy to have some sort of dictatorship (natch, they'll be in charge); how many other people are there who would be willing to sacrifice our democracy in the name of "the common good"?


Talk and free speech are wonderful things, and I hope that you're right that those sorry wardheelers in Congress ARE feeling the heat. But I am cynical and think that their response WON'T be to mend their ways, but rather to try to rig the system even more to isolate themselves from public opinion. Their reelection rate is already around 90% or more; they've done a good job over the years building a system that all but eliminates accountability to the voters.

The really sad part is that we keep putting those bastards back into office. A friend of mine is Canadian (he's spent the past several years and several thousands of dollars going through the Byzantine process of becoming an American citizen, but that's another story...) and we were talking about this. He said, "Who's the more disgraceful: the members of Congress, or the American people who voted them into office?"

Posted by MarkW | June 22, 2007 7:26 AM


The only problem is that the people most likely to get a seat at any constitutional convention, are the same ones who caused this problem in the first place.

Posted by misterbee241 | June 22, 2007 7:48 AM

My fear is if a new government emerges, it will be a socialist one or outright communist.
I would very much like to see a return to the Constitution, but I'm not very hopeful.

Posted by Keemo | June 22, 2007 7:50 AM

Understood Doc; completely agree with you. We are a tolerant people, a "live & let live" people. The attacks on our homeland; watching as our people jumped to their deaths; watching the absolute evil that followed as Muslims around the world danced in the streets in celebration of Americans massacred in cold blood; watching proudly as President Bush promised us that those who brought this evil to our shores would be wiped off the face of this planet; watching as the Democrats and the big media lined up all mechanisms for another Vietnam run; watching as these good ol' boys in DC repeat the same mistakes that lead to our defeat in Vietnam; watching as radical Islam spread their evil by way of our media, by way of our politicians; watching as Congress trips and stumbles while accomplishing little to solve very serious problems facing Americans...

We are all sick of this Doc; the polling data reflects the truth. Americans have run out of patience with our politicians, we have run out of tolerance with these people. We have been played for fools; worse yet, fools we have been. Nothing wrong with our constitution; nothing wrong with the political system as designed by our forefathers. The problem lies with our politicians, with the heart of the beast being "money & power"... Corruption has decayed our political system by spreading it's wings throughout the entire system. How else could one explain the "rise to power" by the likes of Soros, an American hater who's greatest wish in life is to conquer America. Hillary Clinton is tied to Soros and his money; she is feeding off several Soros creations and has become dependent upon these creations. For all I know, Soros has the same ties with leading Republicans... Corruption fueled by huge amounts of money from the Middle East; China; Europe, Russia; this is what we see controlling our government; this is why neither party has done anything (other than broken promises) about campaign reform, or any form of reform that will result in dealing with corruption within our government.

We will be watching these critters very closely, as they make every effort to shove us back into our corners... The people will rise up and clean house; a new breed of politician will emerge... This will take time, but the process has begun...

Posted by misterbee241 | June 22, 2007 7:52 AM

My fear is if a new government emerges, it will be a socialist one or outright communist.
I would very much like to see a return to the Constitution, but I'm not very hopeful.

Posted by Keemo | June 22, 2007 7:53 AM

OMT: ANY "I mean" ANY Politician who has ties to Soros must be sent packing.