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2006: Take the Power Back
Abramoff and the "Do as you're told" Republicans

In 2005, we learned once and for all that there are two kinds of elected Republicans: the “Do as you're told” Republicans, who tend to be the old guard, beholden to the establishment, big government lovers, or businessmen who got elected because they were bored and the seat was open – and the “Do what's right” Republicans, who actually share their deeply-held principles with their political base across the country.

The “Do as you’re told” Republicans come from a long line of old-fashioned politicians. They long for a return to the times when conservatives were poor, undereducated, and easily led; they have no concept of the interweb; and they continually fool themselves into thinking that they can ignore the people who elected them on issue after issue, because they’re probably not paying attention anyway, what with all the box socials and Quidditch practices.

No wonder these Republicans came up with the bright ideas of forcing us to swallow Harriet Miers, pork by the gallon, stem cell flip-flopping, and the idea that Arlen Specter deserves to be Judiciary Chairman thanks primarily to his ability to hang around long enough without going blithering mad... and then they were surprised to discover that hey, maybe completely ignoring the base isn’t such a great idea. To which the base says: if you like success, boy howdy.

Now the old variety of Republicans are once again facing some entirely predictable ethical crises - and it's time for the "Do what's right" Republicans to lead.

Read on . . .

Print This Story
Jan 3rd, 2006: 13:02:42
In retrospect, 2005 was just one long horrible year for the old kind of Republican, the apex of which was the Miers flameout – which marked the first time in five years that President Bush was forced to do something significant that he didn’t want to do because the “Do what’s right” Republicans and their supporters forced his hand. And as we enter 2006, we need to recognize that when it comes to the ethical issues on the beltway radar, it’s overwhelmingly the “Do as you're told” Republicans who run with the Jack Abramoffs of the world, who barter their votes for lobbyist favors, luxury trips, happy endings, kickbacks and crony appointments.

[Note: The “Do what’s right” Republicans don’t tend to like such things, and the lobbyists don’t tend to like them – maybe it’s the whole concept of "principles," or maybe it's because they go home to the wife/husband and kids on the weekends instead of taking solo trips to Tijuana during MTV's Spring Break.]

As in every scandalous story that attracts the attention of the MSM, there are, of course, exaggerations. For every truthful statement about Tom DeLay’s questionable ethics in Washington, there’s a Ronnie Earle to primp for the cameras and outright lie for his own political gain. For every true and awful inclusion of a shady business or corrupt official in the handy Jack Abramoff law-breaking galaxy, there are also those things included that feel like, shall we say, a bit of a stretch (How dare he lease sports boxes, buy houses, or invest in restaurants! He’s a lobbyist, he shouldn’t be earning money!).

The truth is that no Congressman or staffer is ever swayed by a steak dinner – the lobbyists buy the steak dinner to have access, to have an opportunity to try and sway elected officials on their issue. And the pragmatic exchange of carrot and carrot, one vote on an issue for another, has been the story in politics for centuries – how do you think bills get passed?

But only a fool would argue that there isn’t a large leap from the great compromiser Henry Clay making backroom deals to get legislation passed to Jack Abramoff demanding donations to his money-laundering beach house think tank.

Ethical rules are the rules for a reason, and the Republican Party is one that respects the rule of law – that means really respecting it, not dancing along the edge. Because when the Democrats play dirty, they should have to stretch the truth; they should have to lie and connive; and they should have to find people like Ronnie Earle to do it for them. If they don’t have to do that, then something’s wrong.

Conservative success in 2006 and beyond depends in large part on how willing we are to take on the old ways of the “Do as you’re told” Republicans head-on, particularly those who’ve shown a pattern of ethical liability. The truth is, anyone who sells their vote on an important issue once can be bought and sold on almost any issue.

See the White House’s own Andy Card, whose most significant act as a lobbyist prior to joining the Administration was selling out on Hillarycare on national television (Card: “I think it’s an idea whose time has come” – bet you he said that about Harriet, too). Some might say he was only doing what he was paid for, that he was just being good at his job. The “Do what’s right” Republicans say: bollocks. Being a good capitalist doesn't trump doing something flat-out wrong.

True selling of votes and other ethically suspect activity should not be tolerated at all, but particularly in party leadership. Ethical relativists do not belong in a party founded on moral absolutes. And just because the “Do as you're told” Republicans get elected doesn't mean we should ever let them get power. We need to push them out, for the good of the country and the party, and 2006 is the year to do it.

It’s time to put the “Do what’s right” Republicans back in charge.

< Pernicious mischief. (52 comments) | Reaping the Whirlwind (32 comments) >


"Quiddich practices" By: bee
Those two words just slew me, probably in no small part to the fact that I'm in the middle of re-reading Harry Potter 1-6 (currently: in the middle of 4).  Excellent post.


Internet member since 1987
Member of the Surreality-Based Community


Delay... By: NotSoBlueStater
... is Howard Dean: A gift that keeps on giving. Remember, as wacky as he is, Dean may actually be more principled than Delay in many ways.

Nice post, Augustine. This is exactly the sort of stuff the public debate needs. We've proven, I think, how irrelevant the far left has become. It's high time for a principled debate about the key players on the right, I think.

"Hindsight alone is not wisdom, And second-guessing is not a strategy." - GWB



Politics is a team sport By: RBMN
Because politics is a team sport, there seldom is a clear "right thing." It's more like reading all the player statistics and then calling a play that'll pick up five yards. Then doing it again. The sixty-yard pass is great when it works, but it doesn't work that often.



Correct... By: HaroldHutchison
The problem is, you get all of the people who want high-light film plays every time, and if they are not produced, they want to bench the quarterback and fire the coach.  It doesn't matter if the team is doing reasonably well, or if there are mitigating factors - they want what they want.

These days, it seems that trying to actually get things done, and concepts like strategy will get one labeled as "unprincipled", and thus in need of being "pushed out".

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#4)

Getting things done By: Neil Stevens
I personally don't care if things get done for their own sake.

The problem with the Delay House and the Frist Senate is that, often enough, they're getting the wrong things done.

Or, to continue with that metaphor, it's not that they're not making the big play, it's that they're losing yardage on every down.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#6)

Wrong things? By: HaroldHutchison
I'm not about to argue with getting tax cuts, reforming medicare (there was a lot more to it than just the prescription drug benefit - in any case, we had the perverse situation where Medicare would pay for heart surgery - an inherently risky proposition - but wouldn't cover the drugs that could prevent surgery from being necessary in the first place), faith-based initiatives, fighting a globar war on terror, nominating good judges, and starting to hold school districts accountable for results (No Child Left Behind).

All in all, I'd say the gains have far outweighed the losses.  Furthermore, in 2002 and 2004, Frist and DeLay have managed to increase Republican majorities in the Senate and House, which means the initiative is still with conservatives as opposed to the Democrats.  It means we get judicial nominees to the floor of the Senate, where they get confirmed, rather than having Leahy and Schumer deep-six them in committee.

I see no compelling reason to ditch DeLay, and I really wish Frist wasn't retiring.  I'd like to see a better NRSC chairman.  Liddy Dole hasn't done well in recruiting, and a replacement after 2006 is in order.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#12)

More years of Frist? By: Augustine
I wonder how popular that idea would be around these parts.

I'm guessing about as popular as garlic-flavored Pepsi.

This story shall the good man teach his son

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#17)

See the results... By: HaroldHutchison
As NRSC leader, he was on watch when the GOP gained seats in that midterm.  In his first twoyears as Majority Leader, he did a good job of managing a one-seat majority (51-49), and the GOP picked up four seats in 2004.

I think that in some cases where the "right thing" was allegedly not done, Nick Danger has explained things quite well.  For instance, the prescription rug benefit - I took the liberty of Googling the Polling Report (cache here.  Take a good look at some of the percentages: Anywhere from 70% to 89% of the American people supported adding a drug benefit to Medicare.  That benefit was going to happen one way or the other.  I think that putting in some of the reforms that the President insisted on made sense.  We got HSAs.  We got a more flexible system that will save money down the road.  And even adding the drugs will save money.  

Prior to the prescription drug benefit passing, Medicare would pay $28,000 for the hospital stay to have surgery on an ulcer, but would not pay the $500 to prevent the $28,000 surgery and hospital stay in the first place.  That's not the best way to use taxpayer funds, and in addition, it defies common sense.

Frist got a bum rap over filibusters, but he was on the scene, and he had a much more accurate vote count than many of his critics.  I'm betting that despite having 55 Senators, he didn't have 51 votes to exercise the nuclear option - at least right away.  If 2006 doesn't go well (i.e., GOP loses seats), then the nuclear option is off the table until 2008 at a minimum - probably longer given that 2002 and 2004 were pretty good years for the Republicans in the Senate.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#19)

I dont think you will find By: zuiko
A whole lot of support for the Medicare drug benefit. Look at the after-effects. Caving on that issue sure bought us a lot of goodwill, didn't it? The liberals hate it, the conservatives hate it... who likes it? Not very many people. It is not a money saver by any strecth of the imagination. In fact is it going to cost a whole lot more than the projections said it would at the time... big surprise there.

You could poll the American people and ask if they support a plan to spend a trillion dollars a year on HIV and Cancer research and the results would probably be favorable. Doesn't mean it's a good idea.

There is also the theory that because the AARP received so much critisism from their support of this program, that factored into their decision to come out forcefully against SS reform.


[ Parent ] (User Info) (#20)

But will the reforms go away? By: HaroldHutchison
I doubt it.

As I said, we got MSAs/HSAs out of the bargain - as well as choices and competition in Medicare.  Republicans also got seen as implementing the drug benefit.

Do you really think someone is going to successfully take out the MSAs or the choices in Medicare once people get used to having them?  Somehow, I doubt it.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#21)


Support for Drug Benefit By: Buckland
I dont think you will find A whole lot of support for the Medicare drug benefit. Look at the after-effects. Caving on that issue sure bought us a lot of goodwill, didn't it? The liberals hate it, the conservatives hate it... who likes it? Not very many people. It is not a money saver by any strecth of the imagination. In fact is it going to cost a whole lot more than the projections said it would at the time... big surprise there.

Bob Dole once said that you can't go wrong voting for a bill that won't pass or against a bill that will pass. The same can be said about criticizing a bill that's in place. Lots of carping from the left and right about the Prescription Drug Benefit, but precious little movement to change it. Actions speak louder than words, and actions tell me that most in congress are pretty satisfied with it.

Sure, it's fashionable to criticize it for being to large or too skimpy (often both at the same time), but actually moving to make changes just aren't in the cards right now. That would tend to point towards most of the cries of anguish being for demagogic purposes only.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#24)

I don't know By: zuiko
The administration sure liked it but a lot of Republicans had to be dragged kicking and screaming by the leadership to vote for it. I imagine the administration still likes it, but without their involvement it would've never happened.

As far as changes go, once you create the benefit it isn't going anywhere. So repeal isn't an option. I have heard that there is an amendment to eliminate the drug price negotiation ban (the #1 criticism of the benefit on the left) that has quite a bit of support but I don't know the specifics of it.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#26)

A counter example By: Aleks311
Re: As far as changes go, once you create the benefit it isn't going anywhere.

What about the catastrophic Medicare coverage enacted under Bush I and repealed not long thereafter?

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#47)







Frist didn't deliver the early year goods By: buckeye
It was Trent Lott, not Bill Frist that got the tax cuts and Not Child Left Behind through the Senate (not that I want Lott back, nor do I consider NCLB a smashing success for conservatives).  In fact, I cannot think of a single conservative train Bill Frist has made run on time.

In addition, last I looked the Senate was busy undermining the War on Terror.  Not only is the Senate rolling national security tools back to the pre-9/11 baseline of no Patriot Act, but the Frist Senate is taking it a step further by outlawing interrogation techniques that had been legal for prior Presidents as well as questioning the President's inherent authority to gather foreign intelligence without a search warrant.  The latter is a nice encore to the recent "Terrorist's Bill of Rights".  The Frist Senate is a big reason as to why we are currently losing the political portion of the GWOT.

If Bill Frist gets things done, when is he going to make the Bush tax cuts permanent to help keep the economy going and remove the current boat anchor of uncertainty from the stock market?

The fact is the "Do as your told" Republicans have spent the last seven years squandering the party's position as the "party of the adults".  It's why we no longer make fun of Democrats for believing in Santa Clause.  We have spent the past seven years believing in Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy.  Out of control federal spending and "business as usual only our turn" spoils and cronyism are just manifestations of no longer being the "party of the adults".  

Only the "Do what's right" Republicans have the credibility to reclaim our status as the "party of the adults" so serious issues like Social Security, Iran and federal spending can be addressed on adult terms and with credibility.  The sooner Frist in particular is no longer in a leadership position the sooner the adults can get back in charge.  


[ Parent ] (User Info) (#42)




A player who continues to commit By: TPetey
personal fouls is not a team player. Such a player deserves the bench.


Join the RedState Folding Team (Team #48064)
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#7)


Good Analogy By: USCitizen
I've another football analogy. I was raised in Denver, (Go Broncos!); Denver has always been a respected club in the football world, well coached, good strategy, and almost always competitive come playoff time, some of the most loyal and football knowledgeable fans in the league. Then they won two super bowls, and suddenly everyone was a Broncos fan. People who were never real football fans loved to jump on the bandwagon and proclaim themselves Bronco fans. None of these people froze their butts off in mile high stadium in the lean years when the Broncos were competing for the AFC honor of becoming the next team to be run over by the then dominant NFC. None off them followed or understood the long term strategic planning that went into to creating a two time world championship team. All they knew was they wanted to be a part of the winning team. Two years later, Denver was struggling to make the playoffs, sticking with a strategic game plan to build for the future, and where were the legions of new "Brocomaniacs", they were now Rams fans, then Patriot fans. No loyalty, just bouncing to the winning side to feed their "I'm on the winning team" ego.

Thankfully, politics isn't football, but I think this illustrates a basic human nature that might have some relevance here.


[ Parent ] (User Info) (#50)



Not really analagous By: zuiko
It's like having our quarterback run back towards the other team's endzone 5 or 10 yards and being told "at least he didn't fumble."

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#13)



Can you be more specific about.... By: Doug in SF
....who qualifies as what? Is anyone who hung with Abramoff now a "do as you're tolder" and anyone who doesn't a "do the right thinger?" This appears just to be an attempt to say "well, ALL the Democrats do it, but just MOST of the Republicans." The evidence will most likely show that MORE Republicans do it than Democrats, but only because they have more power right now. These are politicians we're talking about, after all.

caveat: Democrat

Whatever happened to CLASSIC Republicans? By: CaliforniaJim
"...big government lovers..."

Don't these classify - in the literal sense - as Democrats? If you believe in big government, then you should NOT be a Republican. That just brings up the subject of fiscal accountability and how the "Do what's right" Republicans just aren't.

Or is this article pointed at Republicrats?

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#10)

A careful reading of the article By: Thomas
May answer each and every question raised in your comment.

Good luck.

If this is mastery, then I'm a donut. - Mike Krempasky

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#11)


Classic Republicans? By: dave nalle
Classic Republicans certainly aren't big government lovers.  Classic Republicans are presumably those who stick with the traditional values of the party which would be conservative on fiscal issues and favoring individual liberty on social issues.

An awful lot of party newcomers haven't embraced those beliefs, and they're a growing voice in the party, bringing with them the intolerance and free-spending ways which are traditionally characteristic of the Democrats.  Which isn't surprising since an awful lot of them are former Democrats or come from backgrounds as southern Democrats, driven out of that party solely over religious issues.

Dave

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#15)


Of course the ultra-big-tent guys By: zuiko
Think that anyone who is willing to wear the label should be welcomed into the party and never questioned about the fact that they don't support the platform. In these guys mind there is no such thing as a RINO.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#16)


I guess what I'm getting at is... By: Doug in SF
.....with such people as Ralph Reed and Lou Sheldon being implicated in the Abramoff scandal, I'm still a little confused as to this concrete difference, suggested by the diary, between who the "do-the-right-thingers" are and who the "just-follow-orderers" are. It looks to me like plenty of both are implicated and plenty of both are not. Thus I'm led to conclude that this division is artificial, and exists only to try and ascribe all the evil-doings to a part of the party that the diarist doesn't like.

caveat: Democrat
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#46)

I would then suggest By: Thomas
That you have not followed Ralph Reed's career at any length.

If this is mastery, then I'm a donut. - Mike Krempasky
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#48)





When were they ever in charge? By: jannelsen
It's time to put the "Do what's right" Republicans back in charge.

Back? See question above.

If I may answer that question, the last time the "Do what's right" Republicans were in charge was 1994, when they were still the minority.

A principled minority, but a minority nonetheless.


Bob Michel and Bob Dole? By: Buckland
You gotta be kidding.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#25)



Centrist Party possibility By: Rhampton
It's a bit simplistic to use Jack Abramoff as a dividing line -- especially when lumping Republicans like Arlen Specter in with those who will be found guilty of corruption. The Republican party is larger than any one political philosophy, and moderate Republicans like Specter are important because they do represent the attitudes of non-Red States like those in the Mid-Atlantic, North East and Western U.S.

For some, I know  this is intolerable -- but the alternative for the GOP is to cast-out the moderate, centrist, and independent voters to placate the hard-line conservatives (of various stripes). You might think this would benefit Democrats, but I sense a growing possibility of a third party created of RINOs and DINOs -- the Centrist Party -- which would split the country in three and come out the victor, in my opinion.


RINOs? By: dave nalle
The tragedy of that split would be that the so-called 'RINO' faction is the traditional Republican party, while those who apply that name to others are usually party newcomers who don't understand the basic GOP philosophy of open-mindedness, fiscal responsibility and liberty for all.

Dave

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#14)

Dave By: Oz
Twice in one post you essentially poke the SoCons in the eye as being non-traditional Republicans.

How many Republicans going back to before 1970 (that would be traditional right) do you think would have favored gay marriage or abortion?

You seem to be saying that there is a long tradition of socially liberal, fiscally conservative Republicans that probably extended from about 1970 to 1980 ...


[ Parent ] (User Info) (#27)

Of course By: zuiko
The other problem with that is the RINOs aren't fiscally conservative either... at least not when it comes to spending. Just when tax cuts are up for debate. So I guess he is referring to a time when socially liberal, fiscally liberal Republicans were the norm.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#28)

Nelson Rockefeller? By: TPetey
Is that about the size of the list of "traditional Republicans"?

Join the RedState Folding Team (Team #48064)
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#29)

LOL, hardly By: dave nalle
Plus, Nelson Rockefeller is dead.

But, in recent history and/or not dead, here are some examples of traditional Republicans.

John McCain
Christie Whitman
Rudy Giuliani
Mac Mathias
George H. W. Bush
Bob Dole
Howard Baker
Arlen Specter
Colin Powell
Gerald Ford

And historically, think of Teddy Roosevelt as your ideal.

Dave

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#32)

Now you've really gone over the edge By: zuiko
Where is the fiscal conservatism that is the hallmark of the "traditional Republican" there? If that is the real GOP I don't want any part of it.

P.S. I can add a few more to your list... Nixon, Snowe, Collins, Chafee, Jeffords (pre-2001).

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#34)





SoCons are Democrats in Exile By: dave nalle
Twice in one post you essentially poke the SoCons in the eye as being non-traditional Republicans.

And accurately.  They're democrats in sheeps clothing.

How many Republicans going back to before 1970 (that would be traditional right) do you think would have favored gay marriage or abortion?

If you moved them up to today and into our current environment then lots of them would have.  Remember that Barry Goldwater supported gay rights and abortion before he died.  Plus, these are the Republicans who fought for civil rights and equal rights for women.

You seem to be saying that there is a long tradition of socially liberal, fiscally conservative Republicans that probably extended from about 1970 to 1980 ...

No, it goes way farther back than that.  I imagine you're at least heard of Teddy Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and Abraham Lincoln, not to mention all of the big-business Republicans like McKinley and Harrison who were fiscally conservative and basically didn't care one way or another about social issues.

The GOP combined a socially neutral to socially progressive agenda with fiscal conservatism and pro-business economics going back to the very beginning - even back to before it WAS a party when the Forbeses and their allies were bankrolling the abolitionists.

Dave

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#33)

Bleeping Reagan By: Thomas
Cruddy Republican, a "democrat[] in sheeps(sic) clothing" -- what with that nasty opposition to legalized abortion, his latter day spats with brave, oony, crash and burn Barry Goldwater (Purity over winning on a single issue! Decepticons forever!), and his ridiculous tendency to oppose the Soviets.

Oh, buckaroo, two things:

Most so-cons are fisc-cons too; and

Slavery was a social issue.

Grow up.

If this is mastery, then I'm a donut. - Mike Krempasky

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#36)

loony, not oony (nt) By: Thomas


If this is mastery, then I'm a donut. - Mike Krempasky
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#37)


Thomas By: hoosierteacher
Thomas shoots...... He SCOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRES!

Nicely put.

"Greater is an army of sheep led by a lion, than an army of lions led by a sheep" - Defoe

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#45)



Say that again? By: Ezekiel
SoCons are not closet Democrats.

If there were a list of core competencies for calling oneself a Republican, SoCons would score as well as anyone.  

To wit...for a SoCon, Pro-Life and Pro-Family mean allowing all life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Of course we're anti-abortion, but we're also pro-family in the way that we want to keep as many of our hard-earned dollars as we can, not spend them on big government programs through high taxes.  How is that not being a FisCon?  And we're also for defending Israel and our own interests stateside and abroad which means a strong national defense.  We SoCons form the rank and file of the Republican Party.  And don't forget it was we Values Voters that put the party over the top in many key races in 2004.

Honk if you sacked Brodie.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#43)





Couldn't agree more (N/T) By: RsDhimmi


[ Parent ] (User Info) (#22)



It's Time To Clean House By: Allan Bartlett
We need to police our own members and admit mistakes if they were made.  This Abramoff character just oozes sleeze.  All donations need to be returned ASAP before more damage is done.  It's time for the leaders of the party to take charge.  Unfortunately, this Abramoff fiasco is how business in DC is done.  He just happened to get caught.  How many other Jack Abramoffs are out there doing exactly what he has been doing over the years.  There's too many to count in my opinion.

Powder Blue Report


Clean house in both aisles and propose solutions By: Merrill Bender
I agree clean house on those shown to avecrossed the line.

But as we clean our House, always remind the Press that Democrats have to answer for their years of crossing the line as well. if we are going to clean house than we clean both sides of the aisle.

Than give examples; i.e. - "Dingy"  Harry Reid and his Sons who have lobbyed for legislation that benefits them personally and for their clients in Nevada.

Than the "do right thing" Republicans have to put ideas for major issues on the table. Giving the American people choices on Tax Reform, Border Security and Social Security and Medicare Reform.

Republicans have solutions and we do not want to leave these problems for our children and grandchildren.  No more "Fiddling with their futures"  Let's have the Debate but lets have American voters make a decision on each of these major Issues.

http://fairtaxreform.blogspot.com/2005/12/mr-president-my-wish-for-2006-mak e.html

"Those That Know the Facts Love the Fair Tax" www.fairtax.org Visit my Blog: Tax Reform "Fair To All" http://fairtaxreform.blogspot.com/

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#23)



Term Limits By: jannelsen
The institutional culture of Washington, by which I mean Congress and its remora, combines with venality to spawn this corruption. We have careerist politicians whose only goal is re-election to maintain their power and perks. Lobbyists and interest groups in turn seek favors in order to maintain their own power.

We need citizen legislators, moved to serve through ideals and idealism, who come from the "real world" and whose service is curtailed before they fall victim to the parasitism and sycophancy of Washington.

Term limits, I tell you, term limits.


No term limits By: Neil Stevens
Term limits don't prevent citizen-legislators, large districts and full-time sessions do.

Let members of Congress hold outside jobs, and make the Congress only be in session a few months a year, to make it really work.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#31)

Cut their pay and send them home? By: jannelsen
I'm for it.

And make government smaller, while we're at it. The power of Congress and their lobbyists come from the dollars at their command, the sheer size and intrusiveness of the federal government.

Mike Pence for Majority Leader, that, too.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#35)

And after we cut their pay By: itrytobenice
Completely eliminate all pensions.  None.  Nothing.  If nothing else, it would give them a desire for a real job so they can save something for their old age.

I meant what I said and I said what I meant. An elephant's faithful 100 percent.
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#38)

I like the idea of getting rid of congressional By: josterman
pensions.

So who here will run for congress, and bring this to the floor next session.

If you do, i will send money to your campaign.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#44)





Et tu Brooks te? By: morning in america
I don't think term limits is the answer ...we need a electorate educated enough to know when to vote the incompetent ones out.

Brooks is a little over the top in this article but I think he makes some good points...reform maybe a good platform for holding our lead in Congress

http://select.nytimes.com/2006/01/05/opinion/05brooks.html


[ Parent ] (User Info) (#49)



What I'm proposing By: kowalski
A few threads down from this, is a completely different take on the way our elected representatives are paid.  I think they should be paid much more than they are:  in fact, they should be paid at a level that most people would consider to be exorbitant.  Bnd along with that public money should come a very high level of scrutiny, restriction and transparency.  My answer, essentially, if we really want to "get the money out of politics" is to put more money into the politician's pocket once they have been elected.  As the rest of the world is so comfortable telling themselves, America is a rich country -- and it IS a rich country.  But the power of politics here is too closely tied to the relative personal wealth that can be gained from achieving that power.  If we want to decouple that, and make politics more "honest" I suggest something paradoxical -- pay the politicans more, while at the same time clamping down hard on what they are allowed to accept as "gifts."  

The Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Justice can be very efficient when they are called upon to carefully examine someone.  I suggest that we raise the salaries of our elected representatives to a level at least ten times higher than they are now, and then lay down the law.

Veritas vos Liberabit


Also By: kowalski
I think this proposal would have the effect of encouraging more people to run for public office at the national level -- people who are not directly tied to law firms and personal injury cases, defense contracts, liquor distribution rackets, and gambling interests for their livelihood.  You might even entice a few professors to give up tenure and run for government office with the kind of salary I'm suggesting.

Veritas vos Liberabit
[ Parent ] (User Info) (#40)

House cleaning By: Rhampton
The Republican Party of each state select candidates based on their appeal to donors and primary voters. Thus it's the independent Republican who has to fight against the establishment just to get on the ticket. So increasing salaries to curb corruption doesn't make sense to me.

To be brutally honest, Jack Abrahmoff didn't operate in a bubble -- he had help. The Republican Party at the state level needs a good house cleaning too.

[ Parent ] (User Info) (#41)




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