Congressional Reform

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BobG
Homework Helper
Actually, I see more and more problems with Congress before things get better.

Right now, one of the obstacles to resolving the "Fiscal Cliff" crisis is the number of Republicans that place their pledge to Grover Norquist above their pledge to the Constitution of the United States. There's a reason for that. If they break their Norquist pledge, the Club for Growth and other third party organizations will pour money into defeating them in the next primary election. The Club for Growth is just the most effective of these - they only go after "offensive" Republicans in districts where a Republican is sure to win. Not only that, primaries attract a lot fewer voters than general elections and are much easier for special interest groups to influence with extra campaign money.

Seems like a perfect way to bash Republicans, but that's a little short-sighted. The real importance is that a third party special interest group can influence any primary election successfully. People are naive if they think this is a Republican problem - it's a problem that just affected Republicans first. It's a problem that will almost certainly start to occur in Democratic primaries for "safe" Democratic seats in the future.

As things stand, this is just smart strategy - and a person would be a fool not to copy a smart strategy.

OmCheeto
Gold Member
Good god. I thought this thread was created just a few days ago....

Thank you Astro for paying attention. I was busy, and not yet a member of the forum.

---------------------------------one of many of OmCheeto's lame excuses ----^

BobG
Homework Helper
Good god. I thought this thread was created just a few days ago....

Don't you know? It takes more than six years to fix Congress!

Staff Emeritus
There seems to be a persistent and systemic dysfunctionality in the government and the political system.

OmCheeto
Gold Member
If you want congressional, etc., reform, then stop voting for major party candidates. People seem to regard this as a crazy radical thing to do. But it really isn't. The elected candidates of the two major parties have pretty much become corrupt and screwed the US in the process. Yet, you keep voting for them. Duh!

Ummm..... No. We didn't.

Ok. Well. We did. But our elected officials seem to have brains out here on the left coast.

Left coast: Defazio: Tax Wall Street: Cha-Ching for America!
Right coast: Cantor: Short the American Dollar: Cha-Ching for Me!

etc. etc. etc.

Nixonian expletives, as always, preemptively deleted...... :grumpy:

ps. I have a right wing radio station tuned in for my clock radio in the morning to wake me up. LimBelch/LimBlahblah repeated his propaganda, over, and over, and over, and over again.... Fortunately for me, it did not sink in.... :grumpy:

World at War! BBC! Why did Nazi-ism whatever...... First two episodes.

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=4bd_1264726972

God save the Queen...

OmCheeto
Gold Member

There seems to be a persistent and systemic dysfunctionality in the government and the political system.
Duh. But I don't mean that in an offensive way, as I very much respect your objective and well researched opinions. Just that the need for congressional reform seems to me to be clearly, without requiring any sort of deep research, pretty evident. The question is: how can congressional reform possibly, ever, be made to happen?

My current personal opinion, maybe overly cynical, is that it won't, ever, happen. At least not to the extent that there will ever be significant reforms regarding the generally greedy and wasteful actions of government.

Ummm..... No. We didn't.

Ok. Well. We did.
Yeah. I think it ultimately comes down to us. Not any president. Not the government. But, us. We cast the votes, and, therefore, potentially determine the course of national policy. But, this only works well (ie., in the best interests of the mass populace, both of the US and the world) if we, the voters, actually care enough to do our homework. Unfortunately, in America at least, this doesn't seem to be the case. So, our general civic lethargy and complacency allows us to be manipulated by corporate mass media (which more or less obviously, imo, has vested interests at odds with what's best for the US in particular and the world in general).

Yes, we need congressional reform. But I think that before that can happen then significant reforms in the way that average US citizens approach civic issues and elections has to happen.

This can only be brought about by changes in our educational system. Changes which are, imo, not likely to ever happen. So, I think, there you have it. We are, like it or not, for better or worse, more or less locked into the current status quo. I'm not optimistic about the evolution of human society and the future prospects for the survival of humanity. I conjecture that we are our worst enemy, and the US congress seems to support that conjecture.

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OmCheeto
Gold Member
...

Yeah. I think it ultimately comes down to us. Not any president. Not the government. But, us. We cast the votes, and, therefore, potentially determine the course of national policy. But, this only works well (ie., in the best interests of the mass populace, both of the US and the world) if we, the voters, actually care enough to do our homework. Unfortunately, in America at least, this doesn't seem to be the case. So, our general civic lethargy and complacency allows us to be manipulated by corporate mass media (which more or less obviously, imo, has vested interests at odds with what's best for the US in particular and the world in general).

Yes, we need congressional reform. But I think that before that can happen then significant reforms in the way that average US citizens approach civic issues and elections has to happen.

This can only be brought about by changes in our educational system. Changes which are, imo, not likely to ever happen. So, I think, there you have it. We are, like it or not, for better or worse, more or less locked into the current status quo. I'm not optimistic about the evolution of human society and the future prospects for the survival of humanity. I conjecture that we are our worst enemy, and the US congress seems to support that conjecture.

For the most part, I pretty much agree with what you've posted here. If I were ambitious, I would even show you where you've quoted me. But I'm not, so I won't.

------------------------------
Hopefully I don't get an infraction for not fighting in the P&WA arena.

turbo
Gold Member
Yes, we need congressional reform. But I think that before that can happen then significant reforms in the way that average US citizens approach civic issues and elections has to happen.
The first thing that needs to happen, IMO, is a negation of the Citizens United decision.

The second is to finance all the Congressional campaigns with public funds and forbid private donations and PACs. This would greatly reduce the number of "candidates" who are in it only to suck up corporate donations, and not to represent us.

It might take a long time to get through this, since many of these "lifers" have slush-funds that they can subsist on before transitioning to private positions with their sponsors. Still, (IMO) the only way to get honest representation in DC is to fund their campaigns with adequate public funds and cut off the private donations.

These reps and senators need to get down in the trenches with the rest of us, and pay attention to making sure that the poor and the middle-class get a fair shake. I am not real hopeful, since common citizens have no voice anymore.

My wife and I can't afford to pay either of our senators $20K to come to our house and speak at a "breakfast". When we write, we get vague form-letters back, with no substance. It is really sad. IMO, the gridlock in DC is less about ideology, and more about money, and who is paying the bills. It's sad. Staff Emeritus Science Advisor There is a spam message passed by email or through the internet, usually on social networking sites - Congressional Reform Act of 2012. It has been falsely attributed to Warren Buffet [sic], and is a variant of some email spam that has been around for a few years (see snopes link below). Some of it is rather drastic or extreme, but there are some good ideas, such as restricting pensions and healthcare benefits to Congress persons, and mandating that Congress should be subject to the same laws they impose on the public. http://www.snopes.com/politics/medical/28thamendment.asp My wife and I can't afford to pay either of our senators$20K to come to our house and speak at a "breakfast".

Two words. Pot...luck.