Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Conundrum

I do not pretend to understand politics or people who vote for politicians.

I do understand some salient facts, however:

Gallup tells us in September that job approval ratings for Congress is at 15%, up – if you can call 15% up – from a tying-record low of 13% in August 2011.

Approval by party is equally dismal. In September, only 13% of those polled had favorable views of Democrats and Independents, with 19% approving Republicans.

Sixty-five percent of those polled by Rasmussen Reports predict politics in Washington will continue to become more partisan and believe that both parties are to blame – with 51% saying the Democratic agenda in congress is too extreme, and 47% saying the same about the Republican agenda.

Yet there is ample evidence that when it comes to picking politicians, factions of these same voters tend to want candidates and elected officials whose loyalties lie more with toeing the party line than actually doing anything to end partisanship or make Congress more effective.

Witness here liberal grousing over the independence of Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, who has the temerity to talk with and – gasp – endorse Republican candidates, though he hails from a “blue” state that has elected him as an Independent since 2006. Here’s what Lieberman has to say:

“My ultimate loyalty is to do what’s right for the country. I don’t mean that to be self-righteous; I just think that’s what my job is.”

Witness here conservative grousing over the party-crossing of Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson, who dares – gasp – work well with those of different political beliefs and look for ways the parties in Congress can work together to make things better. (By the way, it’s interesting that the names that come up in this column: Hawkins, Rammell, and Heileson are familiar to many in the area as strictly conservative individuals, unwilling to be less partisan. I think Eastern Idaho’s sending Mike Simpson back to the House since forever indicates how well partisan politics is appreciated in this neck of the woods.

We want one thing: Less partisan, more effective government. Yet the parties, the national media, and certain groups of partisan voters on both sides of the blue/red fence seem bent on making sure we have more partisanship – and thus less effective government. What is wrong with this picture?

Oh yeah. This:
Nevertheless, they did not long maintain an entire peace in the land, for there began to be a contention among the people concerning the chief judge Pahoran; for behold, there were a part of the people who desired that a few particular points of the alaw should be altered.

But behold, Pahoran would not alter nor suffer the law to be altered; therefore, he did not hearken to those who had sent in their voices with their petitions concerning the altering of the law.

Therefore, those who were desirous that the law should be altered were angry with him, and desired that he should no longer be chief judge over the land; therefore there arose a warm adispute concerning the matter, but not unto bloodshed.

And it came to pass that those who were desirous that Pahoran should be dethroned from the judgment-seat were called king-men, for they were desirous that the law should be altered in a manner to overthrow the free government and to establish a king over the land.

And those who were desirous that Pahoran should remain chief judge over the land took upon them the name of freemen; and thus was the division among them, for the freemen had sworn orccovenanted to maintain their rights and the privileges of their religion by a free government.

All of this seems pretty familiar, doesn’t it?

No comments: