The Reality of how you get Elected
I wonder if any of the US Senators who voted against the proposed law to expand background checks for gun purchases woke up the morning after watching the manhunt for the Boston bombers regretted their decision. As a country we watched sections of Massachusetts be locked down for one lone man yet as a country we were not able to pass laws that just make common sense. I get the desire for many American to own a gun. We are a gun society. How do we pass laws just to insure that people who own guns are licensed and vetted. Why is that such a big deal?
The majority of Americans would have liked to see this law passed but unfortunately it was not. Certainly the NRA will be supporting the campaigns of each of the US Senators who said no on this law. Here is the reality of the next go-around for these US Senators who voted no even if they believe in their hearts that they voted for their constituents is they will have a really hard time getting re-elected at their next election.
Here is the the reality of getting voted in to the US Senate even if you are a Democrat or a Republican is you have to raise money, a lot of money. I know because years ago I had fundraisers at our house. They were for people running for the US Senate in states around the country. Alaska, North Carolina, Ohio and others. If you do a search for the biggest donors of the four US Senators that voted against the gun law; Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Max Baucus of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota you will discover that they came from NYCity. Maybe the NRA will make up those dollars but I seriously doubt it.
So these four US Senators not only voted against a law that the majority of Americans wanted and one that would have been a good step in the right direction for gun legislation because they were concerned about their own jobs going forward in their own states. They have each sealed the deal that they will have a very difficult time financially on their re-election. They did not vote with their head and I am not sure what their reasoning was behind the vote they each cast. It was a sad day for the country.
It was a strange week and now we are all holding our breath on the next law to be voted on when it comes to immigration reform. Based on the last performance of our senate I sincerely doubt that anything will change.
At SXSW, Al Gore said when he was Senator, he used to spend 1% of his time on campaign funding vs. now on average, it’s 4-5 hrs PER DAY for senators or reps. In essence, a lot of “common sense” things can’t be achieved because the funders start “pulling the puppet strings.” (an example he cited: the gov can’t negotiate for lower drug prices because pharma is a powerful lobby and won’t make it happen).Gore also said (and that ties with your observation) there’s too much concentration of power and decision-making in Washington that is far removed from the wisdoms of the crowds, i.e. what the people want and need.I think all of this & more is covered in his last book, The Assault on Reason http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw…
Senators spent almost 80% of their time on fundraising. There is something wrong with the system.
There is, indeed.
Perhaps if our senators spent more time living and working amongst us than in the Capitol, they’d be better able to represent. In state politics, when we have an issue, it’s much easier to visit our Reps en masse and put a fine point on things. If representatives worked remotely much of the time, they could do just that: eat, breathe, and sleep with their constituents. Oh, wait–that last part didn’t come out right. 😉
And Baucus is leaving the Senate, so wonder what that means about his vote