Congress has a lot of work on its hands. The debt crisis, surging deficits, rising unemployment, a plethora of foreign threats to our republic, etc. – Congress is certainly not lacking pressing issues to address. If they could only get rid of one giant monkey on their back that keeps a watchful eye on every position and decision they make then they could probably be a lot more effective. If only Congress did not have to worry about pesky American voters every two years they concentrate on turning this economy around. If only members of Congress, according to North Carolina’s Democrat Governor Bev Perdue, didn’t have to worry about you! News Observer has Perdue’s comments to supporters at the Cary Rotary Club:
“You have to have more ability from Congress, I think, to work together and to get over the partisan bickering and focus on fixing things. I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won’t hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover. I really hope that someone can agree with me on that. The one good thing about Raleigh is that for so many years we worked across party lines. It’s a little bit more contentious now but it’s not impossible to try to do what’s right in this state. You want people who don’t worry about the next election.”
Was Perdue joking? It’s hard to say, but her serious tone coupled with a comment asking for support for her idea doesn’t make it seem like she was kidding around. Think of it from a progressive Democrat’s point of view. Wouldn’t it be easier for elected officials to do “what’s right” if they didn’t have to worry about you blowing up their phones and filling up their e-mail to oppose their position? They wouldn’t have to worry about the tea party, angry constituents, political activist groups, or anything at all really. My comment to Perdue is, why stop there? If suspending elections is a good idea temporarily why not permanently suspend elections so that elected officials will never have to worry about the political consequences of doing “what’s right” – a.k.a. in this case failed liberal policies. After all I hear Cuba and North Korea are doing great these days.
“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” – Thomas Jefferson
Update: The answer to the “Joke – No Joke” remark that Perdue made yesterday can be found in the audio below. North Carolina GOP spokesman Rob Lockwood asks “If it was a joke, what was the set-up? What was the punch-line? Where was the pause for laughter?” before adding “It took them three hours to say it was a ‘joke,’ but when that flopped it became ‘hyperbole.’ We’ll just call it an unconstitutionally bad idea.”
…During my recent stint in the Obama administration as director of the Office of Management and Budget, it was clear to me that the country’s political polarization was growing worse—harming Washington’s ability to do the basic, necessary work of governing. If you need confirmation of this, look no further than the recent debt-limit debacle, which clearly showed that we are becoming two nations governed by a single Congress—and that paralyzing gridlock is the result.
So what to do? To solve the serious problems facing our country, we need to minimize the harm from legislative inertia by relying more on automatic policies and depoliticized commissions for certain policy decisions. In other words, radical as it sounds, we need to counter the gridlock of our political institutions by making them a bit less democratic.
Flashback: Obama tells supporters, who are chanting “Yes You Can”:
“The idea of doing things on my own is very tempting. I promise you, not just on immigration reform. But that’s not how our system works. That’s not how our democracy functions. That’s not how our Constitution is written.”