29 December 2009

So much for representative government

In the headline article on Open Congress this morning, there is a discussion about whether or not Democrats in the House of Representatives will or will not insist on a public option in the health care bill. In that article, there is a disturbing statement; "his job as Majority Whip is to tell rank and file Dems how to vote". I think that we all knew that these types of shenanigans were happening in Washington, but calling out that there is a single individual responsible for telling the people that citizens elected to represent them how to vote should be grounds for everyone to contact their representatives and tell them how to vote.
This is a travesty and should be highlighted as such. When you go to the polls to select the person that you would like to "represent" you in Washington, you expect that they are representing you and your neighbors and looking out for your best interests. You don't really expect them to be taking orders from the National Committee, do you? This is not a phenomenon unique to the Democrats, the Republicans have the Minority Whip, whose actual job description is likely very similar.
For those of you who were wondering how anyone can read a 2000 page bill, digest the information, and make an intelligent choice on whether or not to vote on it, here is your answer. They are not doing it, they are taking orders from their commandant. Find the representatives who have a decent percentage of voting against their party and you may find that you actually have a principled individual. Mr. Paul (R-TX) and Mr. Minnick (D-ID) tend to fit the bill very well.
At the next round of elections, make sure that you are clear on whether you are voting for an individual that understands that their job is to represent their local constituents or a lemming who will do whatever the party bosses desire.

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