On Tuesday night 47 year incumbent Senator Pat Roberts defeated Tea Party candidate Dr. Milton Wolf in the GOP US Senate primary.
Roberts won with around 46% of the vote,
Earlier in the primary season 30+ year incumbent and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell held off citizen candidate Matt Bevin.
And off course the saga continues in Mississippi between 40+ year incumbent Thad Cochran and Tea Party insurgent state Sen. Chris McDaniel as the McDaniel campaign has officially challenged the results of the June 24th GOP Senate run-off; a race filled with race baiting fliers, radio ads, and robo calls attacking Chris McDaniel all tied to a PAC associated with former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and his nephew Henry Barbour a member of the Republican National Committee and one of the authors of its post 2012 autopsy, not to mention evidence of illegal voting by Democrats that may have been the margin of victory.
Time after time this election cycle proponents of limited government, fiscal responsibility, and adherence to the Constitution have been unable to take down career politicians who have campaigned openly about their ability to bring home the bacon(pork spending), and have touted in effect the fact that they should be reelected just because they’ve already been long time members of the DC social and fundraising scene.
What makes Roberts and Cochran’s(at least temporary) victories even more troubling is the fact that neither of these ambassadors of the states, actually lives in Kansas or Mississippi, both happen to be residents of northern Virginia, residing in the DC suburbs.
As was unearthed during the campaign, Thad Cochran actually calls his “assistants” home, his own.
Roberts during his campaign let slip that he only comes to Kansas when he has a primary opponent.
Before the 2012 primaries Virginia actually had 5 US Senators representing it in the upper chamber as Indiana Senator Dick Lugar, another career politician who’d been in office since the Nixon era, also called the DC suburbs home, thankfully state Treasurer Richard Murdock was able to unseat him. However, thanks in part to sabotaging from Lugar supporters within the GOP in Indiana, Murdock was not able to win that November(Don’t be fooled by those who blame Murdock’s loss on misunderstood comments he made in the last week of the campaign about rape, Lugar’s supporters working against Murdock was a much bigger factor in that election.)
It’s not just the Republican party that has a problem with career politicians who will not leave office, no matter what; see Charlie Rangle, John Conyers, the whole Levin family in Michigan, Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin, Harry Reid, and the longest-serving member of Congress ever, John Dingle.
Our nations Founders would be appalled to see Representatives and Senators sticking around Congress, staying within the halls of power, decade after decade after decade.
It was the intention of the Founders that there would be rotation among the members of Congress. They believed that a person would feel compelled to serve their district or state for a period of time and that they would then leave office and the nation’s capitol and return home to live the life of an ordinary citizen.
Indeed for a good period of time that was the case. From the seating of the first Congress into the Civil War period the average length of time a person stayed in Congress was but a single term. It wasn’t until around the time of the New Deal that members of Congress en mass started counting their time in office in terms of decades.
Now we are at a point where multiple members of Congress have 30 and 40 and even 50 years worth of terms in Congress.
This longevity in office has and is causing those meant to Represent us in our national legislature to ignore the will of the people, to make but fleeting ventures outside of the Beltway, and to fight tooth and nail to retain power.
The ugliness of the Mississippi run-off wouldn’t have had to happen had one minor change been made to the US Constitution.
That same change could have allowed Republicans the nation over feed up with Mitch McConnell’s pathetic leadership to be rid of him and thus a new Senate Republican leader given a chance to try and break Harry Reid’s tyranny.
That change of which I speak, would also mean that a good Doctor would be heading to Congress while someone that cannot have a single accomplishment listed would be heading back to Dodge(hopefully).
Of course I am speaking about amending the Constitution and placing term limits on members of Congress.
It is conceivable that had term limits been in place before now, we’d be talking about who would be the next Speaker of the House given that John Boehner has been in office for over 20 years.(my vote goes to Lt. Col. Allen West)
Naturally the same people who will use every dirty trick in the book to stay in office if necessary have not and will not propose in Congress any amendment that would limit how long they get to call themselves congressman(woman) or Senator.
So what recourse are we left with to get career Congress-Critters to leave the floor of the House or Senate and at least move to the public/tourist viewing areas?
Well, as Rush Limbaugh discussed this afternoon on his radio program, our Founding Fathers gave We The People a tool by which to fix problems such as this should the need arise. It is a tool that does not involve Congress, which in this case is very important. The President has no role in the use of this tool either. Not even the Courts have a say when it comes to this magical tool that has sadly been collecting dust since George Mason and the other Framers put it into the Constitution during the Constitutional Convention in Philly.
Anyone who has read Mark Levin’s The Liberty Amendments, or listened to Rush today, knows what I’m talking about; an Article V Convention of the States.
Upon the application of 2/3 of the state legislatures a Convention shall be called, so long as the applications are similar, to debate and discuss the proposal of new amendments to the Constitution, with 3/4 of the state legislatures being needed to ratify.
Until the terms of members of Congress are limited(I favor Mark Levin’s 12 years House or Senate combined and you are out with no grandfathering) we will continue to have more Thad Cochran’s, Pat Robert’s, and Mitch McConnell’s staying in office for generations.
It is incumbent upon all of us, regardless of political persuasion, who loathe career politicians to convince state Senators and state Representatives(Delegate if you are in Virginia) to get behind the Convention of States Project and place a new check on the power(s) of Congress.(And while they are at it to require a balanced budget).
Why are you still reading this blog post you should be calling, writing, or meeting in person with members of your state legislature about Article V.
(cross posted from USofArn.com)