The Sage Grouse

The Problem With Elections is Re-Election

The problem with democracy and elections is that the winner spends his entire term fending off attacks from the losers, rendering him largely ineffective.

There are exceptions, like Ronald Reagan.

Bill Clinton’s presidency was messed up by several problems. First, if you fall on the health care reform sword during your first term, next the GOP spends gazillions on the supposed Whitewater scandal, then you trip over your appendage with a voluptuous intern, and then self-righteously deny the transgression? The combination of these influences effectively neutered major policy moves in the Clinton administration.

On NPR, I heard a Democratic community organizer from Chicago celebrate the failure of the Congressional super committee to surpass politics and make policy. He wanted the committee to fail because he wanted no cuts in bloated government spending. Maybe he should join the Tea Party.

The Founders invented checks and balances. They had suffered under King George, leading to a deep distrust of unchecked authority. Footnote: if someone had presented the Founders with the idea of creating the EPA, the proponents would have been put in stocks.

Back to unchecked authority. (Well actually the EPA IS unchecked authority.) Jefferson, his friends and frenemies created checks and balances. They did not want the government, in response to panics of the moment, to quickly enact improvident laws. Good idea.

They invented a House of Representatives which had to stand for election every two years, meaning that their entire careers would be consumed by campaigning. They invented a Senate which provided some respite from campaigning. They invented a Presidency which required campaigning every four years, which means that the President must campaign for most of the third year and all of the fourth year of his four-year term.

I ask the Tea Party and the Liberal Establishment this question: Does any of this make sense?

[polldaddy poll=5755246]

REPUBLISH THIS STORY: For details on how you can republish this story or other WyoFile content for free, click here.

— If you enjoyed this article and would like to see more quality Wyoming journalism, please consider supporting WyoFile: a non-partisan, non-profit news organization dedicated to in-depth reporting on Wyoming’s people, places and policy.

Leave a comment

Want to join the discussion? Fantastic, here are the ground rules: * Provide your full name — no pseudonyms. WyoFile stands behind everything we publish and expects commenters to do the same. * No personal attacks, profanity, discriminatory language or threats. Keep it clean, civil and on topic. *WyoFile does not fact check every comment but, when noticed, submissions containing clear misinformation, demonstrably false statements of fact or links to sites trafficking in such will not be posted. *Individual commenters are limited to three comments per story, including replies.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *