A series of events over the past few months have made me consider the logic of third world politics. I am not talking about killing people or imprisoning detractors. That is what happens in places like Cuba, China and Iran. What I am thinking about is the prosecution of the prior ruling party by the new ruling party.
Many of us were abhorred by the possibility that Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, is open to investigating and prosecuting members of the CIA for alleged torture of Islamic terrorists. That sickened me to think that this administration would politicize the folks who have kept us safe for over seven years. This was strike one.
Strike two came from a statement from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi regarding passage of the Obamacare bill. It was reported that Speaker Pelosi addressed Democrat lawmakers regarding their upcoming vote on the health care legislation and told them that they would all vote for the bill. She also said that;
“some of them might lose because of their votes for the bill but that they had better vote for it anyway. And, she added, she was prepared to lose the House majority in order to win the health care battle because she was convinced that the Democrats would win it back in four or six years.”
I always believed that politicians cared for little more than being re-elected. Their ultimate goal is to remain in power. Pelosi’s statement stunned me in that she is willing to sacrifice to achieve her goal. Of course she is willing to sacrifice other Democrats to achieve Obama’s goals, but I guess that is a sacrifice. I found that very interesting. In a way it may actually be brave to sacrifice for your cause. Although she is counting on returning to power in “four or six years.”
I got over my brief, and slight feeling of admiration (that is way too strong) for Pelosi when the impact of the health care legislation came to light. It is likely to cost us $1,500,000,000,000 (plus interest/inflation as we will likely either borrow or print the money to pay for it). The politicians will likely cripple the United States economy further and their cost is a few lost elections. It seems likely that Pelosi will lose the majority and the Speaker position. She may even lose her position in Congress, but what will she have really lost?
“Retired” politicians seem to do pretty well. Bill Clinton, who left office in debt, was reported in 2007 to be worth nearly $50 million and his Veep worth well over $100 million. Former politicians who campaigned against big business, lobbyists, Wall Street, big oil, big whatever often find their futures tied to those very industries and are paid very well for their “public” service. It is very hard to accept that they have our best interests at heart.
Strike three came with a Benjamin Franklin quote that I heard on the Glenn Beck program;
“I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.” — Ben Franklin, 1766
I know that you are wondering what the heck is this guy talking about? I wonder too sometimes, but bear me out as I tie these together. I am even going to use a quote from our current president that “Everybody is going to have to give. Everybody is going to have to have some skin in the game.” What I do not see is how politicians have any skin in the game, hence my lurch toward third-world politics and Benjamin Franklin. That sounds like the White House’s Anita Dunn and her hero Communist Chairman Mao (by the way, Dunn resigned, but will remain on as an advisor).
As an elected official, they all take the following oath of office:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”
Let’s make them have skin in the game. Let’s not make it easy for those in political office. Throwing the bums out is no longer enough. When elected officials betray their oath, pass either detrimental or meaningless legislation, they should be held liable. When they screw the country, they should know that sometime down the road there may be a need to defend their actions before a jury of their peers and face punishment.
If you pass a bill promising that it will not add to the debt, and it does, you go to jail. You do not collect a pension. You do not get to take a lucrative job in the “private sector.” I also think that politicians should not be interred with other criminals as we still want to hold out hope that the other prisoners can be rehabilitated. I would suggest a special prison that will be vacated in January located on a tropical island not far from Miami. Their health care will either be provided by the U.S. Marines guarding them or the host country which, I understand, has an excellent public health system.
I know that this is a slippery slope, but what is the alternative to politicians who do what they want and really do not suffer any consequences?
Third world politics may be the answer.