Friday, March 2, 2012

March 2, 2012

On Tuesday (I think), I called in to Matt Murphy and stated my "platform", and on Thursday I called in to Michael Hart and did the same thing.

My statement was this:

My platform starts with the "big" question of  "how good a job do you think Congress is doing in helping solve the country's problems?" If your answer is a "poor job", what is the explanation for this?

Many people refer to polarization, gridlock and obstructionism as a source of the poor performance and the reason for the lowest Congressional approval rating in a long time.

My response to this is that there are legitimate partisan differences that must be thrashed out, but there is something more.  To wit, there is an "iron triangle" in Washington D.C. of lawmakers (both Republicans and Democratics), lobbyists, and special interest organizations, that profits enormously from tens of millions and hundreds of millions of dollars sloshing around in Washington in a cesspool of, call it what you want, "influence peddling," "government for sale," or just plain corruption.

This "iron triangle" finds the political divisions, polarization and gridlock, in which every issue can be turned into a life and death, us against them, battle, as very advantageous for preserving their positions and riches.  Those distract the citizens from the rampant corruption going on in Washington and keep the voters from uniting to take action against the corrupt participants in the Washington cesspool.

The main contributing factor to the corruption is a broken campaign finance system that, as Stephen Colbert has made uproariously clear to the American people, is a joke.

There is a movement growing around the country that recognizes this, and that the broken campaign finance system will not be fixed by action at the top, but fixing must come from the grassroots pushing up.  This includes advocating that the First Amendment of the Constitution be amended.

I am part of this movement and believe a first priority for Congress is a serious national debate about the broken campaign finance system and what should be done about it.

In January I wrote letters to Senators Shelby and Sessions, Representative Bachus and Alabama Senator Beason asking for their views about how much a problem the corrupted political system in Washington was for the American people and whether an amendment to the First Amendment is needed.  These letters are further described at the Occupy the Courts entry on my website.

Senator Sessions replied by a letter dated January 23, 2012, in which he made no reference to whether he thought there was a corrupted political system that the American people should consider a problem.  Senator Sessions further expressed opposition to disclosure requirements being pushed by many Democrats related to the Citizens United case, because of a "chilling effect" on the making of campaign contributions.

Senator Shelby replied by letter dated January 25, 2012.  He too made no reference to whether he thought there was a corrupted political system that the American people should consider a problem.  He indicated he thought campaign finance reform could be, in general, adequately achieved by disclosure requirements.

Representative Bachus and Alabama Senator Beason did not respond to my letter.

On Friday, I called into the Matt Murphy talk show and asked three questions on the air for the candidates in the 6th Congressional district..  My first question was what the opinion of the candidate was about how good a job Congress was doing in helping the country solve its problems.  If the answer to that question was "a poor job," my second question was what was the candidate's explanation or explanations for the poor performance, and, third, what did the candidate propose to do about the poor performance.

Matt Murphy said he would ask my questions of Senator Beason, who was coming on later in the program, which Matt Murphy did. Senator Beason responded by saying that he thought Congress was doing poorly.  Senator Beason said he thought lawmakers initially go to Washington with good intentions, but, among other things, they decide the best way to stay in office is not to make waves and to do little or nothing.  Senator Beason said that was not what would happen with him and he would always be active, and fight for the things he believed in and that his constituents elected him to do.  As I recall Senator Beason's response, Matt Murphy suggested that the problem of poor Congressional performance would be remedied if there were a lot more Scott Beasons in Congress, and Senator Beason assented to that.*

Either Senator Beason does not understand the severely broken and corrupt political system in Washington DC, how it is a main factor in the poor performance of Congress, with the lowest approval ratings in a long time, and what is needed to fix the system so that Congress will do a better job for the American people; or else he does understand such things, and he is not being forthright to Alabama voters in the 6th Congressional district about the same.

* This description of Senator Beason's response is from my memory and without having taken notes.  I will endeavor to get a transcript of his response from WAPI.

No comments:

Post a Comment