Monday, May 19, 2014

Framing the question

In my interview with Matt Murphy this morning (podcast not yet posted; update posted now here), the question came up about how kaput is Congress, whether its condition is within historical norms for Congress, and whether there thus is nothing new to get much agitated about (as I am clearly agitated about in my campaign). I acknowledged that my campaign can blow up to the extent there is nothing new about Congress to get bothered about.

I pointed out again that no one seems willing to respond to, or comment on, my campaign charges. This includes Senators Shelby and Sessions, Representative Bachus, and all six of the other candidates. Further, I am not aware of any evaluation of my campaign charges having been made by notable, local political commentators, such as Professor Natalie Davis, John Archibald, and Kyle Whitmire.

In the interview with Matt I solicited again for the six other candidates to give some response to my campaign charges, and that Professor Davis, John Archibald and Kyle Whitmire provide the voters with the benefit of their evaluation of my charges.

Here is a suggested framing of the question for all of those persons to consider:

Do you think that something is wrong with the functioning (or non-functioning) of Congress that calls for the special attention of the American people and of Congress? In answering this question, please give consideration to the following:

Please consider what problems others are seeing and what they are advocating. such as or related to (i) the MayOne citizen's super PAC, (ii) the Convention of States Project, (iii) MoveToAmemd and other organizations which have been spawned in response to the Citizens United decision, and (iv) The Government By The People Act.

Please say how significant a problem you think there is. If you think there is a significant problem, please indicate whether there are any ideas or approaches that you particularly agree with for trying to fix the problem. Please indicate whether you think it is sufficient to allow all the various efforts going on to play out in their own course, or whether a grand, national undertaking should be pursued, such as what I am advocating or such as Lessig's "moonshot."

Please indicate the extent to which you think Congress is currently kaput and unable to address the big problems of the debt, etc., confronting the country. Please project what you think will happen in 2015 and 2016 assuming the Republicans win the Senate, and the extent to which you think that will result in Congress and the President (taking into account the President's veto power) proceeding to address the country's problems in a way better than evidenced during the past ten years or so.

For the candidates, as regards fixing what is wrong with Congress, the alleged regulatory excesses of the government, and the way Washington works, do you wish at this time to expand in any way on what you have been talking about in the campaign, to wit, (i) send the right person to Washington, (ii) pound harder on Obama and the Democrats, (iii) push activities of the Federal government down to the local level (Palmer), and (iv)  introduce legislative bills about term limits, banning retired Congressmen from lobbying, and making Congress subject to the same laws as the rest of the American people? Do you stand on those as the only things that the voters in the 6th Congressional district need to think about, and they need not bother themselves with any of the above mentioned efforts and activities of other persons around the country, and they need not bother thinking about what I am advocating? Do you have and will you have nothing further to say on this?

For Professor Davis, John Archibald, Kyle Whitmire: I hope you consider the above worthy of evaluating for the benefit of the voters, and you will do an evaluation of the same for voters in due course.

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