Posted by: distributorcap | March 13, 2010

Venn Diagrams

Did you know no matter what the government does – it is an automatic disqualifier for re-election?

Everyday on the Ed Schultz Show, Schultz poses a choice question about some hot-button or chatted-about issue of the day. Yesterday his question was (and I paraphrase) – “What does Congress care more about – your health or getting re-elected?”

I ask – how the hell are those two concepts mutually exclusive?

I don’t fault Ed Schultz for asking the question – because he is dead-on correct. Too many times we hear (from the usual suspects in the cess pool punditoria – that Congressmen (both Representatives and Senators) can’t vote a certain way or can’t do a certain thing – EVEN IF IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO – because it will hurt their re-election chances.

How does helping people get health care hurt election chances, even in districts that are more Republican them Democratic? How does cleaning the environment, voting for unemployment benefits, improving education – all relatively non-controversial issues make one unelectable? How does doing the right thing for a majority of your constituents, voters and Americans constantly get labeled as the wrong thing for re-election?

This is not a new MO from the media, this is something that has gone on for years. My favorite was the media line that voting against any war issue would give you the Scarlet letter – even when a majority of the nation was against the war. I cannot believe that any Congressional district in the US actually has a majority of people who will NOT benefit from various aspects of Health care reform. I remember hearing constantly from Cokie Roberts (when I could her without wretching) how this one and that one were sealing their electoral fate by voting for something that actually could benefit people.

I am convinced that a big majority of Congressional votes are cast based more on what the media will say about those votes, not what the people back home need. Don’t you remember the media circus around Rep Cao’s (R-La.) aye vote on Health care? He bucked his party in favor of his constituents. Not only were the GOP elders pissed, the media jumped on the bandwagon and kept the vilification narrative going – instead of talking about how his voters might want this.

Of course I can see Republicans – who will benefit from a passed Health care bill – voting against their Democratic representative, but that is because no matter what the Democrat does, the GOP-voter will cast the ballot for his party. But in districts full of Democrats and Independents, how is giving 30,000,000+ coverage and stopping the abuse of pre-existing conditions going to hurt comes election time?

This is just more nonsense from the media. Since the media likes to set the tone (especially Fox News and the conservative media types – but not exclusive to the right) who likes to keep the drama and controversy going. It would be so boring to keep reporting the Legislative branch is actually helping the citizens and that any Congressman is doing something positive. Everything (and I mean everything – even when not appropriate) from the media is framed in the negative. Negative sells Pepsis and Tide, positive does not.

You will almost never hear that the Health Care bill will help millions of Americans – only how much it costs and how much the Republicans hate it (or rather just hate Obama). You will never hear how education reform could actually help kids – only how much it costs and how the religious right hate it. You never hear the people like Anthony Wiener and Alan Grayson are actually telling the truth and bringing points to light – only that their actions will kill their re-election chances. Hell, we were hearing about how Obama couldn’t get re-elected before he was even sworn in.

According to the media, the only things you can do to get re-elected are bring back pork and love war.

So I am glad I got that all straightened out – that doing the right thing or the good thing or the popular thing or the helpful thing – is the unelectable thing. Now I feel so much better, As The Stomach Turns continues on for its 234th season.

What a country. And by the way – I would venture to say the 80% or more of all votes cast in Congress are based MORE on how the respective parties and media will react – and NOT about what the voters back home care about.



  1. Hi Cap;Well put. By the very nature of politics and a good majority of them lawyers kneeling at the feet of party leaders once elected, the only thing we can be assured of is hypocrisy.From the time the Europeans landed in America searching for a better life and escaping the feudal system back home, the double dealing has been going on.The Indians were the first victims.The system is broke and no one has the real balls, resources and capability to fix it.How will common sense and compassion prevail with the system set up the way it is?Doesn't matter which side of the isle a person is on, it has to be frustrating.Most Americans I know are reasonable, intelligent and kind people lead by an incompetent system of governance.This is the 21st century and they act like kids, pretending to be leaders.

  2. PS. Happy birthday to your grandma.

  3. DCap, I voted in that text poll for being reelected. What make$ it valid i$ actually the factor that drive$ election$ more than any other $ingle thing. Can you gue$$ what that i$?

  4. CappyPower corruptsAbsolute power corrupts absolutelyGreat men are almost always bad menWhat to do…..The only fix I seeTerm limitsWelcome to the United Corporate Statesof AmericaIn China we believe..

  5. most of ed schultz's polls are just as stupid as faux news's polls. we know what the results are going to be before a single vote is in. the good thing is that most people don't listen to the punditocracy. they watch the news on the major networks instead of the opinion crap on the cable shows. it's really up to each individual rep or senator to reach out to his or her constituency and tell them the truth. they need to actually stay in touch with what they are feeling and what they're going through. if there are a lot of unemployed people in your district, explain to them why health care reform will impact their lives in a positive way. if unemployment is not the problem, then explain that they'll be able to keep their kids on their policy until they're 26 and how they won't have to worry about losing their coverage if they switch jobs. who won't like hearing that their insurance company can't arbitrarily raise their rates until insurance is just unaffordable?

  6. Good post as always. I had a line on my blog from someone who said we are no longer a two party system, we are an Establishment government. That pretty much sums it up. Until voters get off their ass and vote for a third party with strength to face the corporate governors who control Congress and even the White House, we will continue to be debased and trek our way to the new Zimbabwe. It's just around the corner.

  7. Will Rogers told us long ago, "We have the best congress money can buy."I would amend this to, "We have the WORST Congress money can buy."

  8. Good post.I think most politicians enter politics with at least semi-good intentions, but they quickly get used to the power and they start to plan their reelections, putting partisanship and personal gain before constituents.Rather than term limitations, maybe politicians who keep running year after year should have to win by increasingly larger margins.HAHAHAHA! As if.

  9. I've pretty much given up on politics for now, excuse my gross generalization but I really don't see many people in and out of government looking for or even wanting answers to the problems we face. Maybe its just me but most seem to only to keep old or imaginary wounds open and act like victims. Heaven forbid they actually sacrifice a little to help others or just think beyond their own narrow interests.

  10. OT: Sorry I deleted a couple of your comments. It's been a rough day.

  11. I often find myself voting for the "least worst"… there have been many times I am sick of my congressman constantly wielding the APPROVED stamp for war funding, then when election time comes, his opponent is an even worse douche bag. I do wonder if anyone good enough to be in office is smart enough to stay out?

  12. I hate math. :o(

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