Saturday, August 8, 2009

Politicians are Tools

Apparently White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel and Sen Ben Nelson(D-NE) are both upset that progressive groups are running ads pressuring Democratic members of Congress to vote for a more progressive health care bill. 

Let me put this as bluntly as possible, politicians are tools that people use to get their government to do what the electorate wants.  Public pressure is one of the methods that people use to get their elected tools to work and actually do what they were sent to Washington to do.

Left to their own device most politicians would not do anything.  The quickest way to get unwanted attention in Washington is to do something.  Watch C-SPAN 2 for a day and you will see that the average day in the Senate is marked by speeches and the calling of the roll.

There is a story about Franklin Roosevelt meeting with a bunch of activist types who were lobbying on behalf of a particular bill.  President Roosevelt told them, "I agree with you, I want to do it, Now go make me do it."  Washington politicians make a good salary and their jobs come with some great perks.  If they don't want to be made to do what they were sent to Washington to do then they should find a different line of work.  Many of the amendments in the Constitution, especially the ones concerning freedom of assembly, speech, and petition, grant the people the untrammeled right to pressure politicians.  If politicians don't like that fact, they ought to leave Washington before they break their oaths to support and defend the constitution.

To put this in language that Rahm can understand, "Shut the f*ck up and listen to the people."

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