Monday, October 6, 2008

Unlikely That We'll Throw the Bums Out

Rasmussen reports that, in the wake of the $700 billion Wall Street bailout, 59% of those polled would vote to replace the entire Congress. Given how radical Barack Obama would be as president, not only in taxing and spending but also in his suppression of criticism, it would be good for our liberty and prosperity if his power were balanced by at least one house of Congress. If every member in the House of Representatives were shown the door, the Democratic majority would become a Republican majority. The Senate is designed to be more stable in its membership, and so only one third of that body comes up for re-election every two years.

But do not hold out hope for any kind of upheaval of this sort. Public disapproval of Congress as a whole rarely translates into voters' disapproval of their own congressmen. The last electoral upending of the House was in 1994 and it was a rare event. It was a midterm election, so voters could focus their attention on congressional issues, and it happened under the gifted leadership of Republican House leader, Newt Gingrich. As we have seen in the last couple of weeks, there are no leaders of any description in Congress at this time.

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