The Coming “War” Against Incumbents In Congress: Is It Good For America?

The anger among the American people is strong, based upon recent polls, and the indications are that we are about to see more incumbents, those already in office, losing their seats than possibly at any time in American history! This, along with retirements, portends more turnover than is customary!

Already, Republican Senator Bob Bennett of Utah, and Democratic Congressman Alan Mollohan of West Virginia, have lost their seats, and the evidence is strong that Senate Democrats Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas are in deep trouble in their primary contests coming up on May 18, as well as Republican John McCain of Arizona in his primary in August!

Other Democrats are in trouble in November including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, and those Republicans who are not facing election in the fall are getting hints that they will be fought against when they come up for reelection in the future–including Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Orrin Hatch of Utah, and even Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky!

While this is an attack particularly, it seems, on Democrats, even Republicans who have been on Capitol Hill for too long and are seen as not conservative enough, are therefore at risk! Kentucky is seeing Rand Paul, favored by outgoing Senator Jim Bunning as his replacement, attacking Senator McConnell as if he were his opponent! This could be because McConnell is favoring Trey Grayson, seen by many as the “establishment” candidate, while Rand Paul, the son of Ron Paul, libertarian Congressman from Texas, is seen as the hero of the Tea Party Movement!

So with the decision of many Republicans and Democrats to retire, and many others facing defeat, there will be a lot of new members of Congress come next January, probably at least close to 50-60, meaning more than ten percent of Congress!

This is not necessarily better, as although new blood can be a good thing, the problem is that the likelihood is that we will see much more gridlock and stalemate, and more refusal to “cross the aisle” to cooperate on legislation, than we have now! The John McCain and Orrin Hatch style of bipartisanship at times may be gone for good, and the country will suffer as a result, as the chasm between the parties, and between the Congress and the President will only grow!

So the American people will continue to be angry, and the likelihood is further defeat of incumbents in future elections! Flux and chaos is likely in the halls of Congress, in a way not seen since the era leading up to the Civil War in the mid 19th century!

Is this good for America–the housecleaning? In the short run, it may satisfy, but in the long run, it is detrimental to the smooth functioning of American democracy! 🙁

One comment on “The Coming “War” Against Incumbents In Congress: Is It Good For America?

  1. spinnikerca May 13, 2010 11:04 am

    No offense, but I think you are applying the wrong analyses.

    Compromising principles to ‘get things done’ is what got us into this mess. Coalitions, rather than compromises, can be formed which would much better serve the interests of the people. Rand Paul could work with principled progressives against the Patriot Act and FISA, for example. The mushy middle never would.

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