Tuesday, November 1, 2016

So much for a change

To everyone who is calling for change this political season. Sorry, but I think you’re lying. You say you want to shake up the system. To change the way things are done in Washington. I'm calling bullshit. The President only has so much power - he (or she) can propose and advocate for the changes everyone says they want, but aside from some (hopefully) limited executive powers, real change happens in the halls of Congress.

I hear a LOT of people from both parties talking about how Congress is broken. Overall, approval ratings of Congress are so low that we’re reading them in decimal points. Negotiation and cooperation across party lines, which are pretty much essential for getting things done, have become symbols of weakness. The next Congress hasn't even started yet, and the incumbents are already bragging about how obstructionist they are going to be. Yet everyone keeps putting this collection of clowns back into the car.  They hate Congress, but they like THEIR Congressman/woman.

Consider this:

All 435 House seats are up for grabs. Incumbents are trying for reelection in 394 of those races. Only 5 of those incumbents lost in their party's primary, and just 24 races are considered to be even possibly competitive for the incumbent (according to Ballotpedia).

But what about the Senate, where everyone keeps talking about a flip-flop and “big changes” because the teeter-totter of control might switch by one or two members? There are 34 Senate races taking place this year. Incumbents are running in 29 of them, and in 20 are safe bets for reelection. But in 3 of the 9 races that are competitive, the incumbent is running against one of the 12 House members who decided to try for something bigger. House members also account for at least one of the contestants in each of the 5 "open" races."

So what it boils down to folks... we had 469 opportunities to make a change, and it looks like we're going to blow most of them.  Unless people go to the polls, forget about party lines and just say NO to every incumbent, come January, anywhere from 83-90% of the current crop of bozos will be coming back to dish up some more dysfunction.

Welcome to your change, America. This is your circus. These are your clowns.