Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Dangers of Complacency

In the euphoria over the election of Scott Brown to be interim senator in Massachusetts, we find an attitude of “we won” and the job is done. Well, the job is not done. It has only just begun. It may well be a suitable beginning but it is no more than that. Today, we are ten votes away from the simple majority it takes to prevail on the most elementary procedural votes. Please keep in mind that the vice-president (Joe Biden, D-Delaware) presides over the senate and votes in case of a tie. All that has been accomplished is the prevention of major legislation being forced over our thin forces in that body.

The principal accomplishment in Brown’s election was putting the fear of God and the electorate, in many Democrat senators that their own seats were in jeopardy. They rightly assume that if a sacred and solid seat cannot be protected by the Obama-Reid-Pelosi cabal then that is solid evidence that they might be happier on K-street as lobbyists. Then they wouldn’t have to put up with those pesky nosy voters.

With the knowledge of expanded electioneering in today’s politics, the last year of a senate term and nearly half of a representative’s tenure is occupied on the stump. With the next election a scant ten months away, their major concern is keeping the feed-bag well strapped in place and full. Like most workers, they live from payday to payday only in this case it’s from election to election. Have we so soon forgotten the perpetual election of 2007-8 with little else on TV? Actually, the damage done by congress is somewhat lessened by their preoccupation with the electoral process.

Cries of “term limits now” are largely wasted until we have a few more in those valuable seats that have a remembrance of who sent them there and what their purpose is. The Tea Party movement, abetted by the threat of an emergent third party, has their attention if not the abiding fear it should cause. That fear will only last so long as we keep their feet to the fire and insist on some semblance of patriotism. If you hope to awaken on a November morning and see the congress inhabited by Patrick Henrys, The Adams, and other notables from the past to pursue the original objectives of the founders, think again. Some will be imbued with those noble aspirations to restore originalism to the building but some will secretly harbor visions of latter day sinecure by duplicity.

That is the reason we must never yield to complacency. We must take nothing for granted and keep our skepticism honed to a razor’s edge. Regardless of party, we must keep our eyes wide open and be ever on the alert for any deviance from the campaign’s lofty promises and the actuality of governance. There must be a prevailing attitude of watchfulness and supervision to be certain we get what we paid for. All newly elected or re-elected persons must be kept aware of our watchful eye. “It’s a job and you do have a boss” should be our constant theme. This is not a call for overbearing supervision but rather the constant suggestion that we, the people, are watching what it is going on. You will not be punching a clock but your every vote, junket, and ear mark will be monitored. Fiscal irresponsibility will not be tolerated.

This will require some inconvenience on the part of the legislator’s unpaid supervisors. It will necessitate communication, visitation, and constant reminders for them “to dance with the ones that brung ‘em.” Plainly stated, we, as citizens have a duty to our neighbors and to our new leadership to be part of the management team. No one ever said cleaning the Augean stables was an easy job. All we have to do is, “git ‘er done.”

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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