Wednesday, November 05, 2008

And The Untold Story of the Evening

Lost amidst the presidential chatter was the fact that Democratic gains in the House and Senate were not as big as they were expected to be, certainly good news for fans of divides government. But at least this story was newsworthy. Not so newsworthy was the fact that- according to my preliminary calculations- of the 400 House seats where an incumbent was up for re-election, only 17 of the 400 were defeated. That's less than 5%. I had guessed yesterday that 80 to 90% of House Reps would keep their seats. I guess I was a bit shy of the actual 96.75% retention rate.

I've heard statistics that 75% of the American people opposed the economic bailout. I don't think there was a bigger vote before our elected representatives over the past two years. Yet virtually no one chose to throw out the representatives who had voted for the bill. This is called getting what you ask for, or alternatively, getting what you deserve. Some talk about the big money in politics, others talk about partisanship, but the entrenched status of incumbents is for my money one of the biggest problems with our Democratic system. It's one thing to really like your guy, but it's another to abandon notions of democratic accountability, particularly when it comes to these sorts of big issues.


Anonymous rose said...

All comes down to who's gonna bring home the bacon. Should be lots of bacon to bring home over the next four years unfortunately and 97.5% or whatever the # was, of the same fucks who got us into this mess, will still be in charge.

4:03 PM  

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