Thursday, September 29, 2011

Those Darned Elections

Earlier this week, we had former Obama OMB Director Peter Orszag extolling the virtues of less democracy.  Now we have an elected Democrat throwing out the same idea, and suggesting a good way to implement it...
Speaking to a Cary Rotary Club today, N.C. Gov. Bev Perdue suggested suspending Congressional elections for two years so that Congress can focus on economic recovery and not the next election.

"I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won't hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover. I really hope that someone can agree with me on that," Perdue said. "You want people who don't worry about the next election."

The comment -- which came during a discussion of the economy -- perked more than a few ears. It's unclear whether Perdue, a Democrat, is serious -- but her tone was level and she asked others to support her on the idea.
The audio backs up the idea that she wasn't joking, which officially makes Perdue's suggestion dumber than Orszag's.  Let us coun...

1.  Orszag's a policy wonk; while those people sometimes run for office (see Warren, Elizabeth), they usually stay on the technocratic theorietical side of the world and avoid trying to get elected.  When they do, they often flounder because they say things that are as dumb as this (see Warren, Elizabeth).  But Perdue is a professional politician and elected official who's suggesting that we suspend elections.   This makes her statement, even if off the cuff, several hundred times dumber than Orszag's article.

2.  Perdue's suggestion doesn't even have merit as something that might work.  Since when does making politicians less accountable to the electorate lead to better policy?  Do dictatorships and the old Soviet model of Communism have a brilliant track record of giving the populace what they want?  Does Perdue really believe that our elected officials, if insulated from the potential to be voted out of office, suddenly bail on their principles?  If so, we're electing the wrong people to office.  If a policy is opposed by your constiuents but you think it's a good idea, your job is to vote for it and then explain (convincingly, you hope) why you voted for it.  If you can't explain why it's a good thing, then maybe it isn't (see Obamacare).

3.  Why do Democrats hate democracy so much?  Shouldn't the party change its name?

4.  Perdue's statement is telling of the problem Democrats have with regard to media bias.  If a Republican had suggested in the Bush years that we do something like this, they would have been filleted and forced to apologize, even if it was a joke.  But Democrats are used to the media covering for them, so they let loose with the inner thoughts they have about how the world would be a better place if they could just manage the country and the stupid citizens would just listen quietly and agree with whatever brilliant strategem the elite had developed.

5.  As a bottom line matter, this really comes down to Democrats suddenly running headlong into reality -- people are now opposed to bigger government, even if they like a lot of the goodies they're getting from it.  They don't want to pay for it.  The GOP base has adopted a simple position grounded in reality, which is that we need to cut back because we can't pay for it.  The Democrats keep pretending that they can raise taxes on the rich enough to cover the freight, when reality says they need to raise them across the board.  Perhaps if they didn't hold elections, they could raise more revenue through taxes to keep the big government they want to support.

6.  Hey, any excuse to post a classic Simpsons moment.  Apparently Homer agrees with orszag and Perdue...

7.  Here's hoping Perdue learns why democracy works next fall, when she's voted out of office.

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