We’ve all heard the saying “It’s lonely at the top.”
But, in Washington, it’s also dangerous at the top, just as the Democratic majority party is finding out.
For the last eight years (and the gnashing of teeth and angry declarations from then-minority Democrats), Republican leaders had to undergo constant investigations, critques and demands for ouster for abuses and ethics problems.
Now, Democrats are suffering the same fate. House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel has been disciplined and forced out of his chairmanship for ethics violations and failure to pay taxes. And now, a brand-new Democratic House member is resigning for what he says are health problems; however, he has been accused of sexually harassing a male staffer. He denies those allegations.
Yet, his sudden departure after only two years in office is suspect, even if he is suffering some health issues.
The Republicans wince remembering the likes of Mark Foley, the Florida Republican congressman who resigned after sending inappropriate electronic messages to underage House pages. Also, former House Speaker Tom Delay and others ran into ethics troubles when the Republicans were in power.
What is it about the culture of Washington politics that turns some people into crooks, thieves, abusers and liars? When the Republicans were in office, the hateful Democrats wanted to sweep every Republican with the same tainted brush. I’m sure the hateful Republicans will want to do the same with the Democrats now getting into troubles.
Meanwhile, the ideologues are taking over the reins of government and forcing impossible and expensive proposals down the throats of Americans.
Washington has been bad for many years; but, now its nearly impossible to get good government done because they’re only interested in protecting their own power.
It doesn’t seem to matter which party is in power, that power is corrupting them. And, its becoming increasingly clear to the American people that the U.S. lawmakers have done a horrible job of oversight, protection, budgeting, expense efficiency -- the list goes on and on.
It seems like sending someone to Congress is almost as much of a risk as sending an 18-year-old away to college for the first time with a brand new unlimited credit card. Yet, we think these people are capable of overseeing and putting regulations on the private sector?
And, then, a guy like Sen. Jim Bunning gets demonized for doing exactly what needs to be done -- demanding how new spending will be paid for. Even though that spending is honorable because it helps troubled Americans with jobless benefits, these are questions that our lawmakers NEED to demand answers to.
The American people are getting tired of it, and the winds of dissent are starting to pick up. But, simply sending a new party to power every few years won’t change it.
Good, decent and honest people have to run for office, and they have to LIMIT their time there. It’s time for term limits in the federal government. That’s the only way to begin changing this culture of corruption. Any candidate for federal office who pledges to introduce legislation for term limits should get a second and third look by the American voters.