ARCHIVE 2006 (2nd half)
The intent of this writing is to address the overall decay of the legislative branch of our government. Their decline is one devoid of values, personal conviction and absent a moral compass. Today, the American electorate no longer bases their choice for representation on qualifications, rather on which candidate did a better job of trashing his or her respective opponent.
PR is king, BS is norm, IQ is nonessential.
It is with great interest that I evaluate the actions of some conservative journalists, for whom to this point I have held in high regard and many Republican members of Congress, for whom I also had the greatest respect. Watching many in those ranks now jumping ship, “eating their own” if you will, in the face of the latest political scandal, has caused serious re-evaluation of my previous regard.
Enter the debacle of “former” Congressman Mark Foley. Congressman Foley resigned abruptly after an “overly friendly email” was made public between himself and a sixteen year old male Congressional Page. I don’t know where to draw the line on Mr. Foley’s conduct, as I witness the faux outrage from the same politicians who now excoriate the ex-Congressman, and yet fight ferociously for policies such as partial birth abortion.
Mr. Foley’s actions were an egregious breach of ethical, personal and moral conduct. Partial birth abortion is a heinous act, bordering, if not crossing the line between a medical practice and murder.
Two forces now shape the face of Congress, issues and scandal. Scandal now outranks the issues by serious orders of magnitude. Even more damning is the fact that it appears that the American people are more influenced by a juicy scandal than the qualifications to perform the duties required of elected office.
As I write, North Korea has stated that it is preparing for a nuclear test; European diplomats have declared that they have made no progress in ending Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the whole of radical Islam anticipates the collapse of our resolve. All our politicians and media can focus on however is the deviant conduct of one member of Congress.
Heaven help us if we ever have to call upon our elected body to react to actions greater than finger pointing.
To belabor the past or present ethical transgressions of politicians, many of whom still remain in either the Senate or Congress, would be both counter productive and redundant. The point is, some whose transgressions outweigh those of former Congressman Foley, continue to retain elected office and are among those now excoriating him. They long ago shattered the house of glass as it were and now throw stones with impunity.
As a rule, it would seem Congress is not motivated to perform any action that is in anyway controversial or may harm their chances for re-election. Retaining office is the prime directive in twenty first century Washington. This instinct for self-preservation has turned the body elected to implement the people’s business into a cesspool of self-serving opportunists.
Today, members of Congress are nothing more than actors, waxing appropriate for the immediate circumstance. Any true element of conviction and motivation among members of Congress is rare to non-existent. The current drama being performed by these mostly bad actors is a pathetic performance of pandering. The only thing more repugnant are the cheers they receive from an ill-informed audience.
What to expect however, from an electorate that believes the posters and marquis displayed by a partisan media. With such a potent PR team, Congress is beholden only to its marketing department. The result is an America that no longer thinks for itself, it gullibly accepts the news, broadcast, print and cable as gospel.
The truth is, we, the American people really don’t have a clue as to the truth behind the actions of Congress. Knowing that they are fully insulated from their constituents, Congress has decayed into a corrupt society. It is high time that the “grassroots” became the lawnmower!
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061004 WHY DID THE FOUNDERS OMIT TERM LIMITS ?
Our Founding Fathers visualized Congress made up of ordinary citizens, elected by their peers, to serve one, two, or three terms, then returning to their ordinary previous pusuits, such as being farmers, artisans, merchants, or other private activities. They certainly did not think of Congress as a permanent career opportunity for a class of professional politicians. In those days, Congressmen were paid only a token salary, had very poor accommodations, no perks, and very little press. The Founders knew from their English history, that tenure corrupts. They expected that elected representatives, whether good or bad, had best serve for only a brief period, and then leave office in favor of fresh faces, and fresh ideas (and be glad to go home).
The Founders did not believe legislators would or could serve forever. Voters wouldn’t allow that !
Some people think that the Founders left term limits out of the Constitution because they didn’t think it would be a good idea. Quite the contrary!. Rotation in office was a very important issue for them. It was an unfortunate incident which caused them, in 1787, to postpone deciding the issue.
During the Founders’ time under the Articles of Confederation, which did include term limits for legislators, an ugly debate occurred when the Rhode Island delegation refused to vacate their seats when their terms expired. It was the residual effects of the very bad feelings from that incident which caused the Convention to omit any reference to term limits in the new Constitution. Rather than risk undoing all their hard work with a 'failed' Convention, they opted to leave that issue for another day.
We can see that term limits was as divisive an issue then as it is today.
Apparently, for all their intellectual brilliance, the Founders never suspected that Congress would learn how to ‘beat the system’, make their jobs very rewarding, and fix it so that they could stay in their jobs indefinitely. They assumed that the voters would not let that happen, and that future voters would use Article V to amend the Constitution to include term limits in some form.
However, they made one mistake. When they composed Article V in the new Constitution, they left the ‘real power' of amendment almost completely in the hands of Congress. Thus, it is difficult for voters to get a Term Limits Amendment directly out of a very reluctant Congress, and it is difficult for voters to indirectly get Congress to call a Convention for Proposing Amendments.
It is past time for the voters to re-enter this debate, and to finish the job. Many of the Founders wanted ‘rotation in office’, but could not win it at the time. Now we can see that they were right. Congress is virtually a permanent ruling class (99% reelected in 3 of the last 4 elections!).
Voters must fight for a Congressional Term Limits Amendment.
060904 WHY THE SILENCE OF PUNDITS, EDITORS, AND BLOGGERS ?
It is a mystery to me that, in all the new ‘good government’ websites that I come across, I never find any that stress the fact that, in order to effect REAL reform, it is necessary to have a Congress made up of ‘citizen’ legislators, rather than the current crop of careerist professional politicians who grimly hang on to their jobs and the status quo. 
Additionally, in all the ‘sound and fury’ in editorials and blogs on all the issues on both sides of the political spectrum, nowhere does one see any suggestion that the overriding problems of good governance lie with the professional politicians, who are more interested in holding their seats permanently, than in constructively addressing the country's issues.
Why is there no recognition in the political media that we need Congressional Term Limits ? Why does no one recognize that Congressional service is not a legitimate permanent livelihood or career? Why do they not recognize that we need to churn the occupants of Congress to get fresh blood to keep our democracy healthy ? 
To eliminate professional politicians, it is necessary to change politics from being a livelihood or career, to merely a civic duty, where persons will try to change government for the better during a short stay, then return to private pursuits. That’s the way it was for the first 150 years of our history, before the enticements of politics became too good to give up. 
Politics as a livelihood, or a career, is a fundamental conflict of interest. When one is supposed to be a representative of the people, putting the people’s interest, or the country’s interest, before his own, he should not be in a position to be concerned about his job, or his reelection. 
In an attempt to correct this flaw in our country’s political framework, we should be stressing the idea that, to improve our government, we must change the character of our Congress, and the most direct way to do that is to enact a Congressional Term Limits Amendment. We must end the idea that Congressional service is a career, or that it is permissible to be reelected forever, even if you have the votes.
The voting public should be made aware that ever longer terms in Congress is dangerous to their freedom. Experience has shown that tenure corrupts ! And it is the duty of the editorial media and the blogosphere to end their silence, and to remind the voting public that entrenched power is dangerous.
It is toward this objective that the tenurecorrupts.com website  is dedicated. The site contains arguments (pro and con) for Congressional Term Limits, optional amendment wordings, links to similar sites, suggested actions people can take to help, etc. The site blog list has accumulated over two dozen articles on this one subject. (Boring perhaps, but focussed!). Recently, we have begun offering free Term Limits bumperstickers to all requesters. 
We would very much like to have you join us in discussions to exercise and expand on this idea, and to help spread the word !
Nelson Lee Walker
060813 READY TO VOTE OUT YOUR INCUMBENT?
If you REALLY want to get Congressional Term Limits enacted, you have got to commit to a plan of action, even if you have to hold-your-nose while doing it!
060809 A THIRD PARTY STRATEGY FOR TERM LIMITS?
I have been noticing that, in lots of elections lately, the race as been very, very tight.
060729 CONGRESSIONAL TERM LIMITS, ANYONE? APPARENTLY NOT !
But why not ? It appears that there is too much news activity going on around the world, to get anyone interested in Congressional Term Limits. Despite the fact that local and statewide term limits are sweeping our country by 75% ballot victories, it's going to require some kind of ‘bombshell’ to get Congressional Term Limits any kind of respect from the national editorial media, or the blogs. Nobody writes about it. Why so?
During the past 50 years, Congress has managed to improve its ability to get reelected close to 100% of the time, as compared to less than 60% in the previous 180 years. As a result, getting elected to Congress has practically become a lifetime ‘appointment’, just like the Supreme Court! Doesn't anyone consider a permanently 'elected' Congress a danger to our republic? Everyone 'knows' that tenure corrupts.
Nelson Lee Walker
(Bio) Who am I? My name is Nelson Lee Walker, retired engineer, 85 yrs young, who is determined to make a difference for our country. I'd like your help.
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