“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Petty Tyrants & Tin Ears

I chanced upon an acquaintance recently who is a local elected municipal official. Not having seen him since November, I asked him, a Republican, if he were pleased with the GOP House majority?

He sort of wrinkled his nose, and said words to this effect,

'Do you mean the Tea Partiers? No.'

I quickly mentioned my attendance at two Capitol Hill Tea Party events, which quieted him. Then I cautioned him that failure to listen to and satisfy active, angry voters like me would make the GOP a minority party once more.

As we discussed the root causes of political ineffectiveness, I opined, as in some of my prior posts, that much would be accomplished with a single Constitutional amendment limiting terms for Congress and all federal judiciary, adding that health care and pensions should be revoked for Congress. He quickly attempted to disabuse me of this, citing certain corruption by said officials to top up their desired compensation.

Is this not the height of arrogance and insensitivity? A record number of House seats were lost by Democrats, not to mention the larger tide of state legislative seats, and an old-style Republican local pol lectures me on paying Congress appropriately, or they'll steal the rest from us under the table!

Worse, this local official sees the Tea Party as one of those undesired, uncontrolled forces of voter passion which spoil his quiet world of largely anonymous labors with little oversight.

This is why we need to all, regardless of our partisan leanings, become more engaged in the political process and collaborate to more closely examine what is done by elected and appointed officials in our names, with our tax dollars.

Local elected officials like my acquaintance feel, I am sure, that they are doing us all a favor. But not when they deride a movement which simply seeks a return to Constitutional limits and more accountability for spending.

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