by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
I’m told that the public is “angry” at today’s politicians. Eighty-two percent disapprove of the job Congress is doing. So will Tuesday’selection bring a big shakeup?
No. Congressional reelection rates never drop below 85 percent.
The last big “wave” election was 1994, when Democrats lost control of both houses. The media called it a “revolution,” and the late Peter Jennings from ABC likened Americans to 2-year-olds throwing a tantrum.
Even that year, the reelection rate was 90 percent.
Matt Kibbe of the group FreedomWorks and Hadley Heath Manning of Independent Women’s Forum came on my show to say they don’t believe that this will be the year voters “throw the bums out.”
Incumbents have all sorts of built-in advantages, said Manning: “Once you’re in office, you have network ties, usually with a big party organization, usually with other officeholders. You have ties to donors who have helped you in your previous round of fundraising.”
In the U.S., she says, “we don’t have kings, (but) we still have political dynasties.”
Politicians in office game the system to make it tougher for outsiders to challenge them. They always talk about getting money out of politics. They don’t mean getting taxpayer money out of their own end of politics — all those privileges such as government mailings and websites and broadcasting facilities right in the Capitol Building. No, the money they want to limit is outsiders‘ money.
When Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) says “this money is suffocating the airwaves, silencing the voices of the many,” she means she wants to prevent private groups funding political messages that sometimes criticize people like her. Expensive TV ads might allow unknown challengers to break through. Can’t have that.