Poll: A divided Capitol Hill

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  • Jodie Linsin

    congress is daycare for the those who would call themselves public servants…nothing will change without the money gone and AT LEAST 75% women in the blessed halls…women should rule…men have just screwed it up for so long…we are tired, so tired of cleaning up yur messes…Jodie Linsin

  • Ann Hicks

    I believe the Occupy movement and such other people-powered initiatives will force a change. As a people, we are in a better position to effect change.

  • Chip Howe

    I HAD A DREAM that the Tea Party united with the Occupy/99% People Movement resulting in a 99% Congressional turnover

  • Chascates

    Congress can never be fixed until public-funded campaign ONLY is mandated by law. This would take a Constitutional amendment to avert First Amendment issues but until the hand of the wealthy is removed the tilt will always be toward them. Another issue that must be addressed is the price charged by the media for campaign advertisement. Cable and internet broadcasting have changed the argument that the airwaves are a public trust but there has to be a set rate, possibly an average of comparable non-political ads, that must be charged.

  • space

    The hill is not supposed to be “fixed” it was designed not to work but to compromise.

  • Lucian J. Leone

    The next election must provide the voters with a renewed, or perhaps “new”, sense of trust and
    hope in the democratic principles which have made our country a beacon of desire to millions of
    people. And a reading of American history can help the cause immensely. I would recommend
    that every congressman read a biography of Abraham Lincoln – a man who knew both personal
    and political strife and personal suffering, yet managed so eloquently and poignantly to speak
    our country during its darkest hours. His message was about healing our differences and to become
    united, and to do good deeds – for all Americans.

  • Rkhallen

    I think that the Congress is for sale to the highest bidder. Both Democrats and Republicans represent their election funders or hardline extreme party positions, not their constituants or the best interest of our citzens. I think that corporations are not people, that the political debate is too coarse and dumbed down which pollutes citizens’ ways of treating one another. Our national education system is a mess; our financial system is corrupt; we do not care for all of our veterans as well as we should. There is too much of a gap between the so called 1% and 99% of the population.

  • Marion Olson

    If it were possible to take money out of the electoral process, we would have a very different Congress.  And if it weren’t a given that any candidate would be subject to the vitriol of a campaign, it might be possible to get more people to run for public office.  We need a higher level of altruism and intelligence, and less personal wealth in our elected representatives.

  • Reggaemolasses

    Excellent program tonight.  Unfortunately it did not improve my cynical outlook about our corrupt and dysfunctional Congress. 

  • Bob

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely and we’ve finally arrived at that point.  Money is an addiction that few, if any, have ever kicked voluntarily.  Our Congress no longer serves to legislate, but they now serve to become wealthier individuals, get all that they can while they can.  I never would have dreamed in a million year when I was growing up in the 1950s that we would come to this.  

  • Jwasplund

    If you take corporations, unions and pacs money out of the elections, congress can change.  Congress should live under the same rules we, the public, do.

  • Paul Hanson

    Limiting contributers to those persons who can vote for the candidate involved would go a long ways toward getting the control of the election back in the hands of the voters and not of the dollars.  And a person in New York should NOT be able to contribute to a candidate in North Carolina; it’s not a matter of free speech; s/he cannot VOTE for a North Carolinian–that would be illegal, so s/he should not be able to contribute to that person.  

  • Exkabex

    I voted that fixing congress depends on the next election but that requires electing candidates who are ethical and not subject to the political/lobbyist machine;  fat chance in filling that requirement.

  • Geoperegrino

    At 8:27 PM Mountain time you made it clear  you were leaving it up to your (probably liberal, like myself) viewers, to say that the 40% and growing plurality, will team with others on both sides to form a progressive revolution that will throw the bastards out.  I wish. I wish.

  • Dudley

    Can Congress be fixed?  I have to say yes.  If Congress can not fix Congress how in the heck can we seriously expect them to face issues confronting this country? Congress can fix Congress if they want too.  It is totally within their grasp.  The question should be “Does Congress have the grit to fix what is within their control?”

  • Ken Viste

    I don’t think it can change because its in our culture. Politics to most people is a big game like football. You pick your favorite team and let the big money cheerleaders build you up to an emotional high. Who scores and wins is everything. People vote for their party regardless of the quality of the candidate or his ideas. “He may be a corrupt fool but he’s our corrupt fool” is the reason to vote for a candidate. Until people refuse to be swayed by lavish emotironal TV ads and talk shows, we will have the same congress we have now. If people didn’t fall far all the emotional hogwash that goes for political ads, the money that pays for the ads would not be spent. The only hope I have is that people will turn off the political propaganda and that  the candidates with littloe TV money win elections based on reasonableness of their stand on issues.

  • Christian

    We need a government that any one can run and have a chance to get elected the 2 party system is broken. Take all the $ out of politics and have only real people in your district able to give you $ and no one else. 
     

  • Dudley

    Their were others who warned us about the kind of Congress we have to day.  George Washington and Thomas Jefferson just to start with our Nation’s birth.

  • http://whilewestillhavetime.blogspot.com/ John Hamilton

    It’s a silly question. Anything can be fixed. I take a minimally Buddhist viewpoint. Everything in the Universe is impermanent. There was a time before Congress, and there will be a time after. It is an institution made by men. Men can remake it. It worked in various ways before. It can work in various ways again, and in new ways.

    We have a toxic cultural mix, at least in regard to mass communications media. TV caters to base emotional appeal and crudity. It isn’t just Fox News, but the “entertainment” programs as well. Combined with this is a Congress that is completely bought and paid for, and is self-enabled to insider trade on stock information.

    Because the members of the Supreme Court are appointed by a paid-for president, and approved by a paid-for Senate, we in-effect have a paid-for Supreme Court. This paid-for Supreme Court proved that it is paid-for by declaring that corporations are persons.

    Our economy is collapsing, and our climate is going haywire. Our paid-for Congress (and president) are too busy being paid-for to do anything about these problems. An unsustainable, infinite growth economic system will eventually fail, and a climate getting more erratic will eventually make life as we know it untenable. By that time our corrupt Congress will have gone into a new mode. The executive and judicial branches also will not be like they are today, if they exist at all. Or, to put it more succinctly, events will overtake.

  • Anonymous

    Correct the national mistake of voting for Barack Obama, replace Congressmen who vote to increase the debt on our grandchildren and refuse to face essential reforms and spending cuts.

  • Leanda554

    Congress can not be fixed until the war between the Repubs and Dems is resolved.

  • Bpcovey

    Congress cannot fix Congress………The people [millions] must march on washington with a list of changes and remain there until the list is made into law…….

  • Patti Wagen

    We need a constitutional ammendment to limit campaign contributions and campaign spending.  When congress spends its time governing and not fundraising, then congress can be listening to the people.

  • Not2stress

    We need our federal representatives in Congress to receive their salary from the state they represent along with housing in D.C. so that each member realizes they are responsible not to their political party but to the citizens of the state they represent. The problem is about accountability.

  • William_Drury

    Term limits for congressmen and senators are needed. No more “professional” politicians please.
     
    The president should have one 5 year term, Senators two 5 year term, and Congressmen no more than three 2 year terms.
     
    Each state should have one male and one female Senator.
     
    Money and lobbyists need to be eliminated from the political process. Pacs should also be outlawed.
     
    Corporations are not people and should not be able to use their monies to impact political candidates and law making.

    There is no need for political parties, most voters are now independents.
     
    All congress people should not have large salaries, special perks and special medical insurance.
     
    The idea of a virtual congress sounds great and technologically available, given the Internet 
    and other technologies such as Skype.  Keeping our representatives in their local districts and not in Washington DC makes a lot of sense.
     
    The idealogical gridlock in Congress is very harmful to our country and the World’s view of our country.

  • Hamiltondl

    If we can remove the privileged status and entitlement attitude from the mix and return Washington career politicians to the ranks of the masses, then we may be able to make some improvements. As long as a few moneyed, lobbying entities can sway the most influential body in the world, we will simply get more of the same. 

  • Jsucke3

    Whatever happened to persons of good will?

  • Al

    Until the need for such vast sums of contribution money is removed, the congress will truly only represent their wealthy masters. Could it ever really be any other way? 

  • Al

    Remove private money from elections. Constitutional limits of 8 years for president, senator, and representative ( Thank you very much for your service…..now go home! ). Balanced budgets to become law. These ideas might go a long way in improving our federal government.

  • Al

    Well said!

  • Al

    I should say, like the president. I should also have said, TRUE balanced budgets. Our government needs mechanisms to control the economy, but let them do it without manipulating, or supporting, a huge public debt.

  • jan

    You need to add an “I don’t know yet” or “That remains to be seen” option.  I plan to vote against the Congressperson that I voted in at the last election. 

    My personal thumbnail sketch of Washington would be of republicans who continue to demonstrate insanity in motion and democrats who are effectively portraying weakness alternated with republican-like catering to the wealthy.  The end result is that no one is representing anything remotely close to what I think should be represented. 

    The gap between what Congress thinks is going on and the reality that so many of us are living with and seeing around us is incredible.  Perhaps Mr. Kirn has the right idea with his virtual Congress.  I don’t know.  I have very few answers.  Certainly removing money from elections and removing lobbyists from Capitol Hill would be a start.   

  • Kelly

    I was surprised there was no mentioned Grover Norquist and his ridiculous hostage like pledge. Norm Ornstein made reference to it by the tactics that are employed if a congressman /woman votes in the interest of the nation and not of the 1%, but that pledge has much to do with the inaction of Congress today.

    I believe you can fix congress, it is up to the people to vote and vote out those who do not have the interest of their constituents or communities and building the nation.

  • Stephen B.

     As long as you have BIG money (citizens united & K street) pumping insane amounts of money into a group of over two hundred cash whores(and i mean no disrespect to actual whores) they are never going to vote against their best interest,which happens to be making money not laws or the best interest of the poor and middle class aka the common man or women. So i don’t believe anything good can come from our representatives any time soon.

  • Dolores Woodruff

    And also go home without their big perks that continue far after they are out of office. The President also…. they have to be well-healed to even get elected in our society today…. congress could help solve the defecit buy giving back a little of their perks and trying to complmize, Like Ronald Reagenand Tip O’Neil did!!

  • Anonymous

    Congress as presently constituted by the our Constitution can not be fixed.
    1. Members of Congress do not in any rational manner represent citizens of the country. Technically they are representative from political geographic areas.
    2. Individual are mostly represented by special interest organizations and then only a limited percent of the citizen and also represented poorly. A recent Rasmussen pole indicates that only 17% of Americans agree that the government has their consent, a goal explicit in the Constitution.
    3. Majority or plurality voting assures that there can be only two effective political parties in which one wins and the other loses. This dramatically reduces a citizen’s ability to be represented by an individual who would be their best choice.
    4. Having only two effective political parties reduces the incentive to compromise (particularly on the basis of strong principles), since there is a reasonable probability of gaining majority power and thus “save” the country.
    5. Presently most law does not have majority approval, but is bundled in massive legislation consisting of collections of special interest rules. How much of the individual law would pass national referendum?
    6. The Constitution is broken and should be replaced. A new constitution should be structured so that voting is promoted by assuring that every citizen is represented by an individual of their sincere choice. That there is no incentive or mechanism for special interest lobbying. Prohibitive lobbying laws do not and can not work. That legislation is approved by an overwhelming percentage of citizens. 90%?
    7. While any number of constitutions might be developed that would achieve these conditions, I offer one possibility at http://www.thegoodgovernmentproject.org.

  • Patricia

    It is presently expected on the Republican side of the aisle that one be intractable, and that behavior has to become unfashionable. Newt Gindrich is responsible for this and he certainly should not be nominated for President. He is the most destructive man in politics today and always has been. He is also delusional. He seems to believe his own publicity. Republicans demand, and Democrats apease! My God, it is so weird.

  • Tom Morro

    Congress can be fixed because it must be fixed.  As poorly as the present Congress “works”, history demonstrates that Congress will change if their constituents demand it.  That requires a greater number of people deciding that they can make a difference by exercising their franchise.  Occupy and the Tea Party both should make voter registration and education their primary goals.  On election day both movements should undertake to get out the vote, competing with the major parties’ efforts to do the same.

  • Merick

    According to prominent historians, including David Kennedy at Stanford, our government was designed by wealthy, powerful men to protect  the interests of their class, which it does very well. It was not designed to further the interests of most citizens. It’s a plutocracy, and it can’t be made to function as a  democracy

  • Steve L

    I believe that congress can be “fixed” but only if and when enough citizens in the middle wake up and realize that it’s their responsibility to fix it by participating and voting. Congress will only represent what’s in the best interest of the country at large when citizens demand it. Through process change, that affects special interest money, and behavior modification that results in more engaged citizens, we can rebuild a more effective and representative congress. Whether we have the will and the time is the big question.

  • Dbarnwell99

    I really don’t think it will be fixed in my lifetime. I have only seen the two partys pull farther apart and I only think it will get worse there not thinking about the good of our country and work together for the good of our people not for more money.

  • H. Freshour

    Congress is so far out of touch with reality it cannot be fixed.  There are too many special interest groups that they are obligated to.  And are too interested in their millionaire companies and CEOs to really be interested with what is happening with people in the real world.  Anytime you give anyone the reigns to their own pay rates and can be allowed to give themselves raises at will/ while cutting the pay for everyone else, sooner or later it catches up with you.  This is part of the problem now, there are simply too many “rich” people in the government and are totally out of touch with the “real” problems of the country.

  • Julia in Texas

    It can be fixed only when we have publicly-funded campaigns and Citizens United is overturned.

  • Worried

    Take away the money that is the only way you will get good politicians that want to fix our country. Most of them are rich or trying to get rich.

  • Ron Greenstein

    It will be very difficult to fix, not unlike trying to fix a barrel of rotting apples.

  • Joe

    Tight regulations on who and what can be lobbied is the key.  We now have parties beholden to different groups which are not representative of the general public.  The corporate interests and the Union interests dominate the Republican and Democratic parties respectively.   We all know that pensions have to be changed in a way that will affect public workers negatively and that corporate regulations need to be enforced and strengthened where necessary but instead we have the weakening of financial regulations after a financial collapse and reluctance to change the pension systems to make them less costly to the tax payers.  So what will happen is the opposite of what should, Wall Street will continue to do business in ways which are not in the interest of the general public and Unions will work for their members.  The problem is the Unions will loose because government will declare bankruptcy and Wall Street will win because they will transfer their liability to the taxpayer after paying themselves and no one goes to jail. 

  • Al

    Look how the senate (the house of wealth) was originally elected. Put in place by state governments to check the efforts of the house of representatives (the people’s house). Electoral College…same thing. However, from the 1930′s to the 1970′s the people of America did have greater influence on government. I think all that began to change in the 1980′s. That was when REALLY BIG money started to come to the table. 

  • Al

    What the hell was the supreme court doing in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case? That has only made the problem exponentially worse. I am glad to see Steven Colbert making fun of the whole insanity by establishing his own “Super Pac.” He is showing America just what a joke our system has become. The whole thing just makes me sick to my stomach.

  • Marshall N Brown

    Unless members re-learn the art of compromise, those who live to obstruct — currently the Republicans — need to to be thrown out of office that’s not what they were elected to do.

  • Edlacy

    Congress cannot be fixed, because it isn’t broken. WHAT IS BROKEN is our campaign finance scheme that rests on the dubious foundation of corporate personhood. Until we get rid of the idea that money is a form of speech when it is donated to a candidate, we will not have any kind of democracy, much less an effective government that acts in the genuine public interest. (Is buying a Bentley or a 55 foot wooden yacht speech, too?) Representative democracy is based on one person, one vote. Huge private donations to candidates seeking to represent us in Washington and our state houses would not receive these corporate and PAC donations if they weren’t expected to do something in return, so suggesting that private campaign funding (especially as it is coordinated in the 21st century) does not corrupt and distort our politics against the public good is naive if not obtuse. Many of our judges, appointed and confirmed by privately purchased politicians, demonstrate regularly that they either do not understand the US Constitution or that they care nothing for its tradition of judicial review, or both. The consenters to the Citizens United decision should ALL be impeached and removed from the US Supreme Court.

  • Tim

    Their terms need to be limited, as well as each member spending 80% of their elected time in office amongst the constituancies that elected them.  Secret deals and laws with loopholes have to be done away with, because every U.S. citizen deserves equal treatment.

  • Genie

    Redistricting has created the problem by having house members of either very liberal or very conservative districts, making compromise very difficult if not impossible in the house.  The senate offers possibilities for improvement.  We have to hope that more senators will be elected who see compromise as a good, not a defeat.

  • Dudley

    Agree on all points except the statment Congress ISN’T BORKEN.  Congrees can fix what is wrong but they have not, may not.  So…they are also broken and needing a fix. They can fix this.

  • Dudley

    Who! Blame the other guy and the thing never is fixed.  Both sides of the isle are equally shamful.  There are many exmples.

  • Dudley

    Not quite true, therfore a little false.  Look at the social justic leadership that has been provided from time to time in this country and the world by our elected reps..  We have been in a better place and we can return there. Congress can be fixed.  Just review the comments posted here as a starting place. It must be fixed and we can fix it.  Just watch.  No.  Better get to work.  Help make them change.

  • Dudley

    And also major campign reform.

  • Dudley

    Ok, if we had no Newt we would have no probelms?  Blaming the Party your unhappy with or a person you don’t like is not getting at the problem.  There are a number of things Congress can do to reform the way they function in the “Poeple’s House”.  All of it totally within their control.  We have to make them do it, Newt or no Newt.

  • rachelsyama

     I like the idea of making representatives stay in their home districts. They can meet virtually to conduct Congressional business and instead of making the obligatory trip from D.C. to the home district it would be the other way around.

  • Jamz192

    Yes Congress can be fixed. First thing that has to happen is over turn corporation as a person. Than resend the redistricting of of congressional seat. More appropriate over site on lobbing, honest and enforceable laws governing lobbing . Lobbying should only have access to government in open district forums with the 40% of the constituent of the legislator(s) being lobbied and or the district where as to be affected by the subject of the lobbyist. To increase voter participation bills, laws proposals or what ever come up for vote before thepeople at the polls are required to be in plain language. Increase the penalty on white collar crimes involving government corruption, bribery, aiding corruption and expand the penalties to include brokers of said dealings. A cap on total contributions of any kind direct or indirect to any campaign not exceeding 1 million dollars per election per term per candidate and no duplicating nor combining campaign funds

  • Rosa

    Having spent most of my life in a country with a parliamentary system, I am always bewildered by US commentators, such as your panelists, who use “parliamentary” as a dirty word. If the US is truly heading towards a Congress which votes along party lines, dominated by only a few members in each party, then one way to fix Congress is to look to parliamentary electoral systems that give transparency to that. In other words, adopt a political system that allows the proliferation and election of smaller parties. I predict the US would end up still with two major parties–both centrist but with different priorities–and some viable smaller parties that are more strongly conservative or liberal.  If neither of the major parties gets a majority, the compromises they make to gain the ability to pass legislation can then be clearly set out in some kind of negotiated agreement with a smaller party, increasing Congress’s transparency. Assuming that this site blocks URLs in comments, I suggest interested readers Google “Maori Party Agreement 11 Dec” and “relationship accord NZ government”, which were signed so that National Party, which fell short of a majority by two seats in the recent election, could be assured of the votes of a smaller party in the passage of appropriations bills.

  • John

    I believe that rick Perry finally got one right. Our congress should go home and work for half of the year. Pepole would then know them and what they voted on.
    John from Ohio

  • Frank Black Jr.

    We all know that if newt gets in, we are going to hell and back. We all know what he did to congress his first go around, and he will do it again! This nation is all about money, and if we the people don’t fix it this election 1212, then America and the world will become flat and all of us will fall off, even newt and his party. It would be nice if we independents could somehow hang on, start congress all again and be the the American people we were after WW2!  Frank Black Jr Berryton Kan 66409

  • bkb46

    Neither Party cares about the nation. Their loyalties lie with the party not the nation. All of Congress needs to be replaced.Return to truly one person one vote.If a state has 6 reps the top six with the most votes go to congress. state wide vote no more party primaries.Free air time radio and Tv.Stop corporate donations. only voter donations.

  • Gnewsom

    The biggest step is to do away with gerrymandering.  In every state have districts for state and national offices drawn up by an impartial group in ways to maximize the number of competitive districts.  Force successful candidates to move toward the center.  If this can’t be done for members of the House, then have statewide elections and do away with districts altogether.  The second step is to have government funding for campaigns so candidates are not beholden to big-money interests.

  • An Iowa Grandma

    a couple of thoughts.  I believe the ‘tea party’ Republicans were elected mainly because a enough Americans were extremely mad at the Democrats (I generally use a different term that isn’t very nice).  And if they don’t get unelected and the evil nature of our current Congress doesn’t get destroyed I fear greatly for my children & grand children’s future in our country.  If they don’t quit the hatred & obtuseness I feel they are going to destroy the wonderful country that was the United States of America.  There is a thing called “being fair” & the path that the ‘party of no’ is not following that path & they are not listening to the people.

  • Jfcross1949

    the repblicans can’t see reality and the democrats are only slightly better.  they are both too far from the people and what their needs are right now. let alone the future.  they are so self  involved!!!!!people are ready for a change we’ll end up like Egypt or one of them other countries soon if we don’t do something now.

  • John

    I think you could say that capital hill is becoming a clone of the europeon model we left many years ago. To much govt.  Division is not the problem. The problem is which way the govt. is going to take and spend our money.

  • Jeff

    Why didn’t you include a moderate Democrat, or a progressive on the panel. All three are on the right side of the political spectrum. While they brought up some legitimate points, they danced around the fundamental problem. The Republican party would rather see America fail than see Obama win re-election. This win-at-any-cost strategy of Newt and his cohorts is what got our country in this mess, and they are willing to wreck the country in the effort to gain power. Not power to do good, but just power to gain money for their narrow suite of friends. Voter suppression, gerrymandering, big money in politics are all employed to win for themselves, not the country. Even with all the institutional problems, if the humans in Congress acted in the interest of America, they -could- improve America for everyone. They just don’t want Obama in office, nor any Democrat. they just want power to gain money for themselves.

  • Dudley

    In the reading I have been doing I believe that a moderate, even a liberial on the panel would agree that Congress is broken having created proceedures within the “People’s House” not in the public’s interest.  Newt has been out of Congress how long?  And you blame him and his cohorts?  For right, for left will find all kinds of false reasons to blame each other.  Let moderate America and the independent voice speak.  

  • Johntfierro

    Yes I Believe congress will sort it self out, because they will eventually come to see that they are destroying this country. The congress men and women will see that they need to start adopting reforms and change this country for the better. 

  • Mike Tsovko

    Congress can never be fixed because of the strength of the parties. No longer are candidates just individuals who are able to work with everyone in congress, now candidates are simply puppets of the party. With Republicans signing pledges that almost sign off their souls, it ends all bi-partisanship in congress. Instead of the individual congressman voting and making their own decisions, they are simply asking the party for their decisions. With no bi-partisanship how can anything be done?

    Another clear issue is money. Now that corporations can flood money into candidates and parties, it’s clear that the parties are simply following the money. And because of that, the candidates are indirectly not supporting the masses of people, but rather the corporations. And people want this to change, but the fact is that it won’t. As long as the money is there and the elite candidates are there, nobody is going to want change in congress. That’s like asking the Republicans and Democrats if they wanted to create laws that would allow a third party.

    In the end, congress isn’t changing and will never be fixed. The system is corrupted by money and party leaders, and it will stay that way because they have the power. The party leaders will make sure to never lose their grip on their candidates, and with that there will be no change.

  • Connor Anderson

    I think that congress will eventually work out its problems, however first we need a strong president who can compel them to compromise. If another FDR comes around, America will be headed back in the right direction. If a strong president does not come around in the next 2-3 election cycles, America may be in a world of trouble.

  • RyFrick

    America is as always, one of the most resilient countries in the world. To think that Congress can’t fix itself is perposterous. America has been through rougher times and always came out on top. Congress will be fixed one day. Yes it depends on the next few elections in order to get it going on the right track. Americans everywhere though need to step up and exercise their right to vote. We need to be the ones to elect officials who work for the people. Not for the “Party Agenda”. There is way too much clashing of ideals and principles. Republicans and Democrats constantly fight over what benefits their party. While they do that our country isn’t getting anything done. Since 1976 over 14,000 bills have been proposed. Yet, only and astounding 3.3% of them have been passed. How can America move forward with little progress? Once we get the correct bipartisan candidates who can work together in office we can finally get things done in congress. Then America can recover from its hardships which it has been plagued by over the past few years.

  • JimBurgardt

    Congress
    could fix itself, but it is lacking any desire or incentive to
    do so. Politicians don’t listen to
    or respond to their voting constituencies, unless they happen to
    agree with the politicians’ views, or promise some strong support for
    them. Politicians also don’t pay attention to polls, which are valid
    expressions of the public will. They claim that “polls don’t
    elect people; votes do” So, they ignore the will of the people
    that is reflected in the polls.

    Their
    first loyalty is to themselves and doing whatever is needed to get
    re-elected, then their party, then their big-money sources, and.
    last, “we, the people,” the ones they were elected to represent.

    A
    poll conducted in October, 2011, showed that Congress had an approval
    rating of only 9%and
    a disapproval
    rating of a whopping 84%.

    Gallup
    poll results released on December 9, 2011 report that 76%
    of registered voters say that most members of Congress do not deserve
    to be re-elected. A
    Rassmussen poll released this month reported that “a
    solid plurality continue to believe that most Members of Congress are
    corrupt.
    74%
    Trust Their Own Economic Judgment More Than Congress’. 41%
    Say Random Selection From Phone Book Would Do A Better Job Than
    Current Congress.

    The only way to eliminate the problem
    is to eliminate the sources of the problem — the people, the money,
    our financial plutocracy, and our political duopoly.

    And it all has to start at the ballot
    box.  Whenever you place an X next to a candidate’s
    name,you are saying that you are FOR that candidate. You are supporting a continuation of business as usual.

    Even in you don’t vote for an
    incumbents, but vote for other members of the same party, you
    are still voting for a continuation of business as usual, because
    tet are just cogs in the party
    machinery and will do the bidding of their party and financial
    backers. Although 76% of the people feel that most
    members of Congress don’t deserve to be re-elected, 91% of incumbents who run for re-election are
    successful. We need to break this pro-incumbent bias to effect a cure.

    Here is my proposal: In the primary
    elections, don’t vote for any incumbents, unless they are strongly committed to and have pledged to eliminate (not
    just regulate) money in politics..Vote instead for independent or third-party candidates. Because polls have shown that people, though strongly negative about Congress as a whole, still favor their own incumbents. It may be difficult for some
    voters to disavow their own representative, but it has to be done. If we were to
    “gore everybody’s ox but our own,” we would effect no change
    whatsoever, and just perpetuate the fiasco we now have.
    This won’t cure all of our ills in one
    election but it is a start, and when those still in office see all
    the votes going to independents and third-party candidates in the
    primaries, they’ll get the message.

  • JimBurgardt

    Congress
    could fix itself, but it is lacking any desire or incentive to
    do so. Politicians don’t listen to
    or respond to their voting constituencies, unless they happen to
    agree with the politicians’ views, or promise some strong support for
    them. Politicians also don’t pay attention to polls, which are valid
    expressions of the public will. They claim that “polls don’t
    elect people; votes do” So, they ignore the will of the people
    that is reflected in the polls.

    Their
    first loyalty is to themselves and doing whatever is needed to get
    re-elected, then their party, then their big-money sources, and.
    last, “we, the people,” the ones they were elected to represent.

    A
    poll conducted in October, 2011, showed that Congress had an approval
    rating of only 9%and
    a disapproval
    rating of a whopping 84%.

    Gallup
    poll results released on December 9, 2011 report that 76%
    of registered voters say that most members of Congress do not deserve
    to be re-elected. A
    Rassmussen poll released this month reported that “a
    solid plurality continue to believe that most Members of Congress are
    corrupt.
    74%
    Trust Their Own Economic Judgment More Than Congress’. 41%
    Say Random Selection From Phone Book Would Do A Better Job Than
    Current Congress.

    The only way to eliminate the problem
    is to eliminate the sources of the problem — the people, the money,
    our financial plutocracy, and our political duopoly.

    And it all has to start at the ballot
    box.  Whenever you place an X next to a candidate’s
    name,you are saying that you are FOR that candidate. You are supporting a continuation of business as usual.

    Even in you don’t vote for an
    incumbents, but vote for other members of the same party, you
    are still voting for a continuation of business as usual, because
    tet are just cogs in the party
    machinery and will do the bidding of their party and financial
    backers. Although 76% of the people feel that most
    members of Congress don’t deserve to be re-elected, 91% of incumbents who run for re-election are
    successful. We need to break this pro-incumbent bias to effect a cure.

    Here is my proposal: In the primary
    elections, don’t vote for any incumbents, unless they are strongly committed to and have pledged to eliminate (not
    just regulate) money in politics..Vote instead for independent or third-party candidates. Because polls have shown that people, though strongly negative about Congress as a whole, still favor their own incumbents. It may be difficult for some
    voters to disavow their own representative, but it has to be done. If we were to
    “gore everybody’s ox but our own,” we would effect no change
    whatsoever, and just perpetuate the fiasco we now have.
    This won’t cure all of our ills in one
    election but it is a start, and when those still in office see all
    the votes going to independents and third-party candidates in the
    primaries, they’ll get the message.

  • JimBurgardt

    Congress
    could fix itself, but it is lacking any desire or incentive to
    do so. Politicians don’t listen to
    or respond to their voting constituencies, unless they happen to
    agree with the politicians’ views, or promise some strong support for
    them. Politicians also don’t pay attention to polls, which are valid
    expressions of the public will. They claim that “polls don’t
    elect people; votes do” So, they ignore the will of the people
    that is reflected in the polls.

    Their
    first loyalty is to themselves and doing whatever is needed to get
    re-elected, then their party, then their big-money sources, and.
    last, “we, the people,” the ones they were elected to represent.

    A
    poll conducted in October, 2011, showed that Congress had an approval
    rating of only 9%and
    a disapproval
    rating of a whopping 84%.

    Gallup
    poll results released on December 9, 2011 report that 76%
    of registered voters say that most members of Congress do not deserve
    to be re-elected. A
    Rassmussen poll released this month reported that “a
    solid plurality continue to believe that most Members of Congress are
    corrupt.
    74%
    Trust Their Own Economic Judgment More Than Congress’. 41%
    Say Random Selection From Phone Book Would Do A Better Job Than
    Current Congress.

    The only way to eliminate the problem
    is to eliminate the sources of the problem — the people, the money,
    our financial plutocracy, and our political duopoly.

    And it all has to start at the ballot
    box.  Whenever you place an X next to a candidate’s
    name,you are saying that you are FOR that candidate. You are supporting a continuation of business as usual.

    Even in you don’t vote for an
    incumbents, but vote for other members of the same party, you
    are still voting for a continuation of business as usual, because
    tet are just cogs in the party
    machinery and will do the bidding of their party and financial
    backers. Although 76% of the people feel that most
    members of Congress don’t deserve to be re-elected, 91% of incumbents who run for re-election are
    successful. We need to break this pro-incumbent bias to effect a cure.

    Here is my proposal: In the primary
    elections, don’t vote for any incumbents, unless they are strongly committed to and have pledged to eliminate (not
    just regulate) money in politics..Vote instead for independent or third-party candidates. Because polls have shown that people, though strongly negative about Congress as a whole, still favor their own incumbents. It may be difficult for some
    voters to disavow their own representative, but it has to be done. If we were to
    “gore everybody’s ox but our own,” we would effect no change
    whatsoever, and just perpetuate the fiasco we now have.
    This won’t cure all of our ills in one
    election but it is a start, and when those still in office see all
    the votes going to independents and third-party candidates in the
    primaries, they’ll get the message.

  • JimBurgardt

    Nobody — not even a super-strong president — can effect compromise if either one of the parties is not open to it. That is the situation we have now. 

    To expect Congress to work out its problems, is like expecting drug addicts to work out their problems.  It will never happen until there is a day of reckoning, and, in this case, that has to come from the people at the ballot box.

  • JimBurgardt

    Mike, you are very perceptive and objective in your observations. That means, of course, that I agree with them.  :o

    Politicians priorities are 1) themselves and their re-election, 2) their party and keeping it in power,  3) their financial backers and campaign supporters, and, last 4) the people.  Even #4 is based upon their own views of what the people want, and not what the people themselves say they want.

    We do indeed need to get the money out of politics, and we may need effect some drastic changes in our representation in Congress to do this.  This may mean that we need to back some third-party candidates and non-incumbents — anyone who will pledge to get the money out. 

    I feel the only way we can get the change we truly need is through the ballot box, and it will take at least 12 years for a complete turnover of the Senate.

  • JimBurgardt

    Mike, you are very perceptive and objective in your observations. That means, of course, that I agree with them.  :o

    Politicians priorities are 1) themselves and their re-election, 2) their party and keeping it in power,  3) their financial backers and campaign supporters, and, last 4) the people.  Even #4 is based upon their own views of what the people want, and not what the people themselves say they want.

    We do indeed need to get the money out of politics, and we may need effect some drastic changes in our representation in Congress to do this.  This may mean that we need to back some third-party candidates and non-incumbents — anyone who will pledge to get the money out. 

    I feel the only way we can get the change we truly need is through the ballot box, and it will take at least 12 years for a complete turnover of the Senate.

  • JimBurgardt

    Gee, I hope you are right, John, but, if they can’t see the damage they are doing now, I don’t know when they will. They are so short-sighted, looking at the short-term, when it is the long term that jump up to bite us. 

    Expecting Congress to cure itself is like expecting a drug addict to cure himself or herself.  It just isn’t likely to happen.  We need an intervention by the American people whom they are supposed to represent, but don’t.  The one thing they fear most is losing their positions in Congress. Let’s threaten their positions at the ballot box and see if we can’t get their attention that way.  If not, then we use the ballot box to actually get them out.

  • JimBurgardt

    “The Republican party would rather see America fail than see Obama win re-election.”

    Absolutely! 

    ” Voter suppression, gerrymandering, big money in politics are all employed to win for themselves, not the country.”

    Positively!

    “… if the humans in Congress acted in the interest of America, they -could- improve America for everyone.”

    Right on!  (and I note tht you referred to them as “humans” rather than “our representatives,” because they certainly do not represent the best interests of the people.)

    I am pretty strongly negative about most of the Democrats in Congress today, but I am overwhelmingly negative about the Republicans.  With very few exceptions, they should all be thrown out so we can get a fresh start with people who will truly represent the people! 

  • JimBurgardt

    You make some great points.  And I agree that Congress CAN fix itself but, before it can do that, it has to WANT to fix itself.  That is the part that is missing. 

    It is going to be up to us, the people of this country, to hit them over the head with an electoral bat to get them to open their eyes and see what they are doing to this country.  I say we start voting them out, several dozen at a time, until they get our message loud and clear, and do something about the problems they have created.

  • JimBurgardt

    Was it the word ‘liberal’ that you were trying to avoid?   I think that word is a pejorative mostly in conservative circles.  I am a progressive populist, which certainly labels me as a liberal.  I embrace that word and am proud of it.

    While it is true, perhaps, that the many Tea Party members were elected because enough Republicans were extremely mad (I would say even hateful in some cases) at the Democrats, that didn’t really solve anything, did it?

    I don’t blame the hatred and obtuseness that is present today on the Tea Party itself.  They are just a magnification of what I have observed for many, many years, starting with Newt Gingrich, once he rose to a position of leadership within the party, and it has just been growing and festering ever since.

    We are going to have to use our power at the ballot box to send the biggest and strongest message we can that we are “”mad as hell, and [we're] not going to take this anymore!”

  • JimBurgardt

    In my opinion, those are indeed two of the most important steps toward reversing our problems with Congress.  While I would be inclined to reverse their priority, I would just be very pleased to see both of them implemented, no matter what the sequence for accomplishing them.  However, once these are in place, there are many other things that need to be done as well..

  • JimBurgardt

    Excellent summation — brief and to the point.

    “Neither Party cares about the nation.  Their loyalties lie with the party
    not the nation.”

    As I wrote in another post, their priorities are 1)themselves, 2) their party, 3) their financial backers, and 4) the people..
     
    “All of Congress needs to be replaced”.

    There may be some good members of Congress, but I’m not sure we can agree on whom they may be.  Therefore, I agree with you.

    “Return to truly
    one person one vote.”

    Yes!!!

    “If a state has 6 reps the top six with the most
    votes go to congress. state wide vote no more party primaries.”

    This sounds as though you want to do away with representation districts.  That would require a Constitutional amendment, and I am very doubtful if it would get approval by the states.
     
    “Free air
    time radio and Tv.”

    Agree.

    “Stop corporate donations. only voter donations.”

    I could accept this, as long as there were some very low limits on amounts voters could contribute.  I would rather get donations out of politics altogether and have all elections government financed so that all candidates have the same amount of financing available.  Otherwise, big-name candidates (i.e., celebrities) might be able to overwhelm lesser-known candidates .  Just because they are in the public eye more than others doesn’t mean they would be better representatives.

  • Jim Bburgardt

    Hi, Frank:

    I admire your hanging there in the middle of all that insanity in Kansas.  ( was born and raised in Topeka.)

    I agree with everything you wrote, except the 1212 date, but we all know you meant 2012. :o )  It’s a shame we can’t go back in and correct these mistakes, isn’t it?  It’s also a shame that we can get enough people fired up about the mistakes our government is making and correct them, too, isn’t it?

    Independent and third-party candidates get short-shrift in our political system. The two major parties have frozen them out with their stranglehold on our government and our electoral process.  Nothing is going to get done unless we band together and change things at the ballot box next year. 

  • JackL

    yes the congress will be fixed because it is part of the united states and America has overcome much more than this in the past. The republicans and democrats will need to compromise in order for the congress to get better and that will happen. Whether it is sooner or later that remains to be seen but some day the two parties will have to compromise or another party will form and peace will be restored. Its happened before, no one can say that it will never happen again.  

  • Jimburgardt

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Rosa.  Smaller parties in this country are disenfranchised by the two major parties.  Gerrymandering, winner-take-all elections, lack of proportional representation, lack of ranked choice voting, and rigid control over the debates for president — all of these freeze out third party ideas and thoughts.  To me, it is downright undemocratic.

  • An Iowa Grandma

    I’m new at this don’t know if it will get to Jim but here goes.  Actually the word I was thinking starts with a P—ed.  I am a bonafide Bleeding Heart Liberal whose parents raised 4 girls to be fair and what that meant. And the GREED & anger aimed at ‘Liberals & particularly at our President are so mean spirited I don’t get how they can live with themselves. And they talk about ‘entitlements’, they get minimum $174,000.00 plus paid by us, the taxpayers & they don’t work anywhere near as much as we do, and we actually get something done.  Enough for now, goodnight.

  • Walt Lambert

    Congress can only fix itself if they begin to put America
    first but instead they are all too focused on campaigns and put themselves
    first. In the end they don’t really care about the American people because they
    have their pockets stuffed with the funding from corporations and P.A.C.’s.
    Parties just add to the problem just so they can keep their grip on the power
    that the people gave to them. The people seem to have forgotten that they have
    the power in the grand scheme of things. Hopefully they’re going to wake up
    soon and realize that politicians are the problem and that they are taking
    advantage of America and the good and honest Americans. Until then though this
    country will continue to decline because of all of the disgusting individuals
    that call themselves our leaders.

  • American

    In the 40′s the USA quickly did what was necessary to help fix what was wrong with the entire world!  Now Big Government is incapable of fixing anything, anywhere!

  • Voldemort

    RyFrick….get a life

  • Scott

    Private enterprise is the future solution because of the failure of the pulbic maintenance of these services.  The roads, bridges, etc. are all built by government and are at higher cost and poorer quality because of no real world concerns for either because of NO competition. As a result the early deterioration of these structure and why we face these situations currently.  Also, the maintenance of these structures is already PAID for by gas taxes, excise taxes, poll taxes, etc.  Where did the money go?  Of course, just spent for OTHER things…..and not the roads! And ALWAYS complaints by Government that ‘We Don’t have the Money’!  Which, of course, everyone has already forgotten was spent for something else.

  • Scott

    toll fees……not poll taxes…….

  • John

    I believe that being qualified to do a job is an important part of any job. This is where the govt. has it all over the private sector. Sorting thru requirements mandated can take more time than doing the job.