Sunday, January 19, 2003

Rep. Duncan loses one but eyes another

This is an aspect of politics that sickens me on so many levels.

"..[U.S. Representative John Duncan, Jr.] said that his voting record could have been a factor in why a party leadership panel didn't pick him [for chairmanship of the Resources Committee]. The House's new majority leader, Tom DeLay, R-Texas, also known as The Hammer, has a reputation for a good memory about who helps him regularly, and he rewards loyalty."
Any politician who penalizes another politician for voting his conscience when the vote runs counter to his Party's position should be chastisized and not allowed to hold a leadership position. This is true for Democrat or Republican equally. These actions undermine the representational democratic process and should be vigorously discouraged by everyone.

The article goes on to point out the other candidate, while being junior to three other Senators up for the leadership position, voted more often with his party leaders than did his seniors. Oh yeah, and he gave a better presentation.

One of the issues in which Duncan differed with the party leadership was his decision to vote against giving the president authority to send U.S. troops into Iraq if he decides it is necessary to destroy dangerous weapons or to oust Saddam Hussein. I was impressed with his courage and when it came around voting time I was not hesitant to vote for him (where another time I might have voted for his Democratic challenger by rote).

But the point remains that political favoritism at all levels seriously impedes the progress of government and only succeeds at painting the offenders as spoiled brats who whine and punish those who would dare oppose them. And these people are supposed to be our leaders?

I don't want to make politics the focus of my blog, but this is a flashpoint I'd like more people to be aware of and will attempt to point it out when I see it happen.

UPDATE: See here, it didn't take me long to find another example - from the same editorial page:

Devil's in the details in state House

"[Tennessee House Speaker Jimmy] Naifeh, who has maintained a quiet and generally congenial response to the attacks upon him, will have ample opportunities ahead to quietly but effectively retaliate against opponents and reward supporters."
The members of the Tennessee Legislature were elected to lead our state, and in our current crisis to find ways of improving the financial health of the state. We did not elect any of you to retaliate against opponents or reward supporters. Quit playing your stupid immature games and get to work.

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