The GOP seems to be incapable at times of getting out of its own way. Every day some Republican Congress member will speak out and create another embarrassment for the GOP. At this frequency, one would expect Democrats to be solidly in line for regaining both the Senate and the House leadership. Yet, that is not the case. Why?
The Washington response is “gerrymandering”. It is certainly true that a lot of Republicans enjoy safety representing what are called “safe districts”. These districts are a testimony to voter indifference and apathy. Most gerrymandered districts make no sense and one end of the district has almost nothing in common with the opposite end other than being likely to vote Republican. (States where Democrats control the State House follow the same practices if necessary.)
“Gerrymandering” is not why Democrats are not cleaning the floor with the GOP.
Voters hear the GOP chorus singing less government, more individual freedom, and lower taxes.
Hmmm, doesn’t that sound good?
When Democrats point out that “less government” means less Medicare for the elderly, less Medicaid for the poor, and less Social Security for the disabled and retired, for a moment voters get it. The GOP is about more freedom for the wealthy and less service for the rest. So, this should be a slam dunk, out with the GOP, in with Democrats.
Not so quick.
Voters also read about the VA, about relief for Hurricane Sandy, and about delays in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) roll out. How can any sane person think well of government (especially one with a Democrat chief executive) when it takes over one year for a veterin to find out if their disability claim will be considered? Why is it a full six months after the devastating storm has promised relief not arrived? And, why is the Affordable Care Act tittering on the edge of financial collapse (or gigantic rate increases)? Why can’t government deliver promised services?
I would suggest that our elected officials, Republican or Democrat, have little if any interest in seeing that existing government services operate as advertised. Congress members ironically prefer to intervene for one of their constituents rather than try to fix the service for the benefit of everyone. Being a hero and rescuing someone is more beneficial than working to prevent problems and helping others who do not live in ones voting district.
The bottom line is that voters have little faith that Democrats will do any better if given the keys to Congress again. For voters, it is Tweedledee, or Tweedledum.
Voters must send a different message to their representatives. The message is “focus on making current government services “world class” in cost, quality, and service. We send soldiers off to war, it is intolerable that their claim for Veterans benefits should be ignored. Aid to victims of national disasters is not a one time event. There is no excuse for not having agencies perform due diligence (like insurance companies) and release relief funding in a 60 day period. And, the biggest and most obvious, is why should the US settle for per capital health care costs which are twice that of most all other modern industrial countries, not insure everyone, and deliver mediocre outcomes for the rest?
Until voters send this message, our country will continue to drift into mediocrity.