“…But what you see here goes far beyond that: It’s more akin to the Mandarin class in the Chinese Empire than the Republic the Founders intended. Virtually every decision of any consequence in American life is the decision of an intramural discussion between members of the American Mandarin class: politicians, lobbyists, and media elites whose primary allegiance is to this class, not to ideology and certainly not to the general welfare…”
Chuck Colson, Breakpoint Radio, “The Denizens of Gucci Gulch” Sept. 27, 2011.
Recently, the Hill published an article on how Democrats are working to protect House Speaker Boehner from a coup by his conservative colleagues when the Speaker brought a clean appropriation bill for the Department of Homeland Security. The clean bill was unpopular with House conservatives because there was appropriation for the President’s Executive Order regarding immigration. The article quoted a House member. When explaining his support for Speaker Boehner, he said,
“In terms of the institution, I would rather have John Boehner as the Speaker than some of these characters who came here thinking that they’re going to change the world.”
Serving in Congress should be a privilege, not an entitlement or a “ticket to the club.” If one does not think that they are there to be making a difference, then why are you in Congress? Shouldn’t that attitude reflected in the Hill article be a signal that it is a time to move on or does it reflect an enjoyment of the fancy DC parties? If the latter is the case, then one should ask, “Why did you run for office? One of the many reasons a Congressman is elected is because their constituents thought that the Congressman’s approach to solving the problems affecting their district was best. A Congressman is elected to serve, not to be served.
The quote on the Hill article reflected a radio commentary by Chuck Colson made almost four years ago. A portion of his commentary is found in the beginning of this post. (A link to that transcript is found here). Mr. Colson reflected a concern that our elected officials were more interested in their self-interest than doing the work of their constituents. It did not matter if the Congressman was a liberal or a conservative. It seems that being a member of Congress was not an accomplishment or a privilege to serve, but rather a door to more lucrative contracts after they lost an election or retired.
If the aforementioned Hill article comments are a reflection of a majority of House members, we have a problem. The problem is that we have more Francis Underwoods than Jefferson Smiths in Congress. That is not a good sign for the country.