What Should be Done about Political Feigning?

Politics is a dirty business.  I think most Americans know that, but I think the revelations of recordings and other facts from the arrest and impeachment of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has allowed many to see just how dirty things can get.  Now, had Gov. Blagojevich’s impeachment happened at a time other than in a presidential election season, and had he not been accused of trying to sell the U.S. Senate seat of the incoming president, then this story would have been front page for only a day or two.  But, because of Gov. Blagojevich’s flamboyant (and some would say disturbing) personality, the story has been front and center for a while.

I’ve been talking to lots of people lately, and of course listening to and reading lots of news and commentary.  The people I have been speaking with are starting to experience what I would call feigning fatigue.  What we are tired of are political leaders who are deceptive, ego-centric, narcissistic, and generally nefarious.  Politics, and that means politics at all levels, has gotten so polluted with the self-serving interests of those in power that it is a wonder that anything at gets done for the people for whom politicians are supposed to represent.  I think is why people elected Barack Obama, as he brought a message of change.  He alone cannot change the political culture of a nation that has been shaped over decades and decades, but he can certainly set the tone.

I think voters are ready to expel elected leaders that don’t do their jobs, and I think this is a good thing.  I think politicians are picking up on this fatigue, too.  Take for example the new intolerant nature of folks even within the political party of the politician in question.  In Gov. Blagojevich’s case, Democrats were nearly unanimous in the calls for him to step down.  A Democrat-controlled Illinois Senate voted to remove him from office.  In my home state, another of these kinds of politicians, or should I say former politicians is Marc Dann.  Elected to the office of Ohio Attorney General in statewide Democratic landslide in 2006, Dann at first seemed to be an upstanding person who would bring integrity to the office.  Then came revelations of his affair with a female member of his staff, favoritism within the office which pushed out all sense of rational thinking–even leading some high-ranking officials to drink while driving state vehicles, sexual harassment, and more recent news that Mr. Dann mis-spent campaign and state money for his own personal gain.

What is the cost of democracy, and what are we willing to pay?  For folks who are elected to terms of more than two years, perhaps the cost is that voters have a right to recall leaders that aren’t doing their jobs, much as they did in 2003 in California with former Gov. Gray Davis.  We certainly have mechanisms in place in our democracy where corrupt officials can be removed, but are those enough? What do you think?

Image © 2008 - Mike Licht - Flickr


Daniel Lovejoy
Daniel Lovejoy8 years ago

Term limits. Independant monitors. Mandatory jail for anyone who uses their power for personal gain.
But first, get rid of anyone who has served more than two terms and replace them.

Esta W.
Esta W9 years ago

What we need is a way to vote them out of office, we the people that is. As it stands now, we get to vote them into office, but we have NO say over what they do. I think what we need is a string attached to every elected offical, one that can be pulled by the people if they are unhappy with their actions in office. No need for other politicans to vote on it.. we the people need to vote on it. I think if everyone in elected office knew, for a fact, that the rug could be pulled out from under them, if they get outa line, they might toe that line a lot closer. So maybe that needs to be a bill on the presidents desk. A means for the people to have their say, directly, as anything less, is asking the fox to watch the henhouse.

Klaus P.
Past Member 9 years ago

Everyone is aware of the lack of ethics in our political system. It's not a lack of stated ethics because at one time serving the public was a noble cause. Then one of the parties found a way to seize control and their lack of moral character has pervaded our society. Since these despots control the media, law enforcement and intelligence agencies they essentially control the publics' perception of itself. This has paralyzed the majority of hard working Americans from understanding or even realizing that the future of mankind hangs in the balance. It has been going on for centuries, the struggle of individual freedom vs absolute control by a handful of self appointed ruling elite who think they are so special, so superior, that the rest of us exist merely to serve them. Unfortunately so many humans have been so well trained to act against their own self interest due to fear of the unknown or unknowable that it appears we as a society are retrogressing once again. Our greatest hope is to change the paradigm on which or current social structure is based. Man is pitted against his brother due to a perceived lack of resources on this planet. Thus we must struggle and fight for our share. In reality there is an abundance on this planet for all mankind, indeed all Gods' creatures. We must realize this fact and work together to create a government to administer this abundance instead of the despots who are doing everything in their power to keep it all. Go to the Venus Project.com

carl m.
carl m9 years ago

get in the streets by the millions and revolt.you have one honest person in congress and thousands of bad ones.people of euorpe do it.

Celeste F.
Celeste F9 years ago

I submit that until things hit the news (papers or networks), people don't generally know about them; however, I do also submit that the newspaper often is very selective in what they report to the public at times.

Also, I believe that we can nix Clinton's impeachment from the running as a comparison as that was a DOMESTIC issue only (from what I recall) and it was technically an issue between husband and wife. The only thing he'd done is, as an adult, sleep with someone not his wife. Had he NOT been the president this wouldn't have been an issue. As I recall, Europe was in stitches because we tried to impeach someone over this at all.

I could be wrong though about all of this. Either way, I believe the public should have a better way of voting out politicians they feel aren't doing their job.

Kelly N.
Kelly N.9 years ago

In Illinois, it is illegal for a public official to even TALK about any kind of pay to play deal. Blagojevich is counting on the 99% of Americans who believe what they see on TV. He knows most people don't bother to actually RESEARCH the FACTS before they decide an issue. Blagojevich's impeachment was totally fair. Read the Illinois Constitution!

Dan Stevenson Iii

". . . has gotten so polluted with the self-serving interests of those in power that it is a wonder that anything at gets done for the people . . ." Does anything get done for the people?

Charles G.
Wilde T9 years ago

No, I think someone has targeted 2 democratic governors for simple character flaws blown out of proportion to the rest of their collegues and then repeated over and over again until that is the only thing some people think about when that persons name is mentioned. That is a form of character assassination without a trial and there probably will not be a trial or charges because the issues look bad but are not criminal and they particularly look bad because you are only going to hear one side of it. If obnoxious office behavior is criminal everyone would be on trial. When a Chicago reporter explained that everyone in Illinois gov't plays the same game including everyone who voted to impeach that pretty much says it, they couldn't let it go because whoever is behind this would turn the surveillance equipment on them next and by that point the public had already accepted a conviction by late night trash talkers.The public kind of let Clinton off but apparantly aren't so forgiving this time, as with the NY Gov., I'm sorry but he couldn't be a prosecutor and say he thinks call girls should be legal or maybe they are, it seems that sometimes they are and sometimes they aren't so do we have a morality that accepts things until they hit the newspaper selectively. Then you look and try to discern what is the basis of the selection.