January 30, 2006

Jaded Voters Yawn Over Abramoff Scandal

Democrats are all juiced up over the idea that American voters will revolt against the GOP in November. And while, honestly, voters should be pissed off at the current system and how it affects both parties their expectations are that neither party holds a monopoly on honesty and integrity. The system needs to be reformed and the only chance of that is if the GOP makes it a priority to do so. Electing Rep. John Shadegg as the new House Majority Leader would be a good start.

But as far as the election goes, Rasmussen polls show a high level of apathy when asked about the current stories about lobbyists like Jack Abramoff.

Just 15% of Americans believe Abramoff did anything different than what lobbyists typically do. Forty-seven percent (47%) say Abramoff's actions were the norm while 38% are not sure.

A slight majority of Americans (52%) believe the Abramoff scandal involves members of both parties in Congress. Seventeen percent (17%) say it involves Republicans while 5% say it involves Democrats.

As an election issue, people say that political corruption in important, but they don't see a clear solution. Just 31% believe there will be less corruption if Democrats win control of Congress. That figure is offset by 24% who say there will be more corruption with Democrats in power. A plurality (39%) say nothing much would change.

As you would expect, there are tremendous partisan differences on responses to that question. Among those who are not affiliated with either major party, 49% say corruption would remain about the same if the Democrats are put in charge.

The Dems are making Congressional corruption a focal point of their campaign this year. But the reality is that the current set-up allows for an incumbency protection racket. A mere handful of Congressional seats are even remotely considered competitive. Paul Jacob has a column in TownHall.com today that looks at the problem.
You see, incumbents have voted themselves so many advantages that voters wind up with almost no viable alternatives. Most political observers are familiar with the litany of freebies to which incumbents take advantage: radio and TV studios used to beam messages back home, mass mailings to voters. But the real advantage incumbents in Congress have is power. A large part of that power is the trillions of dollars they spend, some in slices of pork they can send back home, and for which they take full credit.

But their power doesn't just stop there. Congress also has the power to regulate. Congress can make or break any business in America. Got a competitor? Congress has regulations! We're talking power that is worth trillions more. Good, negotiable power. So, is it surprising that interested parties would hire lobbyists to protect themselves or advance their own economic agenda?

While most voters view the Congress as a bunch of untrustworthy scumbags, they're perfectly willing to return their own particular untrustworthy scumbag as long as he keeps bringing the goods to his district.

There are a lot of Democrat voters who'd like to believe that their party holds the moral high-ground when it comes to integrity. The problem is there aren't nearly enough people that share this idealistic view to put Democrats back in charge. So instead of trying to find a reason for people not to vote for Republicans, they're only real hope is to try to come up with reasons to vote for Democrats.

Which means they have no hope.

Posted by: Gary at 11:15 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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