Thursday, July 3, 2014



We/You Can Do It!

(I know I promised to stay silent and on vacation for a bit, but I got moved by some of the events mentioned below and felt that I should get this out of my system.)


Let’s do this for the Red, White and Blue, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Crispus Attucks, the Civil War, Jim Bowie, Abe Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, the Belleau Wood, FDR, Normandy, Iwo Jima, John Wayne, Ike, Korea, JFK, Viet Nam, LBJ, MLK, Reagan, Desert Storm, 9-11, the Boston bombings…. 

The recent death of former US Senator Howard Baker, a GOP legislative giant who was known for his ability to do what few public officials today can do, i.e. bring together his D&R colleagues--with disparate political positions-- and forge common support of sound public policy, is a reminder of the paucity of current Senators.
Our current patriotic fervor over the US soccer team, all of the very-American traditional Fourth of July events with , water activities, picnics, parades, backyard barbecues, fireworks, plus the nation’s deep unhappiness with both houses of Congress, bred my latest and next good idea (NGI). 

This one could be gargantuan, even geometrically so, if the nation buys it. 

Upon considering this NGI, the people who like it might throw up their hands and wail, “It can never happen.” 

My response, “Nonsense.” Don’t underestimate the will and power of the American people if properly educated and directed. Put your shoulder and voice behind it. 

OK, here’s the predicate. 

Ever so slowly, current Senators and Members are retiring or occasionally being defeated by challengers, but it’s not happening fast enough to rid the system all of the obstructionists. 

Those departures, certainly, are not occurring speedily to the collection of D&R do-nothings, now residing in Congress, who claim otherwise but prefer bickering to comity and finger pointing to bipartisan cooperation. Not all of that is about the Tea Party.


At one time or another, virtually every Senator and Member has expressed frustration and disgust at events in Washington—usually blaming the other party—and they’re right (think much deserved circular firing squad) and ruminated about departing.

So, let’s give them that chance, with some honor, by facilitating a democratic (small “d”) purge opportunity. 

But, how to dust them? 

Since no elected official will deny loving the USA and our democratic principles, I suggest—in the interest of the nation (and some, many, or all of the issues initially mentioned)--citizens rally to support the proposition that ALL SITTING SENATORS AND CONGRESSMEN AND CONGRESSWOMEN SHOULD RESIGN THEIR POSTS BEFORE THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION in time to permit their constituents to run for their vacant seats and replace them, representing that state or little delineated piece of geography.

Any Senator or Member can out this into a formal resolution and introduce it the next time they’re back in town; then let congressional/media nature take its course. 

No sitting official will fail to claim he/she is a “patriot,” so citizens need to appeal to the MoC’s patriotic pride and you—their voters—need to convince them that they are “messing up” and should move on to facilitate democracy and a clean sweep of all procrastinating bloviating congressional idlers.  

Most people hate the job Congress is doing, but say they like their US Representative; but that doesn’t add up. Chances are good that your Senator/Representative is just as bad as the rest of them or why else is the place so constipated with regard to producing meaningful legislation? 

The American people deserve this mass exodus and, trust me, nobody should be afraid of losing talent or skills with a forced outmigration of their current Congressman or Senator, especially as most are not crucial to the legislative and governing process, as frequently they’ve displayed. 

Yes, we could try and vote against them in November but that would permit too many to return. 

What a better way to show their love of country, democracy, and nationalism than if all incumbents  step aside for an equal from back home, someone who—in the eyes of the Constitution--certainly can do the same job?  

We’ll get some of the same types back, maybe in about the same proportions, but a clean flush of all of those failed congressional types might provide some opportunity for the next President—no matter who he or she is or what his or her party—to concentrate on proposing decent policy which might get a seal of approval from a “new Congress,” literally, before it gets tainted. (Think Howard Baker progress!) 

I feel very confident predicting that opposition to the NGI-- from any congressional incumbent--will be transparent and all about them losing their perks and “status,” not about what the people they represent need. 

“Harumph, haff kaff, and jeepers! But, I can do so much for the people of…….!” 

Can it, sir/madam, just go and enjoy your pension.

There are hundreds (maybe thousands) of well qualified people who can serve as the Senator from any state or Representative from any congressional district. 

Don’t be fooled or bullied even by your own “ham and egger.” Let them retire under your support for this idea and carry their “doesn’t play well with others” attitudes with them and give someone else a chance who hopefully will do better.  

The voters hardly can do worse. 

Yes, we might lose some experience and talent, but none that is irreplaceable. The new men and women coming to Congress will learn quickly on the job, as will the new subcommittee and full committee chairs. 

Every public official fantasizes he or she is essential to the congressional process, performing as a stalwart “blacksmith at the forge of democracy,” just as the Constitutional fathers intended. 

The reality is quite the opposite. 

There probably are a handful of US Senators and Members who do the representational/legislative job, well;  but the dirty little secret (among many other Washington and political DLSs) is that even they know there are a legion of people back home, just as capable of representing that piece of congressional real estate.*  

(*This thought about ample replacements has been with me for a long time, especially when Congress began taking elaborate steps to protect their asses from every known threat man could conceive of and then some. That started, long before 9-11, when some jackass put a cluster of cherry bombs in a Capitol public lavatory. Their elaborate Hill security shutters them from the people. The blocked off roads through the Capitol. All of these self-anointed Princes and Princesses could be wiped out and just as quickly replaced by constituents who could step up and represent their neighbors quite well. The Hill is rife with self-invented “institutional arrogance” and there is more of it than most citizens realize.) 

Now, if I could just get the SCOTUS interested in voluntary retirements?


Maloni, 7-3-2014 


(Happy note: almost immediately upon getting onto Skyline Drive as they drove toward Big Meadow campground, four Maloni munchkins saw a large bear. A cranky Park Ranger—used to bear sightings--chided a certain motorist for driving too casually, so his passengers could watch the bear.)


Anonymous said...

Love the idea and would whole heartily support. Fear too many of the "old guard" enjoy and crave the power. If they have been on the hill for 15+ years they get used to the perks and entitlement.

I could see them publicly supporting such a proposal and then look to make exceptions for each other under the guise of
"necessary transition" etc.

Other problem is the American people. Too many sit out the political process (especially the primaries) and allow the remaining few to nominate or re-elect the same people the majority despise. A weakness of the two party system is the inability to easily provide other choices.

Bill Maloni said...

Thanks Anon--Start the ball rolling in your part of the nation.

It's my pipe dream but there is enough unhappiness that some grassroots demand could generate momentum for change or might trigger other suggestions which could achieve the same result.

You know well--and expressed it--that the old dogs would bitch and moan and sink and such movement.

I know I've never seen it this bad in my more than 40 years watching both chambers of Congress and the WH interact.

Ironically, it could be new MoC's who see the deadlocks and understand the rigidity built into the system to protect any incumbent (both parties) as what needs to change.

Anonymous said...

Bad idea, Bill!

Like term limits or a new Constitutional Convention--we'd likely get worse than we've got! Yes, scary, but all too possible! Trading the devil that we know . . . .

I suggest that we go back to more balanced Congressional districts, and forget about trying to elect specific ethnic monorities. While well-intentioned, that policy created extreme left- and right-wing districts. I hope we'd get better diversity, but I don't believe that only a white person can represent white people and vice versa.

If we have any kind of term limits, would that we could limit lobbyists to 4-year terms!

While you're at it, can you get Justice Ginsburg to retire before it's too late!

Bill Maloni said...

Well, what we have is pretty bad and it's beyond D's and R's, it's become institutional which is why I would be willing to risk some talent leaving if all of them bailed.

Why would the GOP, which has the whip hand on drawing congressional districts through their control of the State houses, want to give that up?
Also, term limits have value but I suspect the same people who argue that corporations are people will suggest a voluntary decision to serve only a fixed number of years is OK, but a statutory one is a violation of somebody's First Amendment rights.

A Black man or woman represent a majority White congressional district. I am sorry to say that BHO's performance has hurt those chances in any major way.

I know I am sounding bleak and negative but I feel like John Irving in "The World According to Garp" and--on behalf of the nation--I am feeling a "sense of the undertoad!" (If you didn't read the book and understand the context, "Google it."