Friday, April 28, 2006

Recent commentary: Separating politicking from politics

Should politicians more clearly delineate their campaigning from their duties?

(published 1-May-2006, Appleton Post-Crescent)

I can’t figure out why we should expect that from our elected encumbrances. On the one hand we want them to “fix” things. We want our city aldermen to keep those darned kids from playing that awful music so loudly. We want our state assemblymen to pass a taxpayer bill of rights. And we want America’s only native criminal class – Congresscritters – to put a lid on gas prices! All of which they’d be happy to do for us if only we’d support their re-election campaigns. So, as much as we moan and kvetch about it, electioneering while in office is just part of the game. Every favor they do for us has a quid pro quo. There isn’t any such thing as a disinterested legislator. As P.J. O’Rourke put it, “When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.”

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