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Pondering politicians

In the midst of covering local issues, I also attempt to keep up with politics on the national scale.

That's difficult sometimes because it moves at such a different pace than it does around here. Things can seemingly change from hour to hour when it comes to Congress or the President.

My feeble attempts at staying informed sadly get boiled down to a Letterman or Leno routine or even watching The Daily Show on occasion. All of those come on at a time when I can finally settle down, late at night.

During this past primary election season, there were two cases that didn't slip past me, though. Two high profile incumbent Democrats in Congress were defeated in attempts to, once again, earn their party's nomination.

A sitting Congressman losing the general election is too rare of a thing these days. The power of incumbency - I think - is in equal proportion to the amount of apathy in the general voting public.

But incumbents losing their own party's nomination are practically unheard-of. The situations for these two politicians make their demise not at all surprising, though.

Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut was a Democrat in name only. He voted with the Republicans so many times that they practically created an honorary seat for him on their side of the senate chamber isle.

In recent years, he has swung so far to the right that the members of his party in his state finally figured out that he wasn't looking out for their best interest. They voted out the man who would have been vice-president in 2000 because he had gotten too close to the president that defeated him by way of all those hanging chads.

The other ousted Democrat hits a little closer to home. Rep. Cynthia McKinney of Georgia found that her constantly flapping mouth and elitist temper were more than "much ado about a hairdo."

By way of an update, she thought she was so well known and so important that she didn't have to wear her ID to get into the Capital Building. So she struck the guard who was trying to make her abide by the rules. She claimed he just didn't recognize her new haircut.

That "much ado" alienated her base support so much that she rightly fell to an opponent who is not certifiable. I think her Atlanta-area district will be much better served by whomever they chose to elect to replace her in November.

All that being said, the moral of the story is this: call a spade a spade. If politicians change their minds about something, they should be honest and tell the people. And if they think they're better than everyone else, they should just openly say that, too.

That way, the voters can more promptly show their honesty by kicking said politicians out of office before anything else can be ruined.

Web posted on Thursday, August 17, 2006

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