You Can Only Stay Mad For So Long, Right?
You can’t say John Larson sets his sights low. Naturally, John digs up Federal grants for businesses in the 1st district, and helps constituents with problems, such as social security and Obamacare (scratch that last one. There are no problems. As Harry Reid has proven, those heart-wrenching tales of loss of insurance are simply lies- even worse, KOCH BROTHERS- sponsored “lies”).
By all accounts, his staff is helpful and empathetic. So he’s got that going for him. Honestly, John Larson will be in the House as long as he wants to be. He rarely needs to advertise during elections. Oh maybe the campaign will buy a couple of radio ads, and put up a poster at Augie and Rays, but that’s about it. Getting re-elected is pretty much expense-free.
Which is why I’m confused. Earlier this week, Representative Larson raised the stakes by proposing a constitutional amendment to lengthen the terms of members of the House to 4 years from the current 2. The thought was, according to the framers (I really hate that word), that a two year term would force members of the House to be more attuned to the people they represent. Of course, they also intended for Senators to be elected by state legislatures, and that went away years ago with the passage of the 17th Amendment. So it’s not as if what John’s proposing can’t happen.
John wants to increase Congressional terms to 4 years because of the pressure of fund-raising. He points out that right after his or her initiation ceremony, where new members learn the secret handshake and password, they are instructed to start raising money for the next cycle, and that detracts them from their true job . And Representative Larson may have a point.
But the fact is, most incumbents win re-election easily. Honestly, do you think Former Speaker Pelosi awakens in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, fearing that if she doesn’t raise enough money she’ll be tossed out of office? I didn’t think so. If San Fran Nan wakes up in a cold sweat in at 3am, it’s because she fears losing the majority in the House.
Just like she did several years ago. Whether Republican or Democrat, being in the House minority sucks.
So the real reason for the stress on raising money is to allow Reps. from safe seats (like the 1st district) to use their war chests to help members in contested districts to keep their jobs. Or to help a challenger unseat an incumbent from the other party
And that may be this is really about. Had only half of House members been up for re-election in 2010, perhaps the pushback from Obamacare might have been muted. A four- year term could allow a Congressman to ride out the storm.
After all, voters can stay angry for only so long.