Have you ever urged anyone to break his word? You know I haven’t either. It’s a pretty unusual not to mention unethical thing to do.
So why on earth is the Republican leadership urging several members of Congress to break the solemn pledges they made to voters to step down in 2000 after three terms in office?
The New York Times writes, “House Republicans struggling to save their slim congressional majority are urging Republicans who promised to limit their terms to renege on those pledges and seek reelection anyway.” In an ugly way this shows just how powerful incumbency really is: taxpayer-funded mailings, a big staff, easy access to media and the name recognition that comes with it, the ability to dole out special favors from the federal government that equals votes and campaign contributions.
In 1998, the reelection rate was 98.5 percent and no one with more than two terms under his belt was defeated. Incumbency according to the experts, career politicians themselves is so powerful in winning elections that it easily compensates for turning the central tenet and promise of one’s original campaign into a lie.
What a sham!
The same politicians who impeach President Clinton for perjury, now urge their fellows to toss aside all integrity and break the public trust again. When Republican leaders persuade a member of Congress to break his oath, the damage goes beyond the pledge-breaker’s own district. It will tarnish Republicans everywhere.
Such hubris , as the Greeks called this brand of pride, is usually followed by a mighty fall.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.