Notes on Political Venality, Pomposity and Associated Stupidity.

Friday, May 19, 2006

The PA Pay Raise Rout; Or Was It More Than That?

Legislators in Pennsylvania took it on the chin this past week, when more than a few incumbents found themselves back in that place we all live in; the private sector.

Conventional wisdom says most of their losses were due to a "middle of the night" salary increase these chumps voted themselves several months back; a manuveur that led to a massive public backlash and a "kick out the bums" anti-incumbency movement. Maybe so. It surely had a lot to do with it.

But I reckon more is happening here. I would suggest that the anti-incumbency bonfire was fueled as much by voter frustration with national politics as much as it was statewide dissatisfaction. Voters, unhappy with the downward spiral that defines the Bush administration as well as most of Congress just wanted to DO SOMETHING about it and they did. Maybe removing a few low-level bumbling state legisature doesn't accomplish much in terms of foreign policy, but, like kicking the dog, IT FEELS GOOD. And, for a lot of people, fed up with the sour state of Bush and his enablers, it momentarily gave them something to celebrate.

Of course, the next test comes in November, when a load of House and Senate members may face the same fate....and this time it won't be a proxy vote, it'll be the real thing!