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Congress needs new faces

What if the voters go to the polls next November and decide to punish their Congressmen by not re-electing them?It could happen to a lot of them, to Connecticut Democrats and red state Republicans. People are disgusted with the men and women who were sent to Washington to govern, but spent their talents on political gamesmanship and fundraising. Even incumbents in safe districts, made financially invincible by a corrupt system, could be in trouble, regardless of party.So don’t be surprised if some entrenched Congressmen find themselves without a job. With only nine percent of the public approving of how they run their end of the government, they certainly don’t deserve re-election. “Why not replace your Congressman before he helps turn the United States into Greece,” could be a potent argument. “And let’s not hear any talk about how Congress is terrible but your Congressman is OK,” could be another. In Connecticut, it’s hard to imagine all five Democratic Congressmen being defeated, but that’s only because the Republicans aren’t exactly running a sterling choice of candidates. One incumbent, Chris Murphy, is running for the Senate. If his Democratic replacement in the 5th District is Chris Donovan, as expected, and the Republican is a moderate like state Sen. Andrew Roraback, the choice will be Roraback for this normally Democratic voter. Why not Donovan? He’s more of the same, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the unions. He said a lot about himself when he attempted to give a taxpayer-paid, phony job to James Amman, his predecessor as speaker. He remained on the Reapportionment Committee when he has an obvious conflict of interest, and he’d fit in beautifully in the current, mindlessly partisan Congress. Take your pick. If people in other places become angry enough to vote against their Congressmen, we might also get rid of Eric Cantor and the guy who yelled “you lie” at President Obama, plus many of the Tea Party crazies elected in 2010. They could send Boehner and Pelosi home, too. Dream on. And why, you may ask, penalize the Democratic House minority members for the sins of the Republican majority? The answer is they’re all to blame. We wouldn’t have the Republicans running the House if the Democrats hadn’t made a mess of things first. And besides, all of them, Democrats and Republicans alike, are products of a corrupt system that allows them — even encourages them — to take money from people, corporations and unions that want to buy their votes. Check out their top contributors at www.opensecrets.org.In addition, haven’t we had quite enough of both parties refusing to compromise for self-serving political reasons? The failure of the Super Committee was really the proverbial final insult. They couldn’t compromise on a measure to save our economy because the Republicans signed onto an idiotic no tax increase pledge and the Democrats were afraid to cut entitlements that have to be cut. As expected, the Connecticut delegation blamed the Republicans and never mentioned entitlement reform or compromise. While all this was going on, Congress and the president made a big deal of passing a bill that gives tax benefits to employers hiring veterans. That’s nice, but only one half of a percent of Americans are in the military, and the rest of the men and women looking for work are left hostage to Congressional inaction.And as usual, the House also wasted time passing bills that will never become law just to please the donors and influence peddlers.Forty-three Democrats and all but seven Republicans just voted to require states with strict gun control laws to honor laws from states that allow people to carry concealed weapons — even in churches, schools and bars. (Joe Courtney voted for it.)I guess you could call this a jobs stimulus bill since armed robberies increase when the economy is hurting, and this law could make it easier and more fulfilling for those pursuing a criminal career as an alternative to unemployment. Simsbury resident Dick Ahles is a retired journalist. Email him at dahles@hotmail.com.

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