Mollohan: Ethics, anti-incumbency or both?
So a relatively obscure Democratic representative of 28 years and with some ethics problems goes down in his primary. In most election cycles you’d be likely pin the loss on the ethics problems and an opponent who successfully capitalized on them. But you really can’t do that this time. In the wake of Republican Bob Bennett’s ouster in Utah, West Virginia’s Rep. Alan Mollohan’s loss may be more than just an ethics problem. In fact, it may have to do with the fact that he’s been in Congress for 28 years than any ethics clouds on his horizon.
It is getting harder and harder to deny there’s an anti-incumbent fever among the voters of this nation. And, it appears, it isn’t dissipating. Many politicians have read the tea leaves and are bailing. David Obey and Bart Stupak know a loser when they see one, even after decades in office. Harry Reid faces an uphill battle for re-election. And so do many more. The GOP needs to get a clue as Bennett’s loss points out. Anti-incumbent fever isn’t just confined to Democrats.
There are those who opine that this is all a referendum on Obama. No, it’s not. While certainly his agenda is contributing to the “vote the bums out” mentality, this is something that has been building for a while. It is a rejection of “government is the answer” mantra and it is a demand for fiscal sanity, the reining in of the federal government and getting it out of our lives. It appears the voters have finally decided this particular class of politicians – on both sides with some exceptions – isn’t the bunch to get that done. Given their history and the conditions under which we suffer today because of them, I’d have to agree.
Watch for more of this in the coming months.