Free Markets, Free People


Representiative Democracy or Rule Of The Elite?

On paper, we are a Constitutional Republic, meaning we elect representatives to represent our interests in Congress. So in theory and reality these representatives work for us, since they can’t get into office unless we hire them via the vote. We elect them, we direct them, and if and when we become displeased with their performance or they’re not representing our best interests, we give them the opportunity to find new employment.

That’s how most of us understand it is supposed to work. One of the first indicators it isn’t working exactly that way right now is the attitude of Democratic lawmakers toward their constituents at townhalls who have, obviously, been a bit confrontational.

Instead of trying to figure out what is causing the obvious frustration, Democrats have further stoked it by calling their constituents names and characterizing them as a ‘mob’ or ‘political terrorists’ or ‘un-American’ for opposing what they’re legislatively pushing. Then after insulting the constituency the irony-impaired Democrats have the audacity to lecture them on “rudeness” and “incivility”. Apparently using the term “brownshirts” to describe voters in your district is neither “rude” or “uncivil”.

Certainly all of those are indicators of something that constituents have been unhappy with for quite some time (and that is why I continue to say that this isn’t just about health care). The theory seems to not represent what is actually happening.

But it’s hard to point at one thing and say, “this isn’t representative democracy, it has become the rule of the elite.”

Thankfully there’s always someone who hasn’t figured out that we have both video cameras and digital recorders and will, in an unguarded moment when he or she thinks they’re among friends, say what they really believe without spin.

Meet Democratic New York Representative Eric Massa, who, while reveling in the cocoon of the Netroots Nation over the weekend (instead of holding a townhall meeting in his usually Republican district) provided a glimpse of why the Democrats sound like they do:

MASSA: I’m not going to vote for 3200 as it’s currently written. Step one, I will vote for a single payer option or a bill that does have a medicare coupled public option, which we don’t have right now. If my town hall meetings turn into the same media frenzies and ridiculousness, because every time that happens we lose, We lose another three million people in America. They see that happening and negate us.

PARTICIPANT: It changes America.

MASSA: Every time that occurs. So what happens in my town hall meetings frankly is important, because I am in one of the most right wing Republican districts in the country, and I’m not asking you guys to go back to wherever and send people to me. This is a generic statement of what can I do? Well that’s one thing we can do.

PARTICIPANT: So if we got your meetings to sixty forty, you’d vote…and there was single payer in a bill you would vote for it?

MASSA: Oh absolutely I would vote for single payer.

PARTICIPANT: If there was sixty forty sentiment in the room?

MASSA: Listen, I tell every audience I’m in favor of single payer.

PARTICIPANT: If there was eighty twenty in the room?

MASSA: If there was a single payer bill?

PARTICIPANT: And there was a single payer….

MASSA: I will vote for the single payer bill.

PARTICIPANT: Even if it meant you were being voted out of office?

MASSA: I will vote adamantly against the interests of my district if I actually think what I am doing is going to be helpful.

(inaudible participants’ comments regarding the “interests” of the district statement from Mr. Massa)

Massa: I will vote against their opinion if I actually believe it will help them.

Folks it doesn’t get any clearer than that. Mr. Massa isn’t there to “represent” anyone. He’s made it clear that his agenda and his party’s agenda take precedence over anything his constituency wants. If they agree with him fine. But if they don’t, he obviously doesn’t care one whit. His mind is made up, he’s not going to hold any townhalls and his constituency can go pound sand, because Mr. Massa has already decided what is best for them.

They should just sit down and shut up and let their betters decide what’s good for them.

As you might imagine, and as demonstrated at the various townhalls you’ve seen (and which Mr. Massa refuses to hold), that isn’t sitting well with many Americans. 2010 may indeed provide an opportunity for Americans to let quite a number of lawmakers with Mr. Massa’s attitude seek new employment.

Correction: It has been brought to my attention that Rep. Massa has held townhall meetings and plans to hold more.

~McQ

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68 Responses to Representiative Democracy or Rule Of The Elite?

  • I predict that the footage of him saying “I will vote against their opinion” will become a very, very popular bit of video when it comes time for campaign adds against Massa.

  • Its partly the campaign finance laws. A lot of so-called clean up of the system has actually entrenched incumbants and made sure only the Mainstream Media and Multi Billinaires can be heard.

  • Whoever runs against him could use a 5 year old to create campaign commercials now….

    I’ll say it again (and likely a few more times before it is all over): if we don’t vote them out, these sorts of things are vindicated.

  • Yowsuh, Massa, you votes for me please.

  • democrats are arrogant elitists? AND filthy liars?

    Who knew???

    / sarc

    McQ – “Mr. Massa isn’t there to ‘represent’ anyone… If [his constituents] agree with him fine. But if they don’t, he obviously doesn’t care one whit. His mind is made up, he’s not going to hold any townhalls and his constituency can go pound sand, because Mr. Massa has already decided what is best for them.”

    Devil’s advocate:

    One theory of elected representation is that the representative is elected NOT to serve as a proxy for his constituents, but rather to use his intelligence, experience and superior knowledge to make the best decision he can on their behalf.* If we want to conduct the business of government on the basis of public opinion, which may change rapidly and be swayed by perhaps trivial events as well as the unscrupulous use of propaganda, then we don’t need representatives: we could run our government by referenda or even polls. So, one could argue that Massa is doing the “right” thing by bucking his constituents IF HE GENUINELY BELIEVES THAT HE’S RIGHT AND THEY’RE WRONG. He might well have to pay an electoral penalty for his stand… which would be democracy in action.

    —-

    (*) I know, I know: the idea of a member of Congress using intelligence, much less superior knowledge and experience of anything other than how to be elected, is laughable.

    • I agree with your Devil’s advocate, and you beat me to it. Theoretically. especially in national defense matters, oficeholders have access to information that we citizens do not. It boils down to a matter of trust; do you trust your elected reps? Character counts, as someone said a few years back.

      I do not argue with Massa’s willingness to vote against the opinion of his constituents, in fact I commend his courage in being willing to do so and pay the price.

      • I have to agree too.  That is the definition of a Republic.

        However, the normal assumption is the representative knows more about the issue than his constituents.  In this case, though, not only does Massa not know more than his constituents, he seems fixated on a single payer system regardless of what else is in the bill.  For both of these reasons, he should be exiled from Congress as soon as possible.

        Rick

        • It would be hillarious to see Massa try to explain (A) what’s actually in the bill and (B) WHY single-payer is a good idea. I suspect he hasn’t read the bills and couldn’t explain the concept beyond repeating the liberal talking points (lies) about how it will save money, ensure health care to EVERYBODY, cure cancer, etc.

          Congress is getting a black eye from all of this. It would serve ‘em right if ALL of them got thrown out in the next election cycles. We could hardly do worse than the pack of thieves, liars, and idiots we currently have infesting Capitol Hill.

    • Representatives – members of the House – were created and empowered to represent the “people” in a particular district. Senators, otoh, were there to represent the state. Would you make the argument that it was the Senator’s job to “use his intelligence, experience and superior knowledge to make the best decision he can on [the state's] behalf”? Or would you expect the Senator to consult with the state and do their bidding (whether the Senator necessarily agrees or not?) since the key point is the Senator “represents” the state – not the Senator’s ideas or opinions?

      • McQ – “Would you make the argument that it was the Senator’s job to ‘use his intelligence, experience and superior knowledge to make the best decision he can on [the state's] behalf’? Or would you expect the Senator to consult with the state and do their bidding (whether the Senator necessarily agrees or not?) since the key point is the Senator ‘represents’ the state – not the Senator’s ideas or opinions?”

        I suggest that the senator can no more consult with his state than the president can consult with the country. As I understand it, before the XVII Amendment allowed direct election of senators, they were appointed by the state legislature and therefore could have been expected to report to and consult with that body (at least, its majority!) and their state’s governor. These men, in principle, knew the needs of their state and could report them to the senator so he could make the best decision about voting on federal legislation. This, it seems to me, falls under the rubric of being guided by “superior knowledge”.

        Even today, the representative’s knowledge includes (or should include) the views and desires or his constituents. Whether those ought to trump what he knows from other sources, such as expert testimony before Congress, the research done by his staff, etc, is a matter of political judgement. As timactual points out, members of Congress (should) know more about defense matters than the average citizen and should vote accordingly.

        timactual makes another good point: it’s a matter of trust and character. Is the legislator a man who shows up for committee meetings, makes efforts to keep himself informed about important issues, and will vote according to what is best for his district / state / country? Or is he a wardheeler who doesn’t bother to read the bills he votes on, can’t be bothered to show up for committee meetings or even to vote, and in general votes the way lobbyists or his party leaders tell him to vote (in other words, is he a typical member of Congress)? If the former, then he ought to be elected to do the best he can, and his constituents should count themselves lucky to have him working for them even if he doesn’t always vote the way they think he should. If the latter… Well, we’ve muddled along with scum like that for two centuries. Let’s hope the Good Lord continues to keep them from making too much trouble for us.

        • So had the legislature told him that it wasn’t in the best interest of the state to, say, vote on a treaty, was he then free to decide not to do what the state asked and expect no consequence? Or do you suppose he knew he was to represent the state’s interest and do what the legislature and governor directed him to do?

          IOW, does he represent the best interests of his state as defined by his state or by his own opinion?

          • I disagree with you on this one Bruce.  Though I’d like to think a Rep would ‘represent’, he’s still making decisions.  And unless he’s going to check with everyone in his district on everything, he votes his conscience.  If he goes against the majority of his constituents, they should vote him out.
            Another reason we should consider term limits and repeal the 17th amm.

          • But, as you well know, he’s not hired to “vote his conscience”, he’s hired to “represent” his constituency. That’s the function of townhalls, polling and getting familiar with the way your district thinks. And then their job is to represent those interests. That is the “representative’s” job.

            That’s why I used Senators and states as an example in comments below. While that has since been changed since by amendment, as originally conceived, Senators “represented” the state. They were not free agents, they were not free to “vote their conscience” and they were, in fact extensions of their state. We have given far more gravity and importance to the job these bozos hold than they deserve, which is why I like to remind everyone of what their title is (Representative) and what that entails as far as job function (represent the district which gave him the job). “Voting their conscience” is simply a rationalization used to give a noble air to not doing what they were hired to do.

          • We should expect our Senators to honor their oath, which they swear too when taking office.But then there’s this, reference 1884:

            http://www.emailyoursenator.com/oath.html

            Bastards!

          • Is the function of the House of Representatives to pass good law for the USA or a clearing house from which Congressmen use the state to cater to their constituents? Apparently Massa thinks single payer healthcare will be a good law for the USA (though not so much for his constituents) and that he has been hired to pass good law.

          • It is the job of the Representatives to pass their best judgement on proposed laws, and then it is the job of the voters to pass their best judgement on the judgement of the candidates.  There is no contradiction to this in the voters being reminded that when they made their views quite plain, their Representatives blew them off.
            Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp

          • No. He hasn’t. He’s been hired as a “representative”. Any clue to who he “represents”?

          • Bruce – are you suggesting he ONLY represents the majority?  Isn’t that mob rule… the worst form of democracy?  What if the majority supported this abortion of a bill and he was against it on constitutional grounds?  Should he vote for it even though, in his heart of hearts, he is against it?

          • So who should he represent, the minority? Yes, he represents the majority in his constituency. That’s how he got his job.

            Should he vote for something he can’t morally support? No. He should resign instead. But somehow that’s never an option that’s discussed. Instead we get this nonsense about charting their own course and being somehow noble, when, in fact, it is an abrogation of the duty their job demands.

            The point, of course, is his job is nothing more than being the chosen one whose job it is to vote as those who chose him want him to vote. He represents them, not himself. If he finds he can’t represent what they want for whatever reason – legal, moral, etc.- then he should resign his position in protest. But the job description doesn’t give him the leeway to decide to chart his own course. One of the reasons we find ourselves in this awful mess is we’ve put up with that for centuries.

            “Representative” is the job description.

          • A Representative represents the entire district, and votes on what he believes would be best for the district, taking into account public opinion, but never being controlled by it. The public often really does not understand the issues in play.

          • McQ – “So had the legislature told him that it wasn’t in the best interest of the state to, say, vote on a treaty, was he then free to decide not to do what the state asked and expect no consequence?”

            I certainly wouldn’t expect “no consequences”; he’s an elected representative, not an official appointed for life.

            Such a situation would be a real gut check moment. It would be incumbent upon the senator to try to explain his position and persuade his consituents that he’s right, just as they have the right (and even obligation) to demonstrate why THEY are right. At the end of the day, he has to decide whether to simply be a mouthpiece or do what he thinks is right. Later, the constituents will decide whether to reward or punish him based on which they value more: bowing to their collective will or demonstrating independence and moral courage.

  • Politicians have been acting this way all along but lying to you about it.
    So now they are coming right out and telling you the truth about it and you get your panties in a knot?
    And when the herd ousts Massa next year he’ll simply get hired as a loyal lobbiest and start making some real money.
    The game is rigged folks and not in your favor and why you insist on continuing to play is beyond me.
    If you keep playing you lend validity to it.
    I just don’t get it, seriously.
     

  • There were members of congress who voted in favor of the war in Iraq or Bush’s tax cuts, despite their constituent’s opposition to said initiatives. It happens. Its not good, but it happens. But lets not pretend that this is a new thing that will lead to a civil war or whatever.

    • There are members who’ve done any number of things over the years. The discussion is about what they actually should do. You might want to try joining that discussion instead of making irrelevant arguments and making cheap comments about a different post written by someone else.

  • Also, not that this rises to the same level but there were members of congress who voted for civil rights despite the views of the electorate.

    • “there were members of congress who voted for civil rights despite the views of the electorate.”
      And a large # of Democratic ones who voted against it, despite the views of the electorate…

  • While I am opposed to Rep. Massa and (I presume) everything he stands for, voting his conscience in spite of what the majority of his constituents might want him to vote for makes him a classic case of being a ‘Profile in Courage’.  If his constituents are offended, they can vote him out of office next November.   I’d say the same thing if an office holder promised to make an unpopular vote that I supported.

    • When you hire a lawyer do you hire him to represent your best interests or do you hire him to represent his conscience?

      Again, don’t forget that the name of the position this person occupies is “Representative”. Who is he hired (via voting) to “represent”?

  • I don’t think its possible to find the exact Frankenstein-like individual who could “represent” his or her district’s opinions exactly. There will be issues where they disagree with the majority.

    Oh, I guess someone apolitical who simply robo-polled right before each vote could claim this.

    Now, if the rep in question does this too much to the chagrin of his constituents, they will be voted out, so “problem” solved.

    • So I assume you’re saying that the representative is a free agent? Once in office he’s not expected to represent his district, he’s free to act in any manner he feels suits his “conscience” (especially when it conforms with what his party leadership wants)?

      • Let me get this straight…somehow you’ve deduced how every person in Massa’s district stands on health care reform? Who do you think voted for him? What do you think he ran on? Why do you think the people who voted for him did so? What color is the sky in your world? Why are so many conservatives so f*cking ignorant?

        • Good grief – Did you even read the post?

          Speaking of ignorance, what does this-

          Massa: I will vote adamantly against the interests of my district if I actually think what I am doing is going to be helpful…I will vote against their opinion if I actually believe it will help them.

          - have to do with anything you just said? Obviously Massa is of the opinion that what he wants (single payer) is not what his district wants and, as he implies, he just doesn’t care.

  • Yes, it was predominantly democratic leading the charge against civil rights Willis.

    You are such a sell out beeyach

  • McQ what does “represent” mean?

  • C’mon, Bruce, you must see that comparing a privately hired lawyer to a  democratically elected representative is silly at best.

    • Not at all – in both cases they’re hired to “represent” you and your interests.

      Here – look at this again:

      MASSA: I will vote adamantly against the interests of my district if I actually think what I am doing is going to be helpful.

      [...]

      Massa: I will vote against their opinion if I actually believe it will help them.

      Is that his job? To “vote adamantly against the interests of my district?” Or is he the chosen one, via vote, to represent their interests?

      I’m not arguing about what they do in reality. I’m suggesting what they have become isn’t what they were originally supposed to be. These are people calling their own constituents “mobs”, “political terrorists”, “brownshirts” and “un-American”, and seem to forget it is they who are the hired help.

  • You sound as if you think congressmen should feel obliged to vote whichever way that polls say is popular.

    • No – I’m saying the representative’s job is to represent the interests of his or her district and part of that job entails determining what those interests are. But it is certainly not to “vote adamantly against the interests” of the district as declared by Massa.

      What you have going on out there is party politics trumping the interests of constituents and the way it is being accomplished is to demonize the constituency (mob, political terrorists, brownshirts, etc.) so they can marginalize it. Then they’re able to wave it away and rationalize voting for what the party wants and not necessarily what the constituency wants.

      I’m asking if that’s what you believe their constituency thinks they were elected to do? Given the confrontational nature of the townhalls and what is being said by the constituents, I’d have to say “no”.

  • If you think he should use his own intelligence to make decision, isnt it more intelligent to vote the way your constituents want in order to be elected again? Its voting against them the unintelligent think for an elected representative to do? Voting against their interests is stupid, voting in their interest, but against their will, could possibly be brave, and if you were right they might be intelligent.

  • “I will vote adamantly against the interests of my district if I actually think what I am doing is going to be helpful.”

    Send these thoughts to Mr. Massa’s district, and let his constituents know that he could give one rat’s crap about what they think.

    I, for one, believe that once Mr. Massa’s views become known to said constituents, he will be out of a job in the next Congress, and someone more to the liking of said constituents (i.e., a Republican), will accede to the wishes of the people who send said representative to Congress.

  • Why do we call them the “elite”? Being elite means to me that they are smarter, wiser, more knowing. They are not elite.
    Don’t let others take over the language.

  • Yes. We elect a man, not a robot.
    If this is a failing, then I suggest direct votes on bills district by district.
    Oh, sure, I get your point, but that is why elections are held every 2 years for the house – to allow for the purging of representatives who head too far from their constituents wishes.

  • Bruce, what happens if a “representative” is a well-liked individual who pretty much follows his district’s political leanings, but say, he also is for gay marriage on principle, despite that not being a principle his constituents believe in. They still elect him, because they are more worried about 2nd amendment rights (or whatever) than gay marriage.  What to do then?

  • unaha-closp:
    Is the function of the House of Representatives to pass good law for the USA or a clearing house from which Congressmen use the state to cater to their constituents? Apparently Massa thinks single payer healthcare will be a good law for the USA (though not so much for his constituents) and that he has been hired to pass good law.”
    ‘good law’ by who’s account?  For all we know he’s passing a law to advance his career in what is currently a radicalized Democrat Party.  So if his ‘good intentions’ are actually self-interest then would still be OK for him to vote against his constituency?  I highly doubt he’s going to publicly admit he’s voting against his constituency to gain politically within Party Ranks.  So, how do we know if he’s voting out of long term political self-interest, some more immediate political pay off, or what he thinks is good?  Its a problem isn’t it?
    Its not his job to be a ‘good boy’.  Its his job to represent his constituency.  Problem solved.

  • The system is working as intended.

  • In real life, the only way for a Congressman to be sure of voting as the majority of his constituents wish is to take a poll and then vote immediately afterward. Of course if they change their minds later he is still screwed.

    And, if we want to get historical, it was next to impossible to know the current opinion of the voters back in the good old days when the fastest means of communication was the horse.

    • In real life, now as then, he or she should be plugged into the constituency in such a way that they can quickly determine the mood of their district on important issues. You don’t have to take polls if you know your constituency well enough and know who to query to determine that mood. That, of course, means interacting with that constituency, listening to them and holding events where both of those things can be done on a regular basis. IOW, doing your job.

  • Can you say politically dead  … just say … yes Massa

  • You and 40,000 of your fellow citizens tell your representative 40,001 different ways to do something, how is he to do the *right* thing?
    Further, his *real* boss is telling him to do something else, who is he going to listen to?
    The political representative is NOT your employee not matter how much you delude yourself, and you have no way to enforce your demands upon him like you can an employee. If the representative violates your wishes you simply have to live with it and wait for the day that that particular representative is no longer the focus of your ire.
    Yeah, its a 5h1tty system and I don’t agree with any of it but I have to get dragged along with the rest of the herd and so do you.


     

  • he’s hired to “represent” his constituency.
    Which constituency, you?
    Or the majority?
    What about his constituency that doesn’t agree with him?
    What about the minority of his constituency, do they not have any rights in all of this?
     

  • Edmund Burke, Speech to the Electors of Bristol

    3 Nov. 1774

    “Certainly, gentlemen, it ought to be the happiness and glory of a representative to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his constituents. Their wishes ought to have great weight with him; their opinion, high respect; their business, unremitted attention. It is his duty to sacrifice his repose, his pleasures, his satisfactions, to theirs; and above all, ever, and in all cases, to prefer their interest to his own. But his unbiassed opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or to any set of men living. These he does not derive from your pleasure; no, nor from the law and the constitution. They are a trust from Providence, for the abuse of which he is deeply answerable.

    Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.”

    http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/v1ch13s7.html

  • Pretty clear from the video that he’s not doing this:

    “I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter”

    His primary duty is to represent his constituents.

    It used to be that taking an oath was something people were held to. Not so much anymore. This guy should be thrown out of office.

  • An old debate in political science.  On one side: the representatives should simply follow public him.   On the other side, representatives are paid to learn more about complex issues than the public can or does, and exercise their best judgment.   Neither of those positions is ‘right’ in any objective sense, historically representatives choose how to approach it.   And, of course, since they have to be re-elected, the public can judge if a representative who follows his or her own informed judgment vs. public whim has done a good job.   But it is wrong to say that Representatives should simply vote for what the majority wants, that’s contrary to most theory on how representative democracy should work.

  • When a person runs for office, I get the impression that they are selling themselves to their constituents as someone who will represent them and work on their behalf.  I strongly suspect that a candidate who ran on a platform of “I will listen to you and work to implement policies that you support” would get more votes than one who ran on a platform of “I will listen to you and then work to implement policies that I think are best for you, whether you agree or not.”

    If you poll your constituents and they are against an option, it behooves you to both understand why they are against it.  If you desire to vote against their opinion, it behooves you to face your constituents and explain why.  Because sure, your constituents can vote you out of office if you do not represent them well.  But the damage done in the meantime isn’t easily repaired.

    • Well there’s a third option which no one discusses. If you can’t represent your constituents as they want to be represented, and you don’t want to support the position they’ve staked out, resign.

      Of course that’s never discussed as an option, is it? Instead we get the “I’ll vote my conscience” pap instead to rationalize not doing their job.

      • Wow, you really think politicians should be completely poll driven? Not use their judgment with the information at hand, but follow the whims of a public which might be being manipulated by propaganda? Gee, I’d have thought you’d have loved Bill Clinton!

  • Going back to your lawyer analogy, if I hire a lawyer, one of the things I’m hiring is an understanding of what outcomes are possible and probable.  I’m not hiring a mouthpiece, I’m hiring expertise.  So, I’m not going to hire a lawyer who just tells me what I want to hear, I’m going to hire the guy that (I hope) tells me what I need to hear.  If what I need to hear is “you can’t win this case for the amount you want, your best outcome is to settle for this amount”, I’m not going to fire him so that I can go find some lackey who will just be a yes man.
    I am not certain that analogy really makes the point you want it to.  I want my congressman to represent my wishes, but to do so in a fashion that maximizes my positive outcomes.  He might have to do a little log-rolling to get there.    He might have to vote “against my interests” on occasion, so that he can win the bigger fights.
    None of this has anything to do with Massa, incidentally.   He’s pretty obviously an ass.

  • Isn’t part of the problem that we now have a full time political class who can afford to stay in the capitol city and not come home to sit around in the pub of an evening with their constituency, and not hold or attend dinner parties or social visits or gatherings (or town halls) to find out what the other ‘voters’ (originally a much smaller subset than all citizens over the age of 18) favor?   They’re out of touch with their constituents because they rarely actually SEE them, except when they are in campaign mode.  Otherwise they spend all their time hanging around with members of lower social classes (other politicians and lobbyists) in Washington.

    Make the buggers come home and work for a living and they’ll do a lot less damage.
    historical views?
    Will Rogers -

    “This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as we do when the baby gets hold of a hammer. It’s just a question of how much damage he can do with it before you can take it away from him.”

    Mark Twain -

    “No man’s life, liberty or property are safe while the legislature is in session. ”
    “Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”
    “It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.”

  • Cheese and rice…the man was elected because the majority of the people in his district supported his positions on the issues Bunky. That means he should do what he said he’d do…if he does something different, then you’d have a case that he should resign. Dayum…the stupid, it burns!

    • Then you’re not listening because he makes it plain that’s not the case with single payer and he states that doesn’t matter. There is absolutely no reason to say what he says if his district agrees with him. None.

  • By the way, Ronald Reagan argued that politicians should stand on principle, even if it went against public opinion. No one can seriously say that all Representatives should just take polls and vote whatever the majority believes. In Political Science REPRESENTATIVE democracy does not mean following majority whim or polls. To claim that is part of the ‘job description’ shows real ignorance about not only the nature of politics, but what the founders thought as they designed this Republic. Tell me, why didn’t you support Representatives voting to get out of Iraq when public support for the war went down below 40%? Maybe you need to rethink this, McQ — or else argue for instant reformendums and a massive investment in polling (and how do you know which polls to take or trust?)

  • Here is Massa calling Grassley a traitor because he won’t vote for healthcare.

    http://briefingroom.thehill.com/2009/08/19/dem-lawmaker-accuses-grassley-of-treason/

  • And what did Massa say in the video? That’s what is being discussed.

  • One more time for the slow and stupid – we’re talking about what he said in this video – got it?