A new Washington Post/ABC News poll finds that nearly two-thirds of registered voters say they plan to “look around” to vote for someone other than their current member of Congress in 2012.
This is pretty understandable given the utter dysfunction of the 112th Congress and the debt ceiling gauntlet they have chosen to run us through. However, it’s worth noting that this sort incumbent dissatisfaction is what got us here in the 2010 election cycle.
The 2010 elections were all about throwing out the incumbents and sending Washington a message that the voters were mad as hell and wanted things to be different. The result being an extremely large crowd of 93 Freshman Representatives in the House and 13 fresh-faced Senators. And well… it’s different in Washington, but is it what we wanted?
The mad as hell, ideologically driven, take no prisoners and accept no compromise spirit of the voters is arguably embodied in the newly elected legislators. But the result has been virtual political paralysis. The people sent to “shake things up” have failed to realize that beyond being a message incarnate, they are actually supposed to run a government and act in the best interest of the people. And the very nature of that in any democracy is about compromise and negotiation, a subtle point of complexity apparently lost on the Freshman class.
The lesson here for us voters should be that while there’s lots of good reasons to revile the incumbents, it’s vitally important to replace them with someone competent and capable, not merely someone loud and angry.