Entitlement reform has become a leading issue in this year's Republican primaries. I don't mean the kind of entitlement reform associated with Medicare or Social Security. I'm referring to the Republican Party's establishment figures and their exaggerated sense of political entitlement.read the whole thing.
The most recent example is in Delaware, where despite being outspent 32 to 1, insurgent candidate Christine O'Donnell trumped nine-term GOP Congressman Michael Castle by 65 percent to 35 percent for the GOP Senate nomination.
Castle, who has spent a lifetime as a political incumbent, responded to this humiliating loss with conduct unbecoming a gentleman. Instead of graciously acknowledging defeat and closing ranks with his party's nominee, Castle trashed her. Sniping from his website, Castle attacked O'Donnell as untrustworthy and unfit for office.
By trying to ensure that O'Donnell loses the election, Castle undermines his own party's prospects for a Senate takeover in November. So strong is his sense of entitlement to the Senate nomination that Castle feels justified in being disloyal to the very party he has spent his adult life serving.
If it were only a personal matter, it would be sad to see this once respected politician end his political legacy embittered because the voters foiled his Senate ambitions. But Castle is not the only Delaware GOP establishment figure trying to torpedo the party's nominee. State Party Chairman Tom Ross has lodged a complaint against the O'Donnell campaign and the Tea Party Express for improper coordination. It is as though the insiders see the Republican Party as their private fiefdom.
Nor is the Delaware GOP an aberration. Embattled Republican moderates around the country seem to feel justified in taking actions that could keep Democrats in office rather than lose GOP sinecures to which they feel personally entitled....
This is what is wrong with this country. Politicians have gotten the idea that they OWN the political positions that they have been voted into for (sometimes) decades...they are entitled to those positions only because VOTERS have chosen them time after time. Pehaps it's time to sweep all career politicians out of office and replace them wholesale.
It's not just an issue for the GOP...this past fall, after Ted Kennedy died, his senate seat was often referred to as the "Kennedy Seat". Martha Coakley lost her bid to win that seat in the special election partly because she felt she, as a Democrat, who was annointed by her party, was "entitled" to hold that seat for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The time has come to sweep away politicians who have held office for any length of time. We need to put people into office who won't become career politicians, but who will enter the publica arena only for the length of time needed for them to accomplish what they were initially elected to office for in the first place.