Thank God for Our Sometime Democracy

The "recent" economic crisis has given some powerful people in the United States the perfect opportunity to invent an excuse to increase their power, line their pockets and avoid responsibility for their mistakes by pushing the burden onto the American people. The failed bailout proposal was an incredible threat to the integrity of our government -such as it is- and would have done nothing to solve the very source of our society's economic problems - all for a price tag of $700 billion. So why did it fail? Well maybe, just maybe, it was the voice of the people that was heard.

Although there was division along party lines, (60% of D's but only 33% of R's voted yes) those numbers show that the issue was certainly not clearly one side versus the other. It was, after all, President Bush's Treasury Secretary who proposed the bill. For many conservatives, voting no was probably a simple ideological vote, a vote for limiting the power of government and saving the American taxpayer from further burden. Honestly, I can't disagree with that sentiment right now. However, I just heard a far more interesting analysis of why members of Congress voted the way they did, courtesy of NBC.

We all know we live in a representative democracy, which is really just another way of saying the people only control government on election day. Today, however, the looming election day and the voice of the people may have saved us from the tyranny and inequity that would have been instituted with this bailout bill. About twenty minutes ago I heard Chuck Todd of NBC theorize that it was the members of Congress facing tough elections this November who were more likely to vote no, and it was those who would be facing an easier time who voted yes. Constituents bombarded their representatives telling them to vote no, and many were keen on listening. The theory certainly makes sense in regards to the one Representative I know of - my old buddy Don Young. At least I hope he'll be facing a tough race. The guy is more clearly and publicly seen as a corrupt bastard than ever before, so Alaskans had better not be stupid enough to reelect him again.

Still I give Don credit for voting no. I suppose he voted no for my sake.

Yeah right.