November 21, 2009

Why Lugar Remains

Who among us, assuming we have the needed funds to live as we want, would continue to work into our late seventies?  Senator Lugar is going to be 78 in April, he'll be 80 at the end of his current term in 2012.  Why does Lugar remain?  He is our representative, our vote in Washington, it's not meant to be a lifetime appointment, but he's been our Senator since 1976 (he was mayor of Indy, before that).  It's not my intent to pile on someone who's already down (see the link), and I don't want to pigeonhole senior citizens into their easy chairs... but come on, make way.  The job is to represent us, not rule us... it shouldn't matter who's sitting in that chamber pressing that button, whoever is there is representing the same people.

The trouble with Senators is that people are always going to them, asking them for help, asking them to intervene for them.  Senators can spend federal money on whatever they choose, just by attaching a slip of paper (an earmark) to any bill that passes.  There is a reason why senators tend to stay in office until they're wheeled out... the reason is power, if Senator Lugar retires, who in the press will visit him, when will he be on Meet the Press next?  Which of his constituents will come to his home and ask for his help?  When will he ever again be able write checks out of the endless bucket of tax dollars on his own whim?  Who will defer to him if he's just some hoosier letting others work his farm?

Power corrupts, that deed is done, but Senator Lugar should step down now, be there for his family and let Governor Daniels appoint a replacement.  A replacement can get a couple years experience before the next election... a replacement might have a fresh idea, might whisper "change is coming" into Senator Bayh's ear...

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