So now incumbents are worried about primaries? GOOD!

The Hill expresses GOP incumbents’ concern about the 2018 primaries.

Conservative activists say the latest GOP health-care bill sponsored by Sens. Bill Cassidy (La.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) falls short of the promise to repeal ObamaCare “root and branch,” but it’s better than nothing.

If that fails this week, as expected, Republican primary voters will have even less confidence in the GOP establishment — a rift that could spell trouble for incumbents in next year’s primaries.

“The backlash for the members of Congress more than the president could be significant if they truly can’t get their ducks in a row and get repeal accomplished,” said Chip Roy, former chief of staff to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), warning of danger for Republicans up for reelection next year.

“They would be in a much stronger position if they had done what they said what they were going to do and should have done, which was repeal it at a date certain and then have a series of discussions and debate about how to reform health care,” he said.

“We’re now staring at a much messier 2018 if Republicans continue to fail to get the job done,” he said.

Republican strategists and conservative activists predict that combined with Moore’s projected victory over Strange, an ObamaCare defeat will embolden conservative challengers to take on Senate and House GOP incumbents.

. . .

“I’m already getting calls from people who are going to primary [a] sitting Republicans,” said Judson Phillips, the founder of Tea Party Nation, who has fielded calls from prospective challengers to Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker (R) and Virginia Rep. Barbara Comstock (R).

Two of the Senate’s most vulnerable Republican incumbents, Sens. Dean Heller (Nev.) and Jeff Flake (Ariz.), have already drawn challengers.

. . .

“On issue after issue, Senate Republicans are making excuses rather than delivering,” said Ken Cuccinnelli, head of the Senate Conservatives Fund. “We could definitely see a string of new primary challengers emerge in the coming months and Senate Republicans will only have themselves to blame for it.”

There’s more at the link.

I think this can only be a positive development.  There are far too many representatives and Senators who are RINO’s – Republicans In Name Only.  They aren’t really interested in working with President Trump;  they have their own cosy deals going on with lobbyists, and in some cases with their Democrat “opponents in name only”, and the will of the people doesn’t really enter into their thinking.  If we can replace at least some of them with principled people, that will most likely be good for America.

However, I think precisely the same must happen on the other side of the aisle as well.  I’d love to see more honest politicians in the Democrats’ ranks, too.  If the Bernie Sanders wing of the party is so strong in some states, let them nominate primary challengers to “old guard” incumbents.  If we get some of them into the House and the Senate, as well as some more committed conservatives, politics may well become a lot more entertaining.  It’ll be the irresistible force meeting the immovable object – and sparks will fly.

Who knows?  Principled politicians might actually learn to compromise in the interests of the country as a whole, instead of fighting their partisan political battles in the press and making back-room deals in smoke-filled rooms.  Yeah, yeah, I know . . . dream on!

I think the only real solution is to term-limit all politicians.  Let’s say you get ten to twelve years in elected office, of whatever nature (local, state, federal, whatever).  At the end of that period, you have to return to the private sector – no working for a political party, or lecturing in a politician-friendly academic environment.  Support yourself by hard work.  No easy sinecures!  After ten years in private life, you may be eligible to run for a more senior office – say, Senator or President.  Let’s reserve those for more senior, more experienced people, by all means.  You can’t run for the “junior” offices (say, up to and including Congress) any longer.  Again, a ten- to twelve-year term limit would apply.

What do you think, readers?



  1. All too often, Republicans have welshed on their commitments, or messed up and 'pulled defeat from the jaws of victory'; it will definitely take an outside force to give them some spine and actually make changes.
    At least they have a chance to actually change and they respect the electoral process; the Democrat's maneuvering against Sanders to give Hilary Clinton the nomination shows they are going to fight to keep their incumbents no matter what, and this will likely hamstring new blood from making changes.

    1. A very small chance.
      The Republican primary system was deliberately set up to nominate the moderate with the highest name recognition. Why do you think so many of the early primaries are in blue or purple states? Trump successfully gamed the system, but the system remains rigged.
      It's even worse in the states. A few years back the national Republican party went scorched earth on the Tea Party movement. Try to primary a uniparty corruptocrat, and be prepared for character assassination. If you somehow manage to win the primary, the Republican party will actively campaign against you in the general.

  2. Term limits in California has just empowered the lobbyists, for they understand the system.

    Supposed non partisan districting got gamed here also.

    Courts have used the voting rights act to make super safe minority districts that go super Left.

    And so much power through the executive branch through interpretations.

    And the courts have grabbed so much power.

  3. Government will always be corrupt; that's the whole point of getting elected – corruption. That's why the counties surrounding DC are so rich.

    The only real solution is to break the system, either through Panarchy (political secession) or through outright secession. Yes, even state governments are corrupt, but it must be kept to a low roar or the people will move out to a neighboring state.

    I'm not very jazzed about this primary effort. Any decent individual who accidentally manages to get into Congress will be either completely marginalized (like Ron Paul with his many 434-to-1 votes) or will be corrupted by the system in short order.

  4. I've gotten older, so this is no longer true, but I used to say, "If you have been in Congress longer than I have been alive, there is no way you have any idea what life is like outside your Washington bubble."

    As proof, I offer George McGovern, who tried to operate an inn after leaving Congress:

    In retrospect, I wish I had known more about the hazards and difficulties of such a business, especially during a recession of the kind that hit New England just as I was acquiring the inn's 43-year leasehold.

    I also wish that during the years I was in public office, I had had this firsthand experience about the difficulties business people face every day. That knowledge would have made me a better U.S. senator and a more understanding presidential contender….

    To create job opportunities we need entrepreneurs who will risk their capital against an expected payoff. Too often, however, public policy does not consider whether we are choking off those opportunities.


  5. I recall some years back that the ACA was written DELIBERATELY to fail, so that switching over to single payer would be the excuse to make medical insurance controllable by solely the government. Imagine the power that elected politicians would have over the population, many desperate to keep whatever insurance they would receive. It would be a nightmare.

    I thought it paranoid at the time, but now am not so sure. It would explain why the Republicans who promised to replace it, but now that it is within their power, are holding back. They are simply running out the clock.

  6. Pretty much since Reagan's second term, I have been watching Conservatives and Libertarians fret that the Great Correction isn't happening overnight. Where the fantasy that it would comes from, I simply cannot say. We make small steps, just as the Left took over with small steps. The shifts we see on the State level are translating slowly up into the Federal level, and so on.

    The Left are losing their f*cking minds, which is a pretty good indication that we're doing something right.

  7. Peter?

    The problem with term limits is that it simply pushes
    the pea down the road when always-newbie legislators
    have to rely on the still-entrenched staff-critters to
    "guide" them in "how things actually work around here".

    Better to work on holding those actually elected to task
    than to allow the actual power seep deeper into obscurity.

  8. Part of the solution is very tough restrictions on what sorts of jobs and compensation politicians can obtain AFTER office. A lifetime ban on lobbying, consulting for lobbyists or any remuneration from any company or organization that does business with, gets money from or is regulated by the government. Same for members of their immediate family. They should also be forced to maintain an actual residence in their respective districts and actually live there when congress isn't in session even if it requires a taxpayer stipend for a bus, plane or train ticket back and forth. Need somewhere to stay while in DC? Build a dorm for them. Also mandate that after they leave office they must live in their district for a minimum of 15 years. No Tom Harkin scams of supposedly representing Iowa for decades while living in the Bahamas and using his office to obscenely enrich his wife and family.

  9. If the record shows my congress critter did not vote to repeal ObummerCare. I will vote for whomever is running against them in the primary. And if the newbie doesn't win the primary I will vote for whomever opposes my congress critter in the general election.

  10. @TGreen, So it's better to work with the already entrenched incumbent and their deeply entrenched staff in hopes of … what? They're already blowing you off. At least a new Congress-critter might bring in new staff. You know for damned sure the incumbent won't. Just saying…

  11. TGreen:

    Staff must also have term limits, to include that when the congresscritter leaves that office, all his/her staff must leave, and not return for anyone else in the future.

    This can be critical, as staff can be the real power behind the seat in Congress.

  12. "No one may serve more than five terms, or portions thereof, in elected office in the United States, no more than two of which may be in the same office, and any such service constitutes lifetime prohibition against receiving remuneration or retirement benefits from any government in the United States, with the exception of salary, benefits and retirement commensurate with rank in the armed forces of the United States; further, no one shall be employed by, nor receive remuneration from, any government in the United States for a period longer than 15 years, except for sworn service in the armed forces of the United States."

    Pro Tip: look up the definition of "remuneration."

    We have to break the chain: run for dogcatcher, shake a lot of hands, kiss a lot of babies, solicit a lot of donors; after dogcatcher, run for county council: more hand shaking, baby kissing and donor seeking; then it's on to state representative, state senator after that, then Congress, the the Senate, etc. Running for office becomes a lifetime career. That has to stop.

    Banning lobbying won't work since it's the First Amendment which provides for "seeking redress of grievances." The solution to that is reduce the size, scope and cost of government; so much lobbying, conducted in such earnest, takes place because the federal government has become involved in so many aspects of American life. Reduce the power of the feds, lobbying will decline.

    Massive scope reduction, and a 15-year limit on government employment, will also reduce the entrenched bureaucracy – the "Deep State" that has lain hidden until Trump came along. BTW, there are 51 "Deep States," 53 if you include D.C.'s local government and Puerto Rico, and all of them need to be dealt with.

    Goverment at all levels – not just D.C. – is corrupting. Government – at all levels – needs to be drastically reduced in size, and whatever your definition of "drastically" may be, it needs to be greater. Government is composed of, and ours selected by, humans, and as such, cannot ever be "perfect;" the best we can achieve is "severely limited and more manageable."

    The choices are start reducing now, in a controlled and rational manner, or more haphazardly and less effectively after the economic apocalypse and subsequent revolution.

  13. Put some real teeth into penalties for voter fraud. I'm thinking ten years in prison for deliberate fraud. Double the penalty if it involves a conspiracy among multiple persons. Make each level of conspiracy get a 2X enhancement of penalties. Maybe hang them, as we don't want repeat offenders.

  14. David Lang writes:

    > Part of the solution is very tough restrictions on what sorts of jobs and
    > compensation politicians can obtain AFTER office. A lifetime ban on lobbying,
    > consulting for lobbyists or any remuneration from any company or organization
    > that does business with, gets money from or is regulated by the government.

    So you advocate that politicians be unemployed after they leave office?

    What companies are there that aren't regulated by the government?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *