Responsible parties can be found by looking in mirror

Posted Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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greene In the week and a half since our nation was saved from the brink of economic apocalypse and the government reopened, we’ve experienced extraordinary reaction in the media and from people across the land — most of it stupefied baloney.

From the left it has included a petition for the arrest of Republicans in Congress for sedition. How dare they attempt to use their constitutional authority to decide how the public treasure is spent?

Then we have the contemptible Senate majority leader calling our junior Texas senator a “laughing stock.” I take that more as an affront to fellow voters and me who sent our guy to a landslide victory just one year ago.

Ted Cruz, not at all deterred by Harry Reid’s shameful remarks, simply responded by saying the Washington establishment continues to refuse to listen to the American people. He then vowed to keep fighting for them.

He’s actually delivered what people say they want from their elected officials — those who won’t let us down by contracting Potomac fever when they get to the nation’s capital.

Others found it especially fun to point out the historic low ratings of all of Congress and calling for irresponsible rascals on both sides of the political aisle to be thrown out of office at the earliest opportunity.

History says that means everybody’s rascals except the ones who appear on the ballots in their home states and districts.

More than anything else, we have witnessed the behavior of many who just don’t seem to recognize who is actually responsible for what is taking place.

It’s not our representatives who are to blame, it is We the People. Not a single member of Congress got there except by gathering more votes than any others competing for our favor.

Since our practice is to continue sending the same people back all the time, we keep proving the foolishness of expecting some different result from doing the same thing over and over.

That has to be intentional — right? If the majority of Texans want Obamacare repealed or greatly modified, they will reelect Ted Cruz and others like him if they promise to keep trying to make the things happen that we want to happen.

Here are some facts to refresh our shared memory. These numbers aren’t some poll results, or survey, or questionable claims of the media or politicians. They are the actual record of history.

We get to elect all 435 members of the House of Representatives every two years. The average rate of re-election during the past 10 years has been a little more than 92 percent.

We get to elect one-third of the 100-member Senate every two years, and we sent 91 percent of those seeking re-election right back into new six-year terms in the last election.

That means we returned to Washington more than nine out of 10 of the rascals who collectively enjoy, as of the most recent reports, the approval of about 10 percent of us.

So the next time you hear or see a media oracle, or a politico, or a fellow citizen railing against duly elected representatives, remember who empowered them.

We are familiar with the adage that democracy is messy. A representative form of democracy through the design of a republic is supposed to help make it less messy.

Sometimes it works better than others. In the process, it also reveals folks with the irrational belief that insulting politicians they don’t like will make the system perform better.

Since we see how well that’s going, maybe we ought to try something different.

Richard Greene is a former Arlington mayor and served as an appointee of President George W. Bush as regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency.

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