Thank you Representative Huizenga! This is what the American people, all of us, expect out of Congress: Responsiveness to the people’s needs and a critical understanding of where our uncontrolled spending will lead: Bankruptcy of the United States.
Alan Abramowitz is the Barkley Professor of Political Science at Emory, and a renowned expert on national politics and elections. His expertise includes election forecasting models, party realignment in the United States, congressional elections and the effects of political campaigns on the electorate. His latest book is “The Disappearing Center: Engaged Citizens, Polarization, and American Democracy.”
What do you think? Does Professor Abramowitz have the right of it? Or is the polarization simply a reaction to what it takes to get elected, reelected, and maintain a privileged political elite?
Well, I would say that her teacher oversimplified the process. The short answer is – yes, we can change our government. However, it is not as simple as that. Short of another revolution to overthrow the government – there are many necessary steps in “changing the government.”
I believe what your teacher was referring to was our country’s ability to change our elected officials when we are not pleased with their performance or the direction they are taking us.
This applies to all levels of government; local, county, state, and federal. At a local level, every city and county has laws written that gives the citizens the ability to remove elected officials. In some cases there impeachment process, in others, there are recall processes that citizens can institute. However, in order for impeachment and recalls to occur – there needs to be proof of wrong doing and there has to be a majority of citizens (usually by petition) to institute the recall.
I can’t vouch for the rest of the world but I can say that, here in Ireland, we all watched the recent American election with huge interest.
On many days throughout the gruelling campaign the headlines on our national news would be all-about America. Yards of print space was regularly allocated to endless discussion of each and every new development. The fact that our own insular woes were pushed down the page for something that was patently not from us or for us – well it caused a little consternation.
But it was such a good show…
I know you guys are smart enough to realize he can’t hold both positions. But – what happens now? Does he become the Vice President or the Senator to Delaware? That actually is up to him. He’d be pretty stupid to turn down the VP – but – that is an option. But, for purposes of this discussion, we’re going to assume that he does indeed accept the VP position. So – what happens to his Senatorial seat?
This goes to the very heart of our Constitution and the way our system of government was originally designed. Under Article I, Section 6 it states:
No Senator or Representative shall, during the time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil office under the authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time: and no person holding any office under the United States, shall be a member of either House during his continuance in office.