Friday, October 01, 2004

The Bush Betrayal: Chapter 14

We continue coverage of this awesome book with another small sample:

        Chapter Title: Protecting Democracy from Freedom
Section Heading: <none>

I hadn't really followed too much on the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act. I knew that some folks were complaining about 'free speech issues' and things of that nature, but Bovard points out the specific goals of the legislation - to keep incumbents in office. Good for incumbents. Bad for the American people.

The pro-incumbent bias in campaign contributions helps members of Congress avoid bothersome relocations. While many Americans rightfully scoffed in 2002 when the Iraqi government announced that President Saddam Hussein was reelected after facing no opposition, the seats of most congressmen are almost as safe. As the Wall Street Journal noted in 2002, "After the last census, the people in state legislatures who map congressional districts -- ostensibly to reflect dmeographic changes but often to push political agendas -- stacked the fvast majority of them to favor one side or the other. That has left only about 40 races to be seriously contested by both parties, fewer than one-third as many competitive seats as ten years ago, by the reckoning of poitical handicapper Charlie Cook."3 In the 2002 elections, only four incumbent members of Congress who ran against nonincumbent challengers were defeated.4 Incumbents usually havea reelection rate in the 98-percent range.

3. John Harwood, "In Midterm Election, Money Is Raining on Strange Places," Wall Street Journal, November 1, 2002. (Article in PDF here.)

Link to original article (and Chapter 1 - Introduction) here.

Link to previous chapter.

Chapter 15.

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