You remember the name Katherine Harris? She was the Secretary of State that authenticated the Bush election victory in 2000. She was pictured on TV as Cruella DeVille, and poked and mocked by Late Night talk show hosts. Shortly after she was done with the Secretary of State job, she ran for Congress from her district and won. Now she’s out to take on Bill Nelson for the Senate seat from Florida. The GOP figure that Nelson is weak, but they don’t believe Ms. Harris can win.
The GOP pleaded with President and Governor Bush to have her step down. She is financing her own campaign, and is committed to seeing the race through. The GOP sent her a letter bluntly telling her that she cannot win and they will not support her. The letter said:
Katherine, though it causes us much anguish, we have determined that your campaign faces irreparable damage. We feel that we have no other choice but to revoke our support.
The polls tell us that no matter how you run this race, you will not be successful in beating Bill Nelson, who would otherwise be a vulnerable incumbent if forced to face a stronger candidate.
This is what our politics have come to. It is now more important to win than to stand for something or stand by someone. Winning is everything. Polls are everything.
I see this as one of the biggest problems and challenges this country faces. You see, our government is operating in a mode (both Democrats and Republicans) where they will do anything to win an election.
- The candidating season starts the moment they are in office if not before.
- Congress’ time is spent holding debates and votes that are strictly for the purpose of creating sound bites and commercials.
- Congress continues to spend with no constraints, sending my money to the far reaches of the country to buy things that should be privately funded. Things I will never see that are far from being national treasures.
- The government spends time making sure that their districts are secure so that there are no challenges to the incumbents– in fact, a majority of incumbents will win this year without a major contest.
- Congress continues to make the laws and regulations more complex to benefit niches in their home towns and districts so they can have a good name back home.
It’s become more about being in power than in solving problems, and as long as this is the case you can expect it to be more about winning than about principle. If history is any teacher, those that play defense (trying to hold onto something or being concerned totally about winning rather than being who they are) lose, and those that play offense win. The sad thing is– no major political party is playing offense. They are both trying to win rather than trying to have principle.