We do not live in a genuine democracy, which would see people vote on every single issue. Instead, we have a representative democracy — we get to vote on which individuals we’d like to see represent us in government.
People who want to hold those jobs (that is, the candidates) have to convince the majority of voters that the candidate has a specifically identifiable world view and will vote a certain way on specific issues. The tags “Democrat” and “Republican” are useful shorthand for the identifiable world view. The promise to vote a certain way on specific issues can become a bit dicier if the passing of time shows that even the majority who voted for the candidate are backing away from the issues. In the latter case, what’s a candidate to do?
Well, if you’re Lloyd Doggett in Austin, Texas, you can tell your constituents that you intend to ignore them completely, an obvious reference to your mental superiority and their inferiority:
Witnesses said that when Doggett was asked whether he would support the plan even if he found that his constituents opposed it, Doggett said he would.
If you’re Harry Reid, you can call your constituents loud and shrill, always a sure fire way to win friends and influence people:
“In spite of the loud, shrill voices trying to interrupt town hall meetings and just throwing a monkey wrench into everything, we’re going to continue to be positive and work hard.”
And, of course, be sure to tell your constituents that they’re puppets who have no free will who are just being manipulated by evil corporations. That will leave them feeling good about you:
Doggett says there’s nothing authentic about these protests.
“This notion of a grass-roots campaign is totally and completely phony,” Doggett said in an interview with ABC News. “The Republican Party has coordinated this apparent outrage and stirred it up.”
Doggett said that he’s happy for dialogue, but “there’s no way you can change the legislation to satisfy any of these Republicans and their insurance allies.”
The one thing you don’t ever want to do is revisit your position. You don’t want to think about the fact that the economy has changed substantially since you made promises to spend like there’s no tomorrow. You don’t want to think that a 1,000 page bill, filled with hundreds of details that allow the government to have control over people’s health and finances, while bankrupting the economy, might not be what people had in mind when they demanded more affordable health care. And most importantly, you don’t want to admit that you have no idea what you’re doing. To focus in again on Doggett, he has the best non-responsive answer on that last point:
Doggett contended that accusations that he did not read the reform bill are ridiculous, because he has helped write portions of it.
The mere fact that Doggett might have contributed a paragraph or two, or even several pages, or several tens of pages, to this 1,000 page Frankenstein is utterly unrelated to whether he in fact read any of those portions he did not write. If this were a deposition and he were a witness, I’d be all over him like white on rice for that stupid answer.
Bottom line: We have a representative democracy in which our elected representatives want us to keep our mouths shut. They think we’re stupid, shrill and easily led. I hope that, come this this November and every other November, voters remember the low esteem in which their own public servants hold them.
UPDATE: The DNC makes the nasty, anti-voter rhetoric official policy amongst the Democrats:
The statement from the DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse:
The Republicans and their allied groups – desperate after losing two consecutive elections and every major policy fight on Capitol Hill – are inciting angry mobs of a small number of rabid right wing extremists funded by K Street Lobbyists to disrupt thoughtful discussions about the future of health care in America taking place in Congressional Districts across the country.
You’ll note that this is the kind of language the president uses when talking about terrorism — “incitement” and “extremists.” This type of language could lead to some confusion as to whether Democrats are able to distinguish between peaceful American voters eager to get involved in the political process and Hamas militants who blow themselves up in shopping malls.
They have met the enemy and it is you!
Meanwhile, the administration asks citizens to spy on each other. Isn’t that what the Stasi did too?
UPDATE II: Michelle Malkin neatly makes the point about the difference between mob rule (a distinctly left wing phenomenon, although not unique to the Left) and civic participation (a distinctly right wing phenomenon, although not distinct to the Right).
UPDATE III: And Brutally Honest has the perfect “shoe is on the other foot” coda for this whole thing.