Why unpopular incumbents win

Moreover, our system already has an incumbent-security proxy for the campaign financing patron: the “bundler,” who gathers together the max donations of friends and associates into one tidy package. Why incumbent-security? Ask yourself how many friends you have willing and able to write a check for $2,600 so that you or a favored candidate could run for higher office. But such “friends” abound in Washington, D.C., where lobbyists and their clients always hedge their bets on the side of incumbency, regardless of party or ideology.

And why not? So long as Congress regularly produces tax legislation with more exceptions than rules and spending bills filled with pork and earmarks, incumbents will be courted by political “investors”–and have something shiny to show off in their home state or district too…

How do you get members of Congress to pass bills that make their own reelection more difficult? By making it even more difficult if they don’t. You want to get corporate money out of politics? You can leave the 1st Amendment alone. Don’t legislate against it; vote against it–against the candidates who make it worth giving. Punish the gerrymanderers and campaign finance reformers at the ballot box and you’ll have a lot fewer victories by unpopular incumbents–and, hopefully, a fuller enjoyment of your rights.

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