“It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried” – Winston Churchill
North Carolina governor Bev Perdue made a stunning statement yesterday when she called for the suspension of congressional elections. OK, maybe that’s not exactly what she meant, let’s look at the full quote:
“You have to have more ability from Congress, I think, to work together and to get over the partisan bickering and focus on fixing things. I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won’t hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover. I really hope that someone can agree with me on that. The one good thing about Raleigh is that for so many years we worked across party lines. It’s a little bit more contentious now but it’s not impossible to try to do what’s right in this state. You want people who don’t worry about the next election.” (article here.)
Now, a spokesman for Perdue, when pressed over the highly offensive statement about “suspending elections” said that she was obviously engaging in hyperbole for the sake of making a point. Perhaps, perhaps. But that still doesn’t quite answer the mail.
Let me rephrase her statement. “The problem in Congress is that the leaders are afraid that their decisions will be held against them by voters in the next election, and so they are afraid to do what is best because the people won’t understand it and will vote the wrong way.”
Perdue rightly asserts that Congressmen really should focus on more than just scoring political points. But for the “punch line” to even make sense, it shows a rabid contempt for government of, by, and for the people. The absurd notion here is that, somehow, there is too much accountability for politicians. Perhaps Perdue would rather see some sort of “benevolent dictator for life” arrangement … though people usually only prefer such things when their guy is the dictator.
I don’t live in NC anymore (despite what my facebook page declares errantly from time to time), but I hope voters in North Carolina remember the contempt Bev Perdue has for them at the next election.