Friday, June 03, 2005

Senate Despotism

The US Senators filibustering John Bolton's nomination as ambassador to the UN put damaging the president ahead of re-establishing decency in the child-raping pit of corruption the UN has become.

Such un-American behavior is likely caused by the Supreme Court disease, despotism.

But don't Senators face elections? Yes, but once elected, they stay put. In 1998, a sitting senator had a 98% chance of reelection, not much worse than Saddam Hussein had at the time.

One explanation of this phenomenon is that senators have huge staffs, high visibility and more effective campaign organizations. Plus, most importantly, they have much more money than their challengers. In 1998, the average senator spent $5.5 million against their challengers' $2.5 million. And of course once elected, an unscrupulous senator might channel Federal money to organizations that contribute to his staying in power.

However, there's another view. Based on statistical modeling it seems that elected senators are plain better than their challengers.

"All the advantage is in being a better candidate, not in the experience of having actually done the job".

I rather doubt this, given that many senators resemble the clientèle of that famous bar in the first Star Wars.

For whatever reason, the fact remains that most of them are there for life.

And that guarantees that the less-principled of them will become despots.

As an equal opportunity critic, I should point out that exactly the same applies to the EUrocrats, who don't even have to be elected.