Tim Bridgewater has a rather gloating op-ed in the Washington Post today (click!) in which he, rather condescendingly, gives us all a Constitutional lesson and then says that his near-election proves that Utah leads the way in a massive uprising against Washington Politics As Usual.
Of course, should he survive the primary and win in November, he will promptly go to Washington DC and become part of the political game, an insider, a wheeler-dealer doing his darndest to get reelected. Why should he not?
Everyone else has — Bishop, Bennett, Hatch, Matheson. They have to. It’s that or lose their jobs. Why do you thing Bishop has been so agressive about getting earmarks? Why do you think he’s so willing to compromise his usual anti-federal spending ardor when that spending will be for jobs in his district?
People running for political office in this country remind me of rebellious teenagers. They hate their parents, they hate “the establishment,” they hate and despise the world as it is and, by god, when they get old enough to get out of this dump they’ll show us a thing or two.
That’s what my kids said. 10 years later they’re married with mortgages, jobs and a kid on the way.
They are that way because they discovered that rebelliousness if fine, for a while, but eventually you like the idea of regular meals and a roof over your head. There are specific things you have to do to acquire those things. That is how life works. Absent a complete cultural change, that is the way it will continue to work.
An article in Slate Magazine (click!) discusses this in Congress. Essentially, Mr. Bridgewater will become part of the Washington establishment he so dispises because, if he does not, he will either serve one term, or he’ll spend several terms being useless.
What I find distasteful about his op-ed is his completely ignoring how he got where he is: Machine politics. Tammany Hall could not have done it better. His Tea Bag fans crammed the party caucus meetings, taking advantage of apathy by the majority, and made darn sure their guy got picked. Rep. Rob Bishop said it best at his own meeting with the Tea Bag types, “The decisions are made by those who show up,” and this time, yes, they did.
In this respect, Mr. Bridgewater has no fitting in to do — he won at the convention, not through democratic principles, but through cramming the ballot box and manipulating the system. This will garner him a lot of professional admiration when he gets to DC, if nothing else.
But if his fans think Mr. Bridgewater will be able to drastically turn anything around, I advice them to keep their expectations low, and I advice Mr. Bridgewater to be careful what he promises.
President Lyndon Johnson is famously remembered, among other things, for complaining that he had trouble just getting anyone in the White House to turn the lights off. He was using that as an example of how limited his power really was, and he was President.
Mr. Bridgewater will be the junior senator from a minor state that nobody in Congress gives a crap about. If he wants to accomplish anything but being a darling of the Glenn Beck talk circuit, he would be advised to start figuring out how things work now.
The rest of h is op-ed is too ridiculous for words. $100 trillion of unfunded liabilities? Health Care with no input from the opposition party? And his little lecture about the true meaning of the Constitution is paternalistic at best — the Supreme Court and Congress spend more than 200 words figuring that document out, and HE has the truth?
Well, his truth, such as it is.
The man babbles. In that regard, too, he’ll fit right in.