American Aristocracy

The USA Today reports on the number of members of congress who come from 'political' families.

WASHINGTON -— Politics has never been more of a family business.

In 1986, at least 24 U.S. senators and representatives were closely related to governors or other members of Congress, USA TODAY research shows.

Twenty years later, there are more than 50 -— among them four sets of siblings, four widows, dozens of offspring, the wife of a former Senate majority leader and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, wife of a former president and governor.
Perhaps it's the fact that I'm an American, but I'm suspicious of all things that smell of hereditary titles, birthrights, and power passed down through generations. I wish I could say that it was a Conservative thing (authority passed down from father to son is the definition of Conserveratism) but it isn't. Here's a list of all siblings, children, spouses, and grandchildren of Members of Congress or StatGovernorsrs.
Congress-watchers such as Norman Ornstein say the many relatives can fuel Capitol Hill's image as an insider's club. But not all relatives win, they say, and those who do often bring valuable experience and respect for the job.

"They have less tendency to run against the institution or to view it with contempt," Ornstein says.
And there's that sense of entitlement. After a few terms, it's hard to expect a Senator or Congress Person to remember the plight of the little people they left behind iPodunknk, wherever. If the newly minted member of Congress is the son or daughter of a member of Congress, you can hardly expect them to remember the problems regular people are facing the day they're sworn in!

I'm not advocating any sort of laforbiddingng close relations from holding seats that relatives held in the past or holding seats at the same time as their brother/sister/mother/father are holding office, but I think that the American People should be a little more careful about letting 'political dynasties' become a part of the American landscape.

This cuts both ways. Sure, it means Son of Bush wouldn't be replaced by Other Son of Bush, but it also means that the Kennedy Clan, from JFK to RFK to Ted, to Patrick Kennedy wouldn't be the strong voice for Liberalism. It would mean Bob Casey, Jr. wouldn't be running against Rick 'I love the Middle Ages' Santorum.

In the end, I guess this is just another part of the erosion of our Democratic Ideals, I guess.

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