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Ultimately, I would argue that if the re-elect race for the House is 85% or higher, then most of the media narrative that we have been subjected to this year will end up being a lot of sound and fury that will have signified a whole lot of not all that much (and this strikes me as a likely result, to be honest). Even if we have a result that is “historical” and is in the 80% range, it is hard to make the case that an incumbent re-election rate of that magnitude demonstrates a massive amount of voter anger. The bottom line is that a substantially large percentage of the current House is returning in January (and in the Senate too, although the numbers under discussion are for the House only).
This is a totally bogus argument. Yes, the overwhelming majority of congress is going to be re-elected, because the rules are so heavily rigged in favor of incumbents–unless the member of congress is stupid enough to get caught in bed with a hooker or taking bribes, he or she is almost certainly going to win reelection. But concluding that this means that voters aren’t angry and frustrated misses the point by a million miles.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Chance that a civilian who died in a 20th-century war was American:
A physicist calculated that mass worldwide conversion to a vegetarian diet would do more to slow global warming than cutting back on oil and gas use.
“All I saw,” said a 12-year-old neighbor of visits to the man’s house, “was just cats in little diapers.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”