Sunday, July 18, 2010

Why I Won't Vote for Frank Wolf

I like Frank Wolf. He’s represented well Virginia’s 10th District and Republican causes in general. By virtually all objective measures, I should vote for him.  That is, all objective measures but one – term in office. 

He was first elected to office more than 29 years ago when Jimmy Carter was in office and the first space shuttle had yet to launch.  In fact, Mr. Wolf has now served 15 years since he signed the Contract with America and voted for a 12-year term limit for members of the House of Representatives.

I could have labeled this post I am an American before I am a Republican, Part II because the rationale is the same. Politicians and political parties have far more power than the founding fathers ever could have envisioned. Incumbents, in particular, simply have far too great an advantage and the power of the office is too intoxicating to allow anyone an unlimited number of terms. Politicians develop a sense of entitlement, and party loyalists look with great disdain on anyone who would challenge a same-party incumbent. The coercive power of incumbency genuinely distorts the democratic process, which is something the draftsmen of the Contract for America understood, and something with which Frank Wolf agreed. Well, at least, at some point.

Mr. Wolf also has shown himself to be more concerned about reelection than conservative government. He recently voted against the majority of his party and in favor of increases in pay for federal employees at a time when government spending already is running out of control. As discussed on BVBL, the 10th District has a great number of federal employees, and in voting for the pay increase, Mr. Wolf has revealed that preserving his own job is a higher priority than controlling government spending.

Sure, it would hurt conservative causes, not to mention the 10th District, if Mr. Wolf were to lose. The compelling need for term limits, however, trumps the qualifications or political beliefs of any particular candidate. A level playing field would be preferable, but Congress has proven over and over it cannot control itself by passing a constitutional amendment to limit terms. Thus, in this situation especially, if you're not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

I, for one, refuse to be a knowing accomplice to such political aggrandizement.

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