Political running

Candidates run for office in the U.S., where in England, to take one example, politicians stand. More recently, running seems as apt as ever, adding the prepositions from and against.

It’s altogether clear these days that Republicans have gotten a memo from the top of their party advising them to run against President Obama, since his polling is way down thanks to Fox News and the Koch brothers, who have discovered a convenient object of their constituencies’ wrath. Even Democrats now run from Obama.

Last night incumbent Representative Suzan DelBene (Wash. 1st congressional district) debated challenger Pedro Celis on local radio. Celis obviously read the memo. He did his best, it seems, to paint DelBene as an Obama toady. According to the Herald, Celis said that policy failures should be blamed on the president for “the lack of leadership…He does not want to negotiate and talk.” DelBene sought to point fingers at Republican obstructionism for the persistent failure to get anything done.

The irony in all this is that Americans have far less regard for Congress than just about any other institution or occupation, including the presidency. Yet, the dysfunction favors the GOP, the “party of no.” DelBene and other Democratic incumbents face a tougher sell, trying to convince voters that they should continue to participate in endless nothing.

Challenger Celis read the other parts of the memo, too. He opposes immigration reform, though he was born in Mexico. He adopts a peace-through-strength posture in dealing with presumed enemies. I’m sure he would seek the advice of Dick Cheney on what to do in the Middle East. He fully embraces the Supreme Court’s decision on corporate free speech and unlimited campaign contributions.

But does it matter what Celis or DelBene believe if they sit in the House of Dysfunction? Come to think of it, why would anyone spend millions of dollars, some of it their own, to hold a seat in Congress, which has demonstrated absolutely no regard for the interests of the Rest of Us?

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