Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his Primary Posterior Appendage, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX). (Where exactly is Cornyn's right hand?)
As an amateur political scientist I'm just giddy every morning when I get up and turn on the news and find out what dumb thing one politician or another said/did overnight. It's just so knee-slapping funny! How any politician can look us in the eye and say with a straight face "I'm here looking out for your best interest" shows the absurdity of our political system.
My topic here is, quite simply, that we need TERM LIMITS. I've known some fairly big-time politicians in my time, and politics from the county level on up is simply a finishing school for liars and thieves. It's all about building up credits with party elites, and this applies equally to BOTH parties.
Precinct chairmen are urged to hold neighborhood meetings to drum up support and raise money for their parties' candidates. If they consistently do well they are "invited" to run for a county position, or are appointed to a springboard bureaucratic position. More ass kissing, and they're told they'll have party support (access to money) to run for a seat in the state legislature. Still more ass kissing and a decade later, they might rise up the ranks to a leadership position.
Here's where the men are separated from the boys: The most cunning and ruthless are pushed towards running for Congress. When the party anoints a candidate, he's on the fast track to lifetime employment and "the good life".
When he arrives in Washington he's pulled to the side and essentially told that party loyalty and fund raising are paramount (which he already knows). Do what you're told, vote how you're told to vote, and you'll have access to the most lucrative special interests, the most prestigious committee assignments, the best office space, the most exotic/high profile travel junkets, etc. Buck the leadership, and you'll be working from a coat closet in the basement, and you'll be the junior member of the Pencil Sharpening Committee. Oh, and next election cycle, good luck!
If they don't "go along to get along" as Ted Cruz or Bernie Sanders have consistently chosen not to do, they'll get no endorsements or party support. Only because those two have some strong, pissed off, anti-establishment popular support back home can they get away with their waywardness. Such rebels are few and far between.
Perks come from power, and power comes from longevity. The longer they're there, the more favors they can toss out. Whenever I see McConnell and his posterior appendages or Harry Reid and his butt kissers, I know that I'm seeing the crookedest of the crooks. When faced with a choice between doing what's right for US or doing what's right FOR THE PARTY, we'll lose. Of course they'll spin it to look like they're our champions, and this is where their "liars finishing school" comes in.
Bottom line: To be able to sit at the cool kids table, they first have to get elected, and then consistently get re-elected. If we could ever get term limits in place, then we'll have a chance to break that corrupt lifetime employment contract. It will be an up hill battle, for sure. The possibility is what gives special interests and established politicians sleepless nights.
If politicians know they can't get re-elected due to term limits, they'll have no need to spend half their time fund raising and ass kissing. If they know there is no reason to betray their constituents and kiss up to the party hierarchy, we just might have a chance to get some competent leaders. Sure, we'll be throwing out a few babies with the bath water, but we'll be getting rid of an ocean of nasty pollution, too. I think it's a fair trade.