Sunday, August 20, 2006

Why Do We Have A Democracy?

Huffington Post
Cenk Uygur
Why Do We Have A Democracy?

Why do we have a democracy if we're not supposed to use it? Supporters of Royal Joe Lieberman are railing against primaries where the will of the voters are taken into account. They say Joe has earned the right to stay in the Senate based on his record. But this isn't about years of service, the rights of incumbents or even meritorious service.

This is about the people of this country choosing their own direction. This is about democracy.

Even if Joe Lieberman was a fantastic Senator of pure heart and great intentions, the people have a right to replace him because he's going in the wrong direction. If you're in New York and you want to get to Maine and a man pulls up and asks to give you a ride to Florida, you're going to turn him down. Even if the man is the best driver in the world, you're still not going to get in the car - because he's going the wrong way.

So, Joe says we should hitch a ride with him to Baghdad. Even if I thought Joe was a swell and loyal Democrat (which I definitely do not), I have to say no. I don't want to drive any further toward Baghdad (let alone Tehran). I want to drive away.

This is not a small issue. This is not about the highway bill or tort reform. He promises if re-elected to vote in direct opposition to the will of the great majority of Connecticut voters on the most important issue. So why would they allow him to do that?

Look, in a democracy we choose people to represent us. We understand that they are not going to agree with all of us on every issue and will at times take stands that might be unpopular. But overall, they are not there to represent themselves - they are there to represent us. If they stop doing that job, then they no longer have a right to that job.

If one of my employees says that out of principle he can no longer do the job I have assigned him, I have no malice towards him, but I have to let him go. If he goes on to say that out of principle he will work against my interests, I will not only fire him but be very amused as he continues to demand that I keep paying him. Why? Why would I hire a guy to work against my own interests? If I wouldn't do it, and you wouldn't do it, why should Connecticut?

Being a Senator isn't a birthright, it is a job. You are sent to represent your state. If you're not doing that and you're asked to leave, you don't get to cry about it. Joe Lieberman acts like he has the right to that Senate seat. He doesn't have the right to a damn thing. He has to convince the people of Connecticut that he will competently and accurately represent their views and wishes. He no longer does, so he no longer should. That's what we call democracy.