Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post is worried that health care reform won’t pass, and one of the reasons she gives is that some House Democrats are afraid to vote for it. Why? “This is a career-ending vote” according to one unnamed Democratic representative that talked to Marcus (but apparently didn’t want his or her identity revealed).
And there we have it — an admission of what we knew already about members of Congress but that most of them are still reluctant to admit: Congress is a career.
No wonder leadership is so rare in Congress. No wonder large campaign contributors have so much influence. If you think that being a Congressman-or-woman, who is only ever elected to just a two-year term, is a career, then getting re-elected is a professional necessity. Why would any career politician ever take a tough vote? Why would they ever say “no” to their big contributors?