US voters are ready to 'throw the bums out' on Election Day. But who are the bums?
Hostility to incumbents is strong this fall. Animus against the 'elite' may be stronger.
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But who, exactly, are the bums?
According to the latest polls, anti-incumbent sentiment is running higher than anti-Democrat feelings among American voters. Indeed, the latest Rasmussen survey shows that 65 percent of voters want to replace the entire Congress this fall and start all over again.
One Florida Republican congressional candidate, Bernard Sansaricq, applauded the poll's finding: “Being American implies a duty; not to fulfill that duty is a treason. We must take the trash out next Tuesday. Vote all incumbents out of office. Let's clean the people's House in D.C. and replace them with true patriots.”
Mr. Sansaricq's rhetoric suggests that incumbents are just a convenient surrogate for the real target in 2010: out-of-touch political elites.
The anti-elitism card
Anti-elitism is one of the major themes expressed by tea party candidates.
• It's why bearded Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller seemed to suggest that his past ethics violation was part of his "warts and all" regular-guy appeal. "Alaskans get to understand that, hey, they're electing somebody like them," he said during a recent debate when he admitted the transgression.
Does the anti-elitist rally cry have merit? Are Beltway political leaders really that out of touch with mainstream America?
Snobby fat cats?
Absolutely – at least in some important respects. Consider the wealth of our members of Congress. As this New York Times article reminds us, most members have no idea what it's like to struggle to make mortgage payments. Of 100 senators, at least 68 were worth more than $1 million; 18 were worth more than $10 million. In the House, 240 members (out of 435) were millionaires.