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April 02, 2006

Updating Some Washington Times Columns

During my hiatus from blogging, I didn't post my columns from the Washington Times  for a few weeks.  Here are the ones not referenced in other posts.

Reforming Reform

Another View of Congressional Travel -- American Survey

Misreading the Electorate -- Why Culture of Corruption Doesn't Work

Furbies, Fanny Packs and Term Limits

Pioneer Guide

Good to see the Sherpa posting again. I was particuarly interested in the op-ed on term limits. I know from personal experience that term limits can have some seriously negative unintended consequences. Most dramatically, the institutional knowledge no longer rests with the actual members of the legislature.

In many ways, as your column pointed out, the policies have actually created more distance between legislators and the people they represent.


Re: the op-ed on term limits, I would disagree that term limits have not had much impact on the strength of interest groups and legislative staff. As Pioneer Guide noted above, we lose institutional memory, which transfers a lot of political power to permanent full time legislative staff. But we also lose issue expertise, which means that lawmakers are forced to depend on lobbyists to explain difficult or technical issues. It's this dependence, I think, that has a greater effect on policy decisions than campaign finance. Accordingly, lobbyists in these states have usurped power from our elected officials.

Matt Hurley

Sherpa, you are truely and astounding writer! I'll be recommending you to my friends...


Outstanding writing. Good insights. excellent articles.

Conservative  Culture

Glad to be tipped to this site. Looking forward to making it a regular read.


Good Stuff, Maynard


In response to the "Culture of Corruption" op-ed:

I think you make some excellent points about the current feeling being "anti-Washington" and not necessarily anti-Republican, particularly given that the approval ratings for Democrats in Congress are just as low as for Republicans.

But turnout is going to mean everything in this election. Polls have indicated that the Democratic base is excited and ready to vote, while the Republican base is ambivalent and ready to stay home. That will lead to a very disappointing result in November.

The Republican party is going to have to do something to get its base fired up. Just saying "we're better than Democrats" won't cut it. And the more the Democrats stay on offense with "culture of corruption" and other such memes, the more the Republican base will sour in the absence of, for lack of a better term, something to "root for" in their party.

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