Anti-Incumbent Super PAC Does More Harm Than Good - Susan Milligan (Usnews.com)
“Throw the bums out” is an understandable sentiment among Americans frustrated with the state of affairs in Washington. But as an actual election tactic, it’s foolish and counterproductive.
A new super PAC called the Campaign for Primary Accountability takes the clean-house approach and is seeking to help candidates in both parties defeat an incumbent (or, in the case of two incumbents forced into a primary against each other, the candidate the group sees as more independent). The organization helped defeat Ohio GOP Rep. Jean Schmidt, who was defeated by a little-known and underfunded primary challenger. The group was not successful in its bid to support Ohio Democrat Rep. Dennis Kucinich against his opponent and colleague, Rep. Marcy Kaptur. Now, the Campaign for Public Accountability is taking on Alabama Republican Rep. Spencer Bachus.
The amount of cash the group is spending is miniscule compared to the amount of money injected into the presidential campaign by hyper-wealthy donors. But unlike the billionaires seeking to put their favored candidate into office, the Campaign for Primary Accountability appears to want to shake things up for its own sake. And that is a recipe for more gridlock and dysfunction on Capitol Hill.
While it’s fashionable to assume that “entrenched” members of Congress are the root of the problem, the opposite is often true—and surely has been true in the past year. Many lawmakers come to Washington with a bit of hot-headedness, but mellow when they realize they are merely one among 435 or 100 members of one of two chambers of one of three branches of government. If often takes some time and maturing for new members of Congress to realize they can’t have their way all the time. This is a big and diverse country, and compromise is a necessary part of lawmaking.