The Incumbent Purge Continues?


This is already shaping up to be the worst year for incumbents since 1994, as Joe Lieberman*, Cynthia McKinney, Frank Murkowski, and Joe Schwarz have all been ousted by angry voters. Is Rep. Al Wynn (D-MD) going to be the next to fall? The congessman who represents the black suburbs of DC has lost the Washington Post's endorsement to challenger Donna Edwards.

As we've noted in the past, Mr. Wynn has often seemed more involved in
playing the role of a kingmaker in Prince George's than in his duties
in Congress. On key federal issues, he has cast himself as the most
bipartisan member of Maryland's congressional delegation. That's great
in theory, but too often his votes have been at odds with good
government and the interests of his constituents. He has backed the
estate tax repeal, a measure that benefits the richest Americans at the
expense of the poor and middle class. He supported the Bush
administration's energy bill in 2003, offering subsidies to oil and gas
companies even as they were headed toward record profits. He has
flip-flopped on fuel efficiency standards and opposed campaign finance
reform. And he has tried to clear the way for casino gambling in Prince
George's. All in all, it is a lackluster record.

Mr. Wynn insists he has been a successful pork-barrel politician; we
suspect Ms. Edwards, razor-sharp and relentless, would be at least as
effective. We disagree with her on some important issues, but we are
convinced she would be the more forceful, principled and effective

This is an unsophisticated political wish, I realize, and I'm not on board with all of the WaPo's justifcations, but I can think of no finer outcome to the midterms than the ousting of 50 percent or so of the current Congress. From both parties.

*I need to explain what the asterisk is for?

NEXT: Show Me Your Pork

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  1. asterisk, Weigel, asterISK!

    And are we really all that gleeful about an ouster over a D who supports repealing the death tax, opposed BCRA and tried to get gambling? THIS, folks, is the problem is being dogmatically opposed to the incumbent; too often, you throw out the baby with the bathwater. Big surprise that a non-thinking political strategy for the masses (“throw the bums out!”) might yield bad results.

  2. I can think of no finer outcome to the midterms than the ousting of 50 percent or so of the current Congress.

    Only 50 percent? Why not 100 percent? There is something satisfying on a gut level seeing a politician get the ol heave ho. But a truly fine outcome would require a genuine ousting (of as little as 2 percent), without having to replace them with some other crooks.

  3. I’m being realistic. If we could oust 150-200 percent of the Congress, that would be ideal.

  4. Kill ’em all and let the voters sort it out!

  5. Warren,

    I would gladly vote Democrat if it was part of a movement in which everyone in the country agreed to vote for the challenger in their local Congressional election. Have 100% turnover in the House and a 33% turnover in the Senate. Even though that would result in the Dems controlling the Congress, it wouldn’t be the ones who are there now and ones who replaced them, Republicans and Democrats, would be so chastened by the experience of seeing every incumbant loose, I think they would behave a lot more responsibly than the current lot.

  6. I’m with Ayn. Sweet as it is to see the Beltway pigs get butchered, this particular piggie sounds pretty good compared to most of the others. Though that may be just because the Post’s stands are largely the polar opposite of mine…

  7. Wynn was featured in a recent news article in the Prince Georges Gazette ripping him for voting for the Internet Regulation Act, which is officially called the “International Marriage Broker Regulation Act” or IMBRA.

    The law, which is under restraining order, would have forced all dating websites with more than 50% non-American women to force men to undergo background checks and for individual women to have to approve the paperwork of individual men in writing before the man could say “hello”. Because the majority of foreign women trying to meet American men online don’t have email addresses and just want the American men to call or write paper letters..the law would have destroyed the industry.

    Because Security Moms approved of stopping their husbands from running off with a cute Russian 21 year old, all Republican politicians voted for this Democrat sponsored law, except Tom Tancredo.

  8. By the way, I found this blog because Reason’s expose on the fake sex trafficking statistics is being featured at where there is heated discussion on how the Republican politicians are colluding with the Democrats like Wynn to destroy the online dating industry using cooked statistics.

    In Maryland, one of Wynn’s Republican colleagues is Congressman Bartlett who has a gay legislative assistant who can’t stand the idea that heterosexual males might actually want to fight for their rights to say hello to women.

    Meanwhile, non-profit “women’s” organizations have been given taxpayer money via the so-called “Violence Against Women Act” with which to lobby Congress for laws that will force all forums like this one to verify the identity of everyone who posts because of the *need* to know how old everybody is who speaks to another online. I can write a book on this subject.

  9. You know what will be a lot of fun? If somehow, someway that Smither(s?) feller gets elected and every Reasonista suddenly has a change of heart about incumbency. Hmmm, again, I wonder why things like this come up when you adopt one stupid slogan as your political guide.

  10. What is the asterisk for? Do the names of all Jews have to followed by an asterisk* now? Bastards! I blame Mel Gibson!!

  11. If somehow, someway that Smither(s?) feller gets elected and every Reasonista suddenly has a change of heart about incumbency.

    If say he stayed in office for 12 years then had to leave I don’t think that would be bad…hell he might then run for senator or even govenor of Texas, or simply go back to what ever he did before with a good solid libertarian legacy for others to build upon and learn from.

    Anyway I am not a big term limits guy…i don’t think they are a terrible idea and i do think your arguement against them is thin.

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