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Opening Arguments

Another IES casualty

Richard Lugar, victim of Incumbent Entitlement Syndrome:

Lugar did not lose because the Tea Party targeted him. He lost because he was no longer representing the people of Indiana. In theory and practice he has truly become a United States senator.

He lost because the driver’s license in his wallet shows the address of a home he sold 37 years ago -- before I was born. He lost because Hoosiers didn’t know enough about him to appreciate the long years of solid service he’s provided to them and the country. He lost because he believed, like so many life-long politicians do, that he was somehow entitled to re-election.

[. . .]

That’s actually a classic description of one of the chief symptoms of IES: believing it’s beneath you to actually ask voters for their support.

Another symptom is experiencing feelings of immortality -- and an accompanying aversion to retirement.

I think the phenomenon described is pretty common, and "entitlement" may be too strong a word for what these politicians think. If you've been at a job very long and like it, you feel like you belong there and can't imagine life without it. Most of us in that position just have to do the job in a way that pleases a handful of people responsible for our paychecks. But it's dangerous to be complacent when you depend on the voters and the goodwill of the whole state. We don't know the people in Washington are doing a good job unless they come back often and tell us. Lugar forgot that.


Tim Zank
Wed, 05/16/2012 - 9:46am

Can you imagine what it's like to be a 36 year Senator? Virtually everything in their life is provided to them. They enter the job well off already, from that point on, their salaries just get automatically banked, all of their daily expenses are paid for, they are driven or flown anywhere and everywhere, they have a staff that does virtually ALL of their work for them (last year Lugar's staff salaries were $2,878,113....) leaving them the "heady" responsibility (daily activity if you will) of  basically sitting in grand offices and grand meeting chambers with one another kibitzing about woes of the common folk....

The day they take office even if they are not personally "millionaires" they instantly adopt the lifestyle of one..

Seriously, as a Senator you don't have to worry (ever again) about chuck roast at $4.99 a pound, public school textbooks at $200 a year, tires at $130 a piece, gas at $4 a gallon, property taxes that make your mortgage payment go up $50 a month, homeowners insurance that (now that it's credit score based) inexplicably goes up $1000 in a year, car insurance that does the same, a furnace repair suddenly pops up at $236, your health insurance premium contribution goes up a couple thousand in one year,  your health insurance dectible goes from $1000 to $5000 in 2 years, your regional sewer rate goes up $10 a month, trash collection goes up $20 a quarter, required continuing ed for your job goes up $100 and licensing goes up $20, an $800 repair on your kids 10 year old Taurus, or a $900 repair on the other sh*tbox the other kid drives, ..these are but a few of the many costs all of us regular folks have encountered...

Members of Congress have not a clue what real life is like every single day for the rest of us, and they work for us, not the other way around, remember????

Term Limits is a start....