It occurred to me, after President Obama’s pronouncement last week in favor of forced, universal suffrage, that behind his contempt for Congress and his many end-runs around it is most probably the determination that Congress lacks legitimacy.
Now, where would more votes appear were there universal suffrage? Among Obama voters, of course, as he said:
If everybody voted, then it would completely change the political map in this country, because the people who tend not to vote are young; they’re lower income; they’re skewed more heavily towards immigrant groups and minority groups; and they’re often the folks who are — they’re scratching and climbing to get into the middle class.
So that’s his sentiment. More voters – no matter that they have less than low-information and can’t be bothered to vote except at gunpoint – make for a better democracy.
Now think about how he was elected and reelected president. By drilling down into his base. That is, making the electorate more representative of “the people.”
And when Republicans seized all of Congress in 2014, Obama wasn’t the least bit in awe of the event. Rather, he noted, only a third of voters went to the polls, and the views of those who didn’t show up were important too.
“To everyone who voted, I want you to know that I hear you,” he said at news conference the day after voters handed the Senate to the GOP. “To the two-thirds of voters who chose not to participate in the process yesterday, I hear you, too,” he added.
Ah yes, non-voters made a principled stand! Assuming they weren’t supine and asleep.
Many more people vote during presidential election years than during the off years, and in Obama’s case, the electorate, in his view, looked more like America.
Add in the influence in Congress of all those filthy lobbyists headed round the “revolving door” between K Street and Capitol Hill, and you have a much purer representation of democracy at the White House, in the mind of Obama.
So why listen to Congress?