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Congress Suffers From Senility Of Purpose And Principles

According to research by Kevin King of Quorum, the 115th Congress is among the oldest in history; 18 of the 33 Senators running for reelection in 2018 will be 65 or older. If they win, another six years in office would put Senators Feinstein, Hatch, Nelson, and Sanders well into their 80’s. Looking ahead at the 2020 elections, 21 of the 33 Senators running for reelection will be 65 or older says King.

So why do they stick around?

John McCain brain cancerOnly in the power obsessed Republican establishment would Senator John McCain, who has just been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer be encouraged to stay in the office, even though his chances of living out his term are between 3 and 14 percent.

McCain chairs the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee and has been prone to sudden outbursts and fits of temper for years, even to the point that his perennial wingman Senator Lindsay Graham of South Carolina has had to apologize for his behavior.

His mercurial fits of temper, his flip-flops on issues, his bellicose pronouncements and his strange embrace of Democrats and their positions have often left his fellow Republicans wondering about his mental state.

Senator Ron Johnson even went so far as to suggest that McCain’s brain tumor and the after-midnight timing of the vote on the GOP Obamacare repeal were factors in McCain’s decisive vote against the GOP health care bill.

And only in the power obsessed Republican establishment would Senator Thad Cochran, who won re-nomination only through a vile race baiting campaign against conservative Chris McDaniel, be encouraged to stay in office despite arriving at the Senate Chamber so frail and disoriented that he had to be guided by staffers around a security checkpoint inside the Capitol.

Cochran later started to walk into a first-floor room — though the Senate chamber is on the second floor and on one amendment, Cochran voted “yes” despite being told by an aide to vote “no.” The staffer tried to get the senator to switch his vote, but Cochran kept flashing the “thumbs up” sign, even walking over to the clerk tallying the vote and doing so. GOP floor staffers repeatedly told him the leadership wanted a "no" vote. Several more moments passed before Cochran realized he was voting the wrong way and then changed his vote.

According to POLITICO, top Senate Republicans say they are not pressuring Cochran to retire or step down as Appropriations Committee chairman, a powerful perch from which he helps oversee hundreds of billions of dollars in government spending each year.

But it’s is not just Republicans who stay in Congress long after their prime.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has become confused so regularly during public appearances that the liberal media have been unable to cover for her as she has referred to President Trump as “President Bush” no less than five times, has confused the National Rifle Association as part of the intelligence community, forgets what time of day it is and engages in aimless rambling answers to straightforward questions.

Then again, the average age of the Democratic House leadership is 72 years old, whereas the average age of Republican House leadership is 48 years old. This trend continues in House committee leadership with Republican chairmen averaging 59 years old and ranking Democrats averaging 68 years old points out Quorum’s Kevin King.

The owner of the pharmacy that supplies the Attending Physician for Congress, Grubb's Pharmacy's Dr. Michael Kim, told STAT News, that he delivers drugs to treat serious conditions like diabetes and Alzheimer’s to Congress.

“It makes you kind of sit back and say, ‘Wow, they’re making the highest laws of the land and they might not even remember what happened yesterday,'” Dr. Kim said.

However, from our experience it isn’t chronological age that limits one’s ability to lead or contribute.

At 84 CHQ Chairman Richard Viguerie routinely works 12 to 14 hours a day five days a week and puts in half a day on Saturday writing books, studying and teaching marketing and running the nation’s oldest and largest conservative direct marketing company.

We attribute Mr. Viguerie’s vigor to his purpose in founding the Viguerie Company – as he explained to Morton Blackwell back in 1972 – it was to build the conservative movement, not just to establish a successful direct marketing company.

Our friend Daniel Horowitz, writing for Conservative Review, posed the question why do establishment Republican politicians stay long past their prime this way:

…it apparently takes a state of disorientation to get a Republican to actually vote for spending cuts. Remember, Cochran is the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, for goodness sakes.

Then the thought crossed my mind that as outrageous as it is for Cochran to continue serving in the Senate despite his condition, the same holds true for the majority of GOP senators, irrespective of their physical condition. As it relates to their actual job and campaign promises, most of them are “frail and disoriented” and are incapable or unwilling to accomplish anything in the GOP party platform.

One might fairly ask then, to what end or purpose do Senators McCain, Cochran, Dianne Feinstein, and 87-year old Rep. John Conyers (D-MI-13), 83-year old Rep. Don Young (R-AK-1) and 84-year old Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY-25) continue to hold office, if not for the pursuit of power only?

With President Trump calling for term limits and commentators on both the Right and Left beginning to question the effectiveness of our aging Congress our take is similar to Daniel Horowitz’s; we think Congress is failing not because it suffers ill effects from aging, but because it suffers from senility of purpose and principles.

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Senility of the Senate

The above is a very good article and should be a strong argument for term limits to everyone. My idea for that is that no one should serve more than 12 years in the Congress. That way, you can't have someone serve 12 years in the House and then another 12 years in the Senate. Also, when they leave the Congress, they leave all their benefits there. If they want to have retirement accounts like a 401(k) or something like that, let them put their money into it just like we have to. Being in the Congress should not be a career. That is not what it was supposed to be to begin with. There is to much senility in the Congress today. We need to get rid of it.