They are an embarrassment to the city of Indianapolis.
Time after time, they humiliate both themselves and, by association, the city. With their arrogance and conduct, it's clear they don't respect the wonderful jobs they have.
Can't we just say goodbye to these do-nothings? Can't we finally replace them with people who are fresh and at least mildly modest? Can't we give their jobs to people who will make us a teensy bit proud?
No, I'm not talking about the Indiana Pacers. I'm talking about our disastrous and dysfunctional congressional duo from Indianapolis.
Republican Dan Burton and Democrat Julia Carson -- two politicians in need of gold watches and forced retirements. Two politicians who long ago gave up caring about their constituents and began to see themselves as icons who own their congressional seats.
We'll start with Burton. The Indianapolis Republican added to his long and embarrassing record when he once again skipped a big batch of House votes in January to go golfing in Palm Springs, Calif.
As Burton hung out in California, his colleagues on Capitol Hill voted on tax and higher education issues. He didn't care. He had a tee time.
To say this is the most arrogant thing Burton has done this year is saying something. After all, in early January he was the only House member to vote against lobbying reform.
He's off to a fine start in 2007.
Then there's Carson.
The Indianapolis Democrat had made a spectacle of herself in recent months, from incoherent TV appearances to a mean-spirited victory speech after her Nov. 7 re-election.
Last week, she decided to rain on the city's Colts parade. She did so as the House discussed a resolution honoring the Super Bowl champions.
"I come today to congratulate the Indianapolis Colts," she said on the House floor.
It wasn't a bad start. But, sadly, Carson kept talking.
"See," she said, "we have good things in my district. They are not all drive-by shootings."
Yes, Carson stood up in the House and trashed her own city. Her supporters will say, "That's just Julia being Julia." But it's more than that; it's the sad case of a politician losing her ability to control what she says.
These two need to go.
They miss more votes than any other member of the state's congressional delegation. They stun us with their ridiculous words and bizarre actions.
They need to go.
Burton, however, runs in a solidly Republican district, and Carson rules an increasingly Democratic district. They will not likely be defeated in a general election.
Still, it's not hard to find Democrats who hold their noses as they vote for Carson, or Republicans who do the same as they cast ballots for Burton.
It makes you wonder whether a strong primary opponent could do what the opposition party cannot. Remember, this state has recently seen primary voters end the reigns of some legendary politicians -- namely state Sens. Bob Garton and Larry Borst.
Defeating a member of Congress would be a bigger chore. But a more important one.
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Tully: Time For Burton And Carson To Go
Star political columnist Matt Tully launches an unusually harsh attack on Indiana's U.S. Rep. Dan Burton (R) and U.S. Rep. Julia Carson (D). A gold watch and forced retirement is what is needed for "[t]wo politicians who long ago gave up caring about their constituents and began to see themselves as icons who own their congressional seats." Tully cites Burton missing key votes last month to attend a celebrity golf outing in Palm Springs, California and Carson's comments during a resolution honoring the Colts this past week suggesting there's more in Indianapolis than "drive-by shootings." Curiously, Carson's "drive-by shooting" comment was ignored by the local media after she made it earlier this week. AI learned about it from a story in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. Here's the full text of Tully's spot-on column today: