It takes a special kind of arrogance to enter someone’s home uninvited, walk to the kitchen, grab a beer from the fridge, sit down on the couch and proceed to tell you how to live your life.
You are getting to see that right special attribute right now. Congresspeople across the country are stepping down. Locally, my Congressperson Jim Gerlach is dropping out of Pa.’s 6th District. Personally, I think out of the 700,000 or so people in the district we can find some folks to take a shot at this.
If a political party does not have anyone qualified to run, it is the party’s fault for not developing the local talent. It is worse to put up an unqualified person as a placeholder than to let the slot run blank. Putting an incompetent into office looks bad for everyone and places the entire district at a disadvantage when competing in Washington. It also kills the long term credibility of the party nominating someone who should not be on the ballot.
The problem is people who live outside the district start ‘floating’ their names to deign to represent the poor souls who may not have a member of the party already qualified ready to go – or so these folks think.
Here’s the thing. If you live in a district – stay in your district. You already have a Congressional Seat. You want to run for Congress – by all means represent YOUR home town – not mine. We do not want you to float in and tell us what to do. The district gerrymanders are already warped enough.
If you want to run in my district, please feel free to buy a house here – BEFORE you decide to run. Spend time to learn about the 700,000 people you have moved in with.
The only exception I can reasonably see to this is if a sitting Congressperson was gerrymandered into a new district and they are sucking air to catch up to the new maplines. Feel free to move in during the campaign.
Otherwise, those of us who already live here will think you are a crass political hack opportunist. And you would not want your opponent in a general election to start running ads with carpetbags. No matter how stylish the carpet bag is – it is still a carpetbag.
And it doesn’t matter if they are a Democrat, Republican or Independent; there won’t be any beers in the fridge for such a person.