By Jon Tucker
Deb Fischer’s win over Bob Kerry and her previous win over the establishment’s pick in the primary are great achievements for grassroots Republicans in Nebraska. Even if she may not have been the pick of many grassroots Republicans in the primary she still represents power over the establishment. Now is not the time to turn this power back to the establishment once in Washington.
The culture of Washington is the club of “Must Have Hill Experience”. It is where staffers from one politician switch to another politician bringing with them their lobbyists and crony connections with other staffers and politicians where they have worked before.
Do a simple Google search for “must have hill experience” and you’ll see over 6,000 hits for job descriptions in Washington DC.
What usually happens is the candidate that we elected gets surrounded by Washington politics and no longer has the identity of their home state or district. The candidate turned politician is just the conduit for a staffer acting as gatekeeper for legislation written by lobbyists. The politician is used to give credibility to new legislation for which the politician probably knows little about the subject, which is being presented as a bill to become law.
None of this is what the grassroots wanted. The victory over the establishment has been lost. The voice of the state or district they represent is no longer top of mind by the elected representative.
For Deb Fischer’s legacy to be remembered as a champion of Nebraska and a victory over the establishment her first goal should be to remove any requirement that her staff “Must Have Hill Experience.”