Opinion: Morning Examiner

A modest proposal to keep senators and representatives home on the range

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Mark Tapscott,Morning Examiner,Republican Party,Tea Party,Mitch McConnell,Pat Roberts

Sen. Pat Roberts is the senior Republican senator from Kansas, but he actually lives in Virginia. He owns Kansas property but the tax bill for it goes to his Virginia home.

Roberts has lived in Virginia since Ronald Reagan was in the Oval Office, a fact that is now at the root of his political problems at home, as described today by RedState's Erick Erickson.

Tea Party favorite Milton Wolf is challenging Roberts in the Republican primary in no small part because the incumbent allegedly has lost touch with Kansas voters, a fact that is conveniently symbolized by his Virginia residence.

The real problem

Roberts and other incumbent GOP congressmen are increasingly facing primary challenges from insurgent Tea Party candidates.

Such challenges invariably are rooted in a feeling that the incumbent has lost touch with the home folks. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is likely the most prominent illustration of this phenomenon in the 2014 election cycle.

Republicans aren't unique in facing this situation, however, as seven Democratic Senate incumbents who voted for Obamacare in 2010 are learning in 2014.

A simple solution

What if state governments invested in permanent residences in the Washington, D.C. area to be occupied temporarily by their senators and representatives?

The White House is owned by the federal government and is used temporarily by the succession of presidents. Why not the same thing for state governments for their members of Congress?

Doing so would negate somewhat the present process in which Joe Blow gets elected, buys a house in suburban Virginia or Maryland, moves his family there, puts down roots and becomes a frequent flyer to visit the folks who used to be his friends and neighbors "back home."

Not perfect but it's a step

Over time, some state homes in Washington would become famous by virtue of the men and women who temporarily occupied them.

By not having to buy a house in Washington, the tendency of senators and representatives to put down roots in the wrong place would be lessened.

And state homes would emphasize the reality that senators and representatives are sent to Washington to represent people with familiar problems and concerns.

It's not a perfect solution, but at least it addresses a problem that is rarely discussed — how to encourage political leaders to remain dependent upon the people who sent them to the nation's capital.

On today's washingtonexaminer.com

Monday Editorial: "Official time" shows Washington is too big to manage.

Sunday Editorial: Obama has lost all credibility on Benghazi and IRS.

Op-eds: Going Democrat-Lite will make the GOP a permanent minority.

Columnist/Hugh Hewitt: What House Speaker John Boehner should say about military retirement cuts.

Columnist/James Jay Carafano: The stakes are high in the Ukraine, with freedom on the line.

Beltway Confidential/Chuck Hoskinson: Obama nominates unqualified amateurs to sensitive diplomatic posts.

Beltway Confidential/Michael Barone: Congress needs to stop state tax shakedowns.

PennAve/Susan Ferrechio: Congress this week seeks elusive debt-ceiling deal.

In other news

CBS News: Doctor to release findings on toxic dust in Iraq.

The New York Times: Minimum wage fight shows web of industry ties.

The Washington Post: Accenture, hired to fix healthcare.gov, has history of stumbles.

CNN: Iran sending warships toward U.S. maritime borders.

USA Today: Economists see more U.S. growth in 2014.

The Los Angeles Times: Global airline industry expects most profitable year ever in 2014.

Righty Playbook

Washington Free Beacon: The Hillary papers -- closest friend describes ruthless first lady.

National Review Online: The end of sex.

American Thinker: Obama's loafer nation.

Bonus must-read

The Weekly Standard: A winning alternative to Obamacare.

Lefty Playbook

Mother Jones: California's drought could be the worst in 500 years.

The New Republic: The shrinking of LBJ.

The Progressive: The Sochi Olympics and a forgotten genocide.

Bonus must-read

Salon.com: Why weird things happen.

Blog Right

Hot Air: Liberals take victory lap after Zimmerman/DMX fight cancelled.

Gateway Pundit: Democrats new rallying cry -- Work is a trap and we celebrate those who can avoid it.

Powerline Blog: Does Michael Needham run the Republican Party?

Blog Left

Talking Points Memo: What the Obamacare debate reveals about how Americans view work.

Taylor Marsh: Exciting new report adds pieces to the Hillary puzzle.

Talk Left: Freedom today for Schapelle Corby.

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