Archive for the ‘Political Trends’ Category

She’s No Lady, She’s a Member of Congress

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

I couldn’t let any more time pass before the Truth Detector comments on the bruhaha from last week’s joint radio appearance by Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R –  Minnesota) and Sen. Arlen Specter (D – Pennsylvania) in Pennsylvania.

As you may recall, Specter was a moderate Republican Senator until after the 2008 election that swept Barack H. Obama and a near filibuster-proof majority for the Democrats in the Senate. Specter’s re-election was coming up in 2010, and, seemingly reading the tea leaves at the time, he decided to change parties with the hopes of grabbing a plumb committee chairmanship while increasing his chances of re-election.

But how quickly the political winds change. Merely a year later, Democratic fortunes have reversed, and Specter, who historically gets re-elected by comfortable margins, is in the re-election fight of his life. Last week’s radio appearance with Bachmann may not have helped his chances.

Bachmann and Specter were vigorously debating the Democrats’ health care proposal. Specter asked Bachmann what she voted in favor of. When Bachmann answered in generalities, without naming a specific bill, Specter was not satisfied. The moderator called on Specter to respond, while Bachmann continued to press her point. Specter, frustrated by being interrupted, told Bachmann to “act like a lady.” “I’m treating you like a lady, so act like one.”

Bachmann later said she felt like she was being treated like a child.

 While Bachmann is no stranger to fallout from making erratic statements, the political fallout this time, fair or unfair, will fall on Specter. Specter has since apologized directly to Bachmann, which may limit the political fallout as far as he’s concerned. Let’s face it. Specter’s comments had shades of sexism. Had he been paired with a Congressman (Mike) Pence, a Congressman (Jeff) Flake, a Congressman (John) Kline or any other male member of Congress, does anyone believe Specter would have asked any of them to “act like a gentleman”?

Now, whenever two or more politicians are gathered in one place and asked to express their opinions, interruptions can be expected. But whether Specter realized it at the time, his insinuation that Bachmann is not a lady has a ring of truth to it. I’ve written on this blog before about people close to me who have been trampled on by Bachmann’s stilettos. Figuratively, of course, but the fact is Bachmann is capable of being downright rude and tacky, especially when it comes to promoting her own political  career. (BTW, if she were a man, I would give the words, “rude”, “tacky” or even “ungentlemanly” equal time here.)

So while the Truth Detector says Specter couldn’t have said what he said to a more deserving person, the Truth Detector also says whatever political fallout Specter suffers because of it also couldn’t happen to a more deserving person. He may pay the ultimate price for switching parties out of political opportunism this November. Because of his comments last week, female voters in Pennsylvania just might make sure of it.

Health Care Earthquake Could Result in 2010 Electoral Aftershock

Monday, August 10th, 2009

Hardly a day goes by without news reports of opponents to government-run health care “disrupting” town hall meetings conducted by members of Congress. Although I am adamantly opposed to people being uncivil at a forum where civil discourse and respect for others is expected, I suspect many of the reports of “angry mobs” are overstated. And if the protesters we have been hearing about are engaging in intimidation tactics, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Word is, union activists are getting into the act. There is no group in the country that has perfected thuggery like union activists. The person being treated in an emergency room in St. Louis in this story was attacked by a Service Employees International Union (SEIU) member wearing the union’s trademark purple shirt, according to a Fox News TV report this morning.

There is no doubt people are angry over the prospect of losing more of their freedom, and our nations leaders handing over more of our economy to the government in a slide toward socialism. No doubt this is a time like no other in forty years. Think about it. Barack H. Obama is the most left-leaning president since LBJ, maybe since FDR. Until now, only two Democrats have ascended to the White House since LBJ. And the people didn’t have as much to fear with them. Jimmy Carter was too incompetent to implement a socialist agenda, even if he had wanted to, and even with huge majorities in Congress. And Bill Clinton was too busy doing, well, doing what Bill Clinton does best to really mess up the country. So here we are with a guy in the oval office who has personal appeal of Bill Clinton (but without the personal baggage)  of Bill Clinton, and with huge Congressional majorities enjoyed by Carter. For all practical purposes there are no checks and balances in Washington, and people are scared.

And it wasn’t the health care issue that started it all. The conservative earthquake may be in response to government-run health care, but the early tremors were felt when conservatives spoke out against the proposed cap & trade (cap & tax) energy bill.

Whether the aftershocks result in a seismic shift in Congressional power might be dependent upon how moderate “blue dog” Democrats handle the strong opposition to their leadership’s policies. Many of these blue dogs were elected in 2006 and 2008 in Republican-leaning or swing districts. They ran as being moderate, centrist, independent of party control. The issues such as cap & tax and government-run health care will force them to choose whether they will vote their districts, or vote with their party leadership.

They will also have to decide how they will handle town hall meeting attendees. If they genuinely listen they may stay in the good graces of their constituents. Democrat Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa reportedly went against the wishes of his staff and took the heat by hearing out angry constituents at a town hall meeting (my cynical side says this could have been staged). On the other hand, if members of Congress dismiss protesters as angry mobs or people bought and paid for by special interests, that will be their first step toward their ultimate political demise. Some Congressmen such as Tim Walz, Democrat of Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District, is  staying in hiding, and not holding town meetings, as reported by the Owatonna People’s Press. Avoiding the heat from constituents cannot be much more preferable to getting negative editorials such as this one.

Now, I’m not one to give free advice to Democrats, but if they misunderestimate, to use a Bushism, the genuine grassroots uprising against this slide toward socialism, the 2010 election could result in one of the biggest shifts in power in the U. S. House of Representatives in modern times. If they listen and vote their districts, they may avoid the loss of seats that the party of the man in the White House typically experiences in his first mid-term election.

It’s Hard to Define, but People Recognize it When They See It

Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

No, I’m not talking about obscenity. I’m talking about socialism. And if you can believe the recent Rasmussen Poll regarding government ownership of GM and Chrysler, the people recognize socialism when it rears its ugly head, too.

The poll found that 80 percent, that’s right 80 percent of the people want the government to sell its interest in GM and Chrysler. A majority of Republicans, Independents and Democrats feel the same way.

Add this to the list of things that gives me hope and fills me wiht optimism. People know when government overreaches and gets involved in things when it shouldn’t. At least when it’s blatant socialism.

Another indication that things are looking up, as I have stated here before, a June 15th Gallup Poll found that conservatives are the single biggest ideological group, with 40 percent of respondents being self-identified conservatives. The second largest group were moderates at 35 percent, and only 21 percent identified themselves as liberal.