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Saturday, October 30, 2010

An Article About Politcs Worth Reading

This isn't necessarily encouraging, but it is interesting. It's an interview with a Democrat who decided not to run this year:
Mr. Baird had developed his own health-care proposal that drew on his 23 years of experience as a licensed clinical psychologist treating patients with cancer and brain injuries. His plan would have provided universal health care but held down costs through vouchers for the poor, medical savings accounts for the middle class, and reform of malpractice insurance.

He admits to being frustrated that ideas like his never got a fair hearing in a Congress dominated by inertia and interest groups. "Our problems are now so grave we can't afford petty partisanship and closed thinking," he tells me.
In his new book, "Character, Politics and Responsibility," Mr. Baird argues that in order to afford caring for the needy, liberals will have to challenge "unsustainable entitlements." "I would eliminate the concept of entitlements and move to needs-based social insurance," he says. "The key is to both promote personal responsibility while lowering expenditures by not promising or giving money or other benefits to those who don't need it."
I'm going to buy this guy's book. He blames a lot of this on Pelosi's management style, which is what I have been thinking all along. The focus on Obama is misleading. Obama is still far more popular than Congress, and his numbers remain pretty good given the economy. The focus on Obama seems to be generated by a Congress intent on deflecting blame rather than facts. It is almost the mirror image of what occurred in the GOP Congress.

After reading the article I had two thoughts:
  1. A Democrat like this is not very far from TEA Party.
  2. It is utterly depressing that a Democrat like this chucked it.
I truly believe that a good chunk of persons attracted to the TEA party are traditional Democrats rebelling against a dysfunctional party leadership, just as many of the TEA enthusiasts are traditional Republicans rebelling against a dysfunctional party leadership. This is a strange way to reach bipartisanship, but it seems as if the parties kind of forced this on the voters.

Baird's advice to the next Congress? Be honest about the numbers and treat the voters like adults.

I have no idea whether the next House will follow that advice, but if it doesn't, I think the voters will continue to "throw the bums out".

He was the congressman for our district. He leaves out how upset he was when confronted about his vote for Obamacare. In fact, he cancelled all public hearings after that and tried to do a call-in hearing. It all seemed pretty cowardly to me.
We can hope the new Representatives will be more thoughtful and less ideologues. I am not encouraged. Because the atmosphere in D.C. is polluted with special interest money. Honest men/women go to D.C. and see the big chance. The gospel is that all you have to do is provide service to constituents who ask for help, and become adept at earmarks. They have to publicize earmarks to prove they are "bringing home the bacon." It has become such a cynical exercise. A few terms of that and one can retire with full pay and benefits - such a temptation to sell their souls.

I was at a TEA Party rally today. A dem came up to me and asked, "Why are you doing this? What do you want from the government?" When I told him I wanted less government, he walked away shaking his head in disbelief. The gospel is that everyone wants a piece of the pie and the best way to get it is to elect someone who will deliver it. When will we get it across that we want more personal responsibility and less government meddling?

There is a social contract. But the first part of the contratct is for every citizen to do their best to support themselves. For those who fall by the wayside or stumble, we need to have a ready hand available to get them back on their feet. The trouble with government aid is it tends to become a way of life, not just a helping hand.

All of our representatives in western Washington except Dave Reichart voted the Pelosi line. Baird retired. Rick Larsen and Jay Inslee are in tough election battles with strong Republican candidates. Jim McDermott is in a Democrat district where he has a seat for life. But Norm Dicks (another democrat with a lifetime position) is, unbelieveably, in a close race. It is possible (long odds) that Washington will send four new Republicans to the House in January. (Healthcare and runaway spending would be the issues that did it.) The question is, will they do the right thing or sell out? We in the TEA Party movement will be breathing down their necks. Let's hope it will be enough.
You are correct that this mess was more the Dem Congress than Obama but that is mostly due to the fact that Obama has no demonstrated ability to pass legislation. So it is right that those who carried Obama's water be dealt with first. Unfortunately, Obama has also not demonstrated any hint that he may be able to work with a non-captive Congress to achieve things.

This guy took a calculated risk by voting for Obamacare and lost. Better he'd stood by his beliefs if they are accurately portrayed.

It does make me feel good that there a Dems that are finding common purpose with the Tea Party. Best not to be dependent on Republican party lest they go back to their evil ways. The Dems are done and the Reps have this one chance. Blow it and there'll be a new party handling things come 2012
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@Jimmie J,

I have been keeping quotes, as I come upon them, that fit your experience. The last one seems the most appropriate:

Spending is always agreeable to politicians. It is like recommending ice cream to an overweight person, to increase his energy for later exercise.


… the welfare state is the mechanism which makes government depredations acceptable to the public.

Bill Buckler

The State is the great fiction by which everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else.

This is a strange way to reach bipartisanship,

I'd rather have useful government than bipartisanship. Bipartisanship put us in Iraq.
Teri - well, given the way he thought health care reform should have been handled, I doubt he was very comfortable defending the bill.

I'd say this guy is having a personal crisis of confidence.
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