Do I envy people in places like the Second District, where John Kline will win by forty points over whatever hapless stooge the DFL puts forth this November?
Or even the Sixth, where Michele Bachmann will endure a full court press from the national (also local) Democraticicicic party to win by (I predict) eight this fall?
Heck – I envy people who live in districts with functioning two-party systems.
I do not live in a place with a functioning two-party system, of course. I live in Saint Paul; Ramsey County; the Fourth Congressional District. The place is controlled with Cominternish efficiency by the DFL; so much of city and county is either employed by or dependent on the government, its unions, its contractors and its social welfare that it really is a company town.
And so we are “represented” by Betty McCollum.
I have in the past said things about Rep. McCollum that have been less than flattering; “the dumbest person in Congress” and that sort of thing. And as I’ve attacked that sort of ad-hominem when directed against conservative women (although, to be fair to me, ad-hominem is the first and largely only tactic most liberals have against conservative women), it’d be disingenuous of me to do it myself. So I won’t.
I’ll just let you listen to the person who “represents” me yourself :
She’s right in the thick of the BP disaster, doncha know:
“We need to be doing due diligence so that the taxpayer isn’t cleaning up British Petroleum’s mess, and we don’t have more job loss, more environmental loss in the Gulf that goes un-cleaned up…”
Ah. So BettyMac opposes the Administration’s various demands for moritoriums on drilling, then?
On the economy, Esme Murphy – who isn’t a DFL hack in the sense that Lori Sturdevant is, but whose sympathies seem generally pretty clear – asks about the economy. I’m not going to “fisk” McCollum – address each point in line – but rather let the full trascribed glory of her oratory stand on its own and answer each point afterward:
Murphy: There’s been some criticism from Republicans that the recovery isn’t enough, and what the president has done with the stimulus package, while it did make some improvements in thers of the economy, it’s pust us in the position of a trillion dollar deficit. Your thoughts about whether or not there needs to be second wave of stimulus spending.”
McCollum: “Well first, the defiict was caused by the un-paid-for Bush Tax Cuts, by two wars, both Afghanistan and Iraq, being put on a credit card with no shared responsibility for the American public to pay for the wars, as our servicemen and women have given their all and maxde huge sacrifices . So that’s the big bulk we inherited that mess. and then you add the Wall Street crisis, being unregulated for all those years, andt the failure of our financial institutions to protect consumers investments and peoples retirements and the rest. So if you look at that, that is the big part of our debt.
Now what do we do in the meantime? Well, stimulus, finunding to keep Americans working and keep the economy moving forward and create confidence is what the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was about, that’s what I voted for, and we’re going to see some big things happening for instance in Saint Paulfor example with Central Corridor being the largest work project in the state of Minnesota , with state and local and government funding, investing in our community um so I’m very pleased that people’re going to see more of those projects moving forward there’s a lot of the traffic inconvenience we’re all suffering, our investments make putting Minnesotans to work through the recovery act and um I’m not gonna be apologetic for making sure that americans have a chance get up annd go to work in the morning peole in Minnesota do, there’s still too many people without jobs.
- I wasn’t aware that FDR fought World War II on a cash and carry basis! Oh, wait – he didn’t. In the interest of national security, he ran a deficit, like Wilson and Lincoln before him, during wartime. Of course, FDR institutionalized deficit spending for peacetime “emergencies”, although it was LBJ that made it a regular feature of peacetime life. But you didn’t know that, Rep. McCollum. Did you? Be honest.
- Well, thanks for noting the troops’ sacrifice (although never, ever their achievements). Now – how many more would have died had the US followed your spectacularly uninformed advice in Iraq?
- No, Rep. McCollum; leaving the financial sector “unregulated” (by, for instance, compelling them to make sub-prime loans and then subsidizing the lending) did not cause the debt or the deficit; believing that any financial institution is “too big to fail”, and then subsidizing the non-failure, and finally pretending that “stimulus” subsidies and rampant socialization and higher spending can revive an economy (even ignoring the higher taxes to pay for it all) is doing it. Thanks for nothing.
- The Central Corridor is “putting people to work”, all right – your union constituents, anyway. Not so much all the little businesspeople up and down the street. But they’re non-union, so they don’t count, do they?
Murphy on the potential Dem losses this fall, asking how many Bettymac thinks Dems will lose:
Well, I don’t have a crystal ball in front of me, I don’t know what’s going to happen, I’m working really hard for my seat, I take nothing for granted, I’m out doorknocking, visiting with condsitutients and heaging the direction they wan tot see the country go in, and what I’m hearing is that they don’t want to go backwards, they don’t want to to the failed policies uh that got us in this economic jam we’re in, that got us in the war we’re in in Iraq unjustifiably, they want to see our country moving forward. So what Democrats have to do here and nationally is talk about how we’re still on a road to recovery, we have a plan to put America first, to make America competitive, to educate our children to be the best and brightest in the world, and the voters will judge us on those messages. I’ve heard nothing from our colleagues about going forward, it’s all about going back, repealing health care, going back and putting the Bush tax cuts in place and we need to be moving forward, not backward.
- Since you’re working so hard for that seat of yours, perhaps you can take me up on my two-year-old invitation to come on the Northern Alliance Radio Network to defend all your claims?
- You have a “plan” to “put America first?” Really? Excellent! Let’s see it!
- You have a plan to educate our children to be the best and the brightest? Wow! So since the Minnesota Federation of Teachers and Education Minnesota are two of your biggest supporters, by all means tell us – why they haven’t been doing that all along?
Listen. And compare her to the smart, articulate Teresa Collett (whom Ed and I interviewed last Saturday – after the halfway point of this hour), running her underdog battle against McCollum in the Fourth.
It’s what “moving forward” really sounds like.
(Gary at LFR pointed the appearance out out to me, and hammers it too)