Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Most Liberal Senator Ever?

According to the Republicans, Senator Barack Obama is the most liberal Senator ever. As the Republican shrills made the talk show rounds the common theme was a familiar refrain. Senator_______ (you fill in the blank with any Democratic nominee) is the most liberal Senator ever. I am not a believer in déjà vu, but I can’t help but think I have heard this line before. Oh yeah now I remember; how about the last 20 years! It seems like whenever the Democrats nominate someone that person is immediately labeled the most liberal Governor, Senator, etc. ever.

You would think that the Party that has been in power 12 of the last 14 years would be running on issues and on all of their accomplishments. You would think they would be trumpeting the strong economy, the successful prosecution of the war, and energy legislative successes. Is there any wonder they are recycling the same campaign rhetoric of the last 20 years and ignoring the issues? The economy is in the worse shape in decades, the war is dragging on into its fifth year, and of course their answer to the energy crisis is more drilling and tax cuts for the oil corporations. Who wouldn’t run on those outstanding accomplishments?

Oh maybe those aren’t the best issues to run a campaign on so let’s look at the Republican platform surely that will include plenty of campaign issues to run on. According to their convention the issues the Republicans will be running on are eerily similar to the policies of the last 8 years. On tax policy they want to increase and even make permanent the Bush tax-cuts that the nominee himself has labeled as “tilted” towards the rich. On health care they continue to want to allow the market and insurance companies to drive the debate and craft the legislation, which translates into no universal health coverage. On energy they want to drill more holes and allow the gas companies to transition us into alternative fuels. On the war they want to continue the occupation and ignore Afghanistan and Pakistan, the real centers of the war on terror.

The Republican campaign strategy reminds me of the television ad for Verizon wireless where the neighborhood woman comes over and tells the couple that just moved into a home how the home is a cell phone dead zone. The couple explains that they have Verizon and their network. The Verizon spokesman comes out of the house and says the couple is good, and then the neighbor woman then says, “Well, you have crabgrass!” So I guess the Republicans are saying, “Yeah you may have the right positions on the important issues of this election, but you’re still the most liberal Senator ever!”

Of course another big Republican campaign strategy is their own change theme. John McCain and Governor Palin are agents of change .They are running against the “Washington establishment” and how they are going to shake up Washington. Once again rather than provide us with details of how they will address the important issues of our time, they provide us with these vague campaign slogans that do little in helping us to solve our everyday problems. In place of real debate and discussion of the issues we get the same ole politics of the past with the same ole name calling.

Remember when Fritz Mondale was the most liberal and then there was Governor Dukakis, and then John Kerry, and you get the picture. It amazes me how the media who is suppose to debunk and report on the false campaign narratives have allowed this to go on for 20 years. The next time a Republican talking head throws out this retread line it would be nice to hear a reporter remind them that they have been using this line for the last 20 years. But of course they will continue to explore the claim as if it were an accurate statement. Oh by the way how have the conservative politicians faired in governing our nation? And we’re all familiar with the purveyors of family values who ignore them for themselves. So if the choice is between the most liberal Senator or more of the same politics as usual maybe we could use with a little liberal change.

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