March 9, 2010 by: David Rosman Columbia, MO
Last week I wrote a column for the Columbia Missourian concerning being snowed by politicians. And after the tons of snow and foul weather dumped on us this winter, I would think we had enough, but Nooooo!
On to Sunday March 6, Meet the Press featured Minnesota Republican/Tea Party representative Michele Bachmann. She is the Tea Party’s newest darling, the Chair of the Tea Party Caucus in the House and a possible contender for the 2012 Republican (or Tea Party) nomination for President of the United States. Bachmann’s responses to moderator David Gregory’s questions was not a snow storm, but a political mega-blizzard!
If you think that our politicians have been snowing the American people with repetitive-philippic political rhetoric, take seven minutes to listen to Ms. Bachmann as she answers questions put to her by Gregory. More to the point, listen to her avoid answering questions and sticking to her “message.”
(Side Bar: While working with political candidates over the years, I have tell them one thing, stick to the message, but if asked a question that has nothing to do with the message, answer the question, even if that answer is “I don’t know.” But that should always be followed by “I will find out and get back with you.” And you do get back to that person within the time frame you promised. Your only excuse; your own death.)
Back to Bachmann. Her handlers, and I can only assume she has handlers, gave her the message and strategy, attack “Obamacare” whenever and however you can and stick to your guns.
Gregory’s first question concerned Bachmann’s thoughts on a possible government shut down. It took Bachmann less than two seconds to avoid the first question. She immediately went for the jugular attacking $105 billion dollars purportedly hidden in the Affordable Care Act. She attacked the Democrats and specifically former Speaker Pelosi for throwing the bill at them at the last minute, with no debate. She even resorted to a Ross Perot trick of holding a small placard with $105,464,000,000 in front of her during her response.
(Side Bar: You remember Ross, don’t you? Founder of the Reform Party so he could be a 1992 and ‘96 candidate for President of the United States? Big ears, worth over $4 billion, and could not afford professional signs for his campaign? He lost the race both times. Yea, that Henry Ross Perot.)
Regardless of what Gregory asked, how many times he asked, or how he worded the same question, Bachmann avoided answering him and returned to her message: We have been hoodwinked by the President and he hid $105 billion from Congress and the American people. That the American people had been deceived from the beginning and this is a tax on the American people.
In just over five minutes, Gregory asked the Representative four times about a possible government shutdown and once about current House Speaker Boehner. In that time Bachmann said “$105 billion” eight times (nine if you include the placard) and called Health Care Reform or “Obamacare” a deception another eight times. Talk about sticking to the message and avoiding the question.
I know Tea Party diehards will support Bachmann until the end of the world comes on the Winter Solstice in 2012. Yet moderates, independents, and all those who claim any level of “common sense” know better than to waste their time with such garbage. And they all will celebrate New Years on January 1, 2013 without Bachmann at the head of the class.
This is also a lesson to all candidates, new or returning, that snowing the public by piling the B.S. higher and deeper will freeze the candidate out of a job.
The conservative and anarchist movements have already lied to the American people in 2010 about rationally cutting the deficient “across the board,” about being “for” the American people and about knowing the Constitution. The conservatives and anarchists have not even considered reducing duplicative regulatory oversight, spending on empty buildings, spending on their own political jaunts around the world, meaningful cuts in military duplicate or unnecessary spending, and the list continues.
These are the same women and men claiming “Family Values” who do want to cut the foundation of America’s future to the point of non-existence. Our public school systems have been all but destroyed by anarchist cuts to federal and state funding. Our community college and state university systems are being short changed and we have fallen down the abandon mine shaft as it concerns math and science education.
Americans’ collective health is taking a back seat to the industrial protectionist health insurance industry. The American poor is our fastest growing economic division and home ownership, the all-American dream, is further from reach than ever before.
Bachmann was wrong in her comments. The Patient Protection and Affordable Health Act was not first introduced to the Congress on March 21, 2010 but in September of 2009. It was debated in either one or both wings of Congress for a total of 30 days in three months. 900 questions in 20 hearings were asked by both sides of the debate. The Congressional Budget Office told the Congress of the $105 billion bill long before the final vote.
It was passed by the House in October and in the Senate on Christmas Eve 2009. Both bills then needed to be reconciled by Congress and passed through the House on a 219 to 212 vote in March 2010.
I implore you to listen to those running for public office, federal state or local, closely and ask yourself how much B.S. can you stand before you have to turn off the television, radio or computer? We have lost our ability to use our critical thinking skills. Now is the time to get back into practice.
David Rosman is an award winning editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in Communications, Ethics, Business and Politics. You can read more of David’s commentaries for Columbia Missourian and New York Journal of Books.com.
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