Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Belated Congratulations

I'm really surprised at myself. It's only now, almost 3 months after the fact, that I realized that I had totally forgotten about the election battle in New York's 29th Congressional District between Republican Randy Kuhl and Democrat Eric Massa.

I'm happy to say that Mr. Massa is now my Congressman.

I wanted Congressman Kuhl to lose for the same reasons I wanted most other Republicans in Congress to lose this past election: Because Congressman Kuhl voted for every bit of ill-advised, damaging, and obtrusive legislature that the Republican Congress/Executive concocted since being elected. From exchanging civil liberties for security, to bloated spending bills, to voting for America to preemptively attack a country, to rewriting The Geneva Conventions: There was nothing conservative about Republicans these past 10 years, and Randy Kuhl was a willing part of that. (See here for more writing on that subject.)

I don't know anything about Congressman Massa, other than what I've read on his wikipedia page and campaign website. For the time being, he is really only Congressman Not-Kuhl; he has yet to make his mark. But, for me, that's enough for now.

Good luck, Sir, and congratulations from one of your (absentee) constituents.

Okay, I take back the "Not-Kuhl" line. First official thing My Congressdude did was drive a flex-fuel vehicle from Corning, New York to his swearing in ceremony in Washington. Unfortunately, he consumed quite a bit of unnecessary fuel in the attempt. (Apparently the hydrogen-fuel car only had enough range to get halfway to Washington, with no hydrogen refueling stations along the way. So Rep. Massa would hop into a twin, fully-fueled car hallway there and finish his journey, while the first car was towed back to Upstate New York.)

So, we'll award points:
  1. Add one point for trying to be "green" as your first official act.
  2. Add one point for being a junior congressman getting in the news and getting noticed while doing it.
  3. Minus five points for knowingly setting yourself up for failure as your first official act.
  4. Minus five points for getting in the news and getting mocked while failing at your first official act.
  5. Minus ten points for creating the exact stereotypical situation that people use to describe why Democrats are daffy as your first official act.
Okay, Rep. Massa. You and I won't talk about this anymore. We're going to pretend it didn't happen. We'll call this your "political mulligan" (even though this is the equivalent of your Titleist going through the clubhouse's huge bay window, and biffing the club president's wife right in the chops).

Okay... a little something in Massa's defence: I read a comment in this article that claimed that Rep. Massa announced at his presser that he would need 2 cars to get there, and pointed out that part of the purpose of the trip was to illustrate the need for more hydrogen infrastructure. Well, nice try, Mr. Congressman, but as you are probably learning (or if not, click on any one of the dozen examples above), the news story you want ain't always the news story you get.


ding said...

C'mon Jil - Congress (Dem and Rep) share blame in the War in Iraq, the failing housing market, etc. And your new congressman should have just driven a hybrid down to DC and argued for more hydrogen refueling stations once there. He opened himself up to a lot of critcism for his act. Thankfully the Republicans are fighting this BS stimulus bill that the Messiah has tried to get Congress to pass.

Jungle Jil said...


That's a totally ridiculous thing to think that Democrats and Republicans equally share the blame for follies of the last 8 years. Look at this chart of "Key Votes" compiled by the Washington Times: Out of the 30 most important votes in the last three years (not 8), Republicans and Democrats voted together on only one of those issues (lowering interest rates on student loans).

Torture? Democrats no, Republicans yes.
Terri Schiavo? D no, R yes.
Extend Bush's tax cuts? D no, R yes.
Reject timetable for withdraw from Iraq? D no, R yes.
Military commissions act? D no, R yes.
Implement 9/11 commission findings? D yes, R no.
Increase minimum wage? D yes, R no.
Medicare price controls? D yes, R no.
Repeal oil company tax cuts? D yes, R no.
Expanding FISA eavesdropping ability? D no, R yes.
Expand healthcare for kids? D yes, R no.

I mean you're seriously out of touch if you think that Republicans and Democrats have been "voting the same way" all of this time. They have almost never voted the same way on the major issues of the day.

And voting to start the war in Iraq was supported by Democrats only after they were fed piles and piles of misleading or false intelligence by the Executive branch... plus a lot of hyperbole and fear-mongering. Within a year, most of them realized that they had made a mistake and started voting for time tables and deployment limits... unlike Republicans.

p.s. Ding,

You did notice the fact that the whole "update" part of this post was essentially my being extremely frustrated and pulling my hair out at Rep. Massa's dumb move, right? You did notice that I wasn't writing about how it was a good idea, right?

As for the stimulus bill, I don't really know a lot about it... but I'll take the word of 150 of the nation's top economic experts (both conservative and liberal, note) deciding what is best for the economy over 150 acrimonious Republicans whose primary concern is not America's economic health, but instead sabotaging Democratic initiatives, stopping abortions, stopping gays from getting married, and keeping their last little toehold in Congress alive when the next election rolls around.

Really: The Republican members of Congress is a group of people whose motivations need to be questioned every step of the way: They know that the only way they will win the election in 2010 is if the economy is much worse then than it is now. Do you really trust them over a bunch of Nobel-prize winning multi-doctorate-holding economists who helped Obama cobble this whole thing together? Hell: It may not work, but what the Republicans want to do is essentially the same thing that they've been doing for the last 8 years.

But, this is all an exercise in postulation anyway. The Republicans in Congress don't have enough votes to get the lightbulb in the men's room changed, let alone overturning the central pillar of Obama's principal economic plan. They're window dressing for the next 4 years and it's only the fact that Obama may actually practice what he preaches in regards to bipartisanship that a single Republican idea will see the light of day in the next 24 months (at least).