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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, July 17, 2009

AR: Democrats Sitting on Fence, Republicans Standing on Principle

by John Allison III: As the President and his super majority in both houses of Congress lead us farther and farther down the perilous path toward Socialism, the American voters are beginning to arise from their slumber and realize this isn't the change they thought they'd get when they voted last November. Recent polls show Obama's approval numbers plumetting, Americans trust Republicans more than Democrats, and a majority of voters willing to vote the Republican ticket for Congress in 2010 in a generic ballot.

The shift in the American mood has caught many Democrats from conservative states flat-footed. Following Obama's January inauguration, these politicians bought the party line that the election gave them a mandate to completely reorganize the United States into something more closely resembling Venezuela, Cuba, or the old Soviet Union. Self-proclaimed Blue Dog Democrats marched in solidarity with the left-wing radicals of their party as they quadrupled the federal deficit and helped enslave future generations to mountains of new US debt. As you might imagine, the public's evaporating approval of Obama is rubbing off on those Democrats who want their constituents to believe they're fiscal conservatives. So what's a Blue Dog Dem to do?

Judging from my Congressman and Senators, they're sitting on the fence until the last possible moment. Yesterday I called the offices of Congressman Marion Berry (D-AR-01), Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR), and Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR). I asked for each of their positions on the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA aka "Card Check") and the Health Care Reform legislation currently making their way through Congress. Their responses were noncommittal and vague, worthless really. Pryor's office informed me the Senator was waiting to see what came out of committee before making any statement. The young lady I spoke with in Lincoln's office informed me the Senator had not made a public statement on either of these pieces of legislation. Congressman Berry's aide with whom I spoke told me Berry was waiting to see what happened with "Card Check" legislation in the Senate before taking a position. The best news I received from any of the three was Berry's office's response on the House Democrats' health care bill. I was told they were reading the "chronically long" bill and wouldn't be able to take a position until they'd sorted through the 1,018 pages to see what's inside.

At least Berry's reading the bill. That's the best I could get from both my Senators and my Representative, all Democrats, on two key pieces of legislation. Even when asked what conditions would need to be met to earn or lose their support, none of the three would step up and give specifics. Best I can tell…they're not taking a stand, at all. Their sitting on the fence as long as they can in the hopes of correctly judging the dominant political winds at the last possible moment.

To me, such a political strategy demonstrates a lack of conviction. I want elected officials who will stand on principles rather than sit on fences. So I thought I'd ask some of the potential Republican candidates who will challenge Lincoln and Berry next year to see if they're standing up for their principles or polishing the top rail of this fence as well. I emailed Rick Crawford, Curtis Coleman, and Tom Cox and asked the same questions. Crawford has announced his intent to run for Berry's seat next year, while Coleman and Cox are interested in unseating Lincoln. Though I haven't heard back from Cox, Crawford and Coleman quickly responded. Read on and you'll see these two Republicans who wish to represent you in Washington aren't fence-sitters. They're willing to take a stand based on principle. To avoid redundancy and for brevity, I'll cover Coleman's response to the Health Care legislation and Crawford's response to "Card Check."

Coleman informed me of a new, comprehensive post he released Obamacare Here, he blasts Senator Lincoln for cosponsoring the original bill with Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) in the Senate during the 109th Congress. He goes on to state the government "will completely control your health care." Coleman also notes something in his paper that inexplicably escapes virtually every Democratic politician. Though the Dems like to try and sell their Socialized medicine saying the government will pay for everyone's health care, Coleman emphatically states "Of course the government won't be paying for your health care -you will be. The government only has the money it takes from you."
Health care needs to be reformed, not destroyed. And destruction of the finest health care in the world is exactly what this seemingly harmless little "public health insurance option" will do. -Curtis
That doesn't sound like Coleman has any doubts where he stands, unlike his Democratic rival and her Democratic colleague. Now let's take a look at what Rick Crawford has to say about the inappropriately named Employee Free Choice Act (aka "Card Check").

Rick CrawfordIn Crawford's reply to my questions, there was no hesitation, no equivocation. "I do not support the Employee Free Choice Act, or Card Check. I'm against denying anyone the right to a secret ballot - a critical element of a representative republic such as ours. That's the fundamental issue - a secret ballot," he states. This one statement displays a glaring contrast between Rick and his opponent, Marion Berry. While Berry sits on the sidelines, waiting for the battle to be nearly over, waiting to make up his mind, the left-wing zealots pushing this legislation are gaining strength in their efforts to force virtually all American workers to pay extortionists in the form of union organizers. Vocal, steadfast opposition from Berry would show courage and conviction in standing up for his constituents. The worst part is that Berry isn't hesitating in order to make the right decision, but to make the decision that involves the least amount of political risk. That's not leadership, it's self-serving political preservation devoid of the hindrance of any principles or moral base. Crawford, on the other hand, stands tall and clearly states his position based on his belief in what is best for the country and his would-be constituents.

The Republican candidate for Arkansas' 1st Congressional District described the adverse economic impact Card Check will impose also -especially on low-income Americans. The suffering Americans will endure will come in the form of higher prices and higher unemployment when American companies are forced to 1) raise prices for their products, 2) move their operations offshore, or 3) both. If we force companies and jobs overseas through this legislation, the federal government will see a net decrease in tax revenues as a result. Then where do you think they'll come to make up their shortfall? That's right, us! So even though Card Check won't directly charge us a tax, in the end it will cause tax rates to increase to cover the cash crunch created by the Democratic geniuses who pushed this through.

Crawford closed his response to my questions with the following statement that addresses the history of union thuggery that will almost certainly be encouraged if this bill becomes law.
If pro-union groups are so convinced that a union shop is the best choice for American workers, it ought to be an easy sell. Rather than implement strongarm tactics, let workers enjoy the sanctity of the secret ballot without fear of reprisal. If unions are such a great deal, pro-union groups should have no doubt what the outcome would be. -Rick Crawford
I think we can safely infer from Crawford's response that he's not sitting on the fence either.

Unlike their Democratic incumbents, Crawford and Coleman know where they stand on these important issues and they're not afraid to let the people know. We need real leaders in the Senate and House, real leaders who will stand for what's right, not just what's politically expedient. Our Democratic Senators and Representatives are showing themselves to be anything but leaders. They've voted too many times as lap dogs for Pelosi and Obama, instead of conservative Blue Dogs. It's time we had real conservative leaders representing Arkansans' conservative values.

Contact Berry, Lincoln, and Pryor and let them know if they won't stand up for Arkansans, there are folks who are willing to send them home when their terms are up. Next year for Berry and Lincoln, 2014 for Pryor.
Congressman Marion Berry
2305 Rayburn H.O.B.
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-4076
(202) 225-5602 FAX
Senator Blanche Lincoln
355 Dirksen Senate Building
Washington, DC 20510-0404
Phone: (202)224-4843
Fax: (202)228-1371
Senator Mark Pryor
255 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2353
Fax: (202) 228-0908

Tags: AR, Arkansas, Blanche Lincoln, Card Check, Curtis Coleman, Democrats, EFCA, GOP, health care, John Allison, labor unions, Marion Berry, Mark Pryor, Obama, Obamacare, Rick Crawford, unions To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 8:02 PM - Post Link


Blogger Matt said...

These are all positive developments. He's starting to lose momentum, and hopefully, that will accelerate. If the POTUS starts losing his legislative battles, the Democrats will lose major credibility. setting us up nicely for 2010 and 2012.

Anonymous Debbie Wylie said...


Anonymous Dorothy Crockett said...

When I placed my calls yesterday, Pryor was sitting on the fence and as of now, Lincoln has not returned my call as the recorder promised! Lincoln knows that she is up for reelection and will be held accountable for her votes. Many people do not take the time to be informed. It is our responsibility as citizens to try to make sure everyone knows their positions! Write Editorials and send to your local newspapers!

Anonymous Troy Arseneau said...

Now is the time to get off the fence because our nation cannot take much more damage before there will be a point of no return. These brain-washed / dazed / drunkard / confused congressmen and women need to wake up. There is a huge world outside of the Belt Way. The people of the United States of America are not on the same page as these ... Read Morepolitical elites who are trying to transform our nation into a utopian socialist state. Shall we call ourselves the USSA
(United Socialist States of America)? The progressives (liberals, communists, socialists, marxists, what ever is the correct PC term) want this so they, in their superiority (higher level of brain matter) can rule us dumb chattle. Should'nt we be so happy that we will all be taken care by them!

Anonymous Mariam Cooper said...

Lincoln has NEVER responded to me at all!!!!! In any way, shape, fashion or form. She snubs her constituents!!! Berry responds- he just tells you why hes right and I'm wrong! In truth, his "responses" never address the issues we address in our letters, so, he snubs us, too!

Anonymous Dorothy Crockett said...

He is sending us a "one size fits all" response and does not think we are intelligent enough to realize it. In his latest response, he informed me he was a Pharmacist and "knew what is best for me" in the health bill- We have an important election in 2010. First District has a great candidate, Rick Crawford, who needs our support. He shares our ... Read Morevalues and beliefs. He does not sit on the fence when ask about the issues facing us today.

We have a candidate for US Senate, Curtis Coleman, coming to speak to our committee on October 22nd. Hope you can come! We can defeat Lincoln!

Anonymous Pamela Manard said...

thumbs up to what each of you have said here.

Anonymous Dor said...

While some Arkansas businesses (evidenced by the full color ad that ran in Sunday's Jonesboro Sun) have rushed to pat Congressman Marion Berry on the back for his “leadership... Read More” on climate change legislation, two important factors have been grossly overlooked and understated.

First, and most obvious: the negative outcome. If you recall, the cap-and-trade measure passed the House and is now in the hands of the Senate. At best, this tax in disguise does nothing but raise energy costs by an estimated $1800 per family at a time when they can ill afford added expenditures.

Second, and perhaps less obvious: the duplicitous method. Mr. Berry voted FOR the measure in conference. Only after Speaker Pelosi had secured enough votes to safely pass the bill was Congressman Berry given a pass to protect his standing in the First District. Berry's no vote on the floor had no impact on the outcome of the bill and accomplished nothing other than a well placed piece of PR.

Anonymous Patrick L. Booth said...

A reminder: Democrats have no integrity, honesty, or moral conscience, nor do they care about the nation and your actual welfare. They care only about themselves and how much power they can manage to accumulate. They aren't sitting an a fence, They're waiting to see how to turn their positions into self advantage. When the offer gets big enough, they'll go with the rest of the riff-raff and support Obomnible.

Anonymous Dorothy Crockett said...

3rd day and still waiting on that return phone call from Lincoln.

Anonymous Mark Pillow said...

I'll tell you who else is not equivacating among the contenders!

Col. Conrad Reynolds knows where he stands on the issues as well. But he goes them one better - he isn't just opposed on principle, he offers an alternative. It was pretty detailed answer and I was impressed that a retired military man strong on natational defense was so well versed on domestic matters.


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