Same Old Same Old?

garrison keeler on republicans
I am getting old and cranky. At least that’s what I am thinking as I look about some of the local political news and yawn. I wonder how much more voters can stand of a Republican Party that refuses to act as a true representative of American citizens. How much longer will the citizens continue to vote for a party that specifically represents the richer, the richer and the most wealthy?

Here in Iowa we had one minor surprise when Boob Vander Plaats refused yet one more attempt to exalt himself. That will probably take a lot of the fun out of this year’s elections. I was so hoping BVP would be running for senate against Bruce Braley. I doubt Vander Plaats (is he ever referred to as just Plaats?) could keep his hate for gay people out of the media. One member of the blog-o-sphere was planning on having fun with his hypocrisy and justifications. I could have seen Plaats worth at least a few posts.

But not to totally disappoint us, Mariannette Meeks is back to delight us, with her couched Republican talking points and her burnished reputation, from a stint in the Branstad administration. That is if she takes her opponent out in the primary. Her opponent is a really pitiful Mark Lofgren. Lofgren mainly represents the rich in Muscatine and little else.

So most likely we will have another race during which Ms. Meeks will speak in the couched language that tells us nothing about what she will really do if elected. There are a few clues in what she says, on purpose. If you have become familiar with some of the misleading language of tea party speak these days, you would know what certain phrases mean. “Selling insurance across state lines” means every insurance company registers in the state with the least regulations – probably Texas. Then when you go to make a claim, good luck – the low regulated policy you bought doesn’t cover anything.

Health is supposed to be Meeks strong point, yet the misleading language she uses will result in her being one of the zombie horde of tea party Republicans who will once more engage in a series of “NO” votes on implemented legislation that will have no value but to waste the valuable time of our national government in an attempt to make one guy look bad. Meeks offers no real alternative. Thus on her signature policy, she fails miserably. Her policy is to essentially turn us back 10 years, only with adding a big boost for insurance companies of moving to the state of least regulation.

On other policies she mouths the usual tea party line of taking away from the poor and giving to the rich. Seems like she has learned one thing in her years away – she has a base to appease. I would like to think that Iowa-02 is a district that thinks, a district that believes in fairness for all and a district that understands that the country must move forward into the future, not backwards. Were she elected, Meeks would be little more than another tea partier voting the tea party line that is gumming up the works badly already. We already have way too many in Washington.

For governor, once more we get a Branstad candidacy. This ain’t your father’s Branstad, which was not a prime model to begin with. This is a much more right wing Branstad with an updated hate for unions and the poor. He would probably be against gay marriage had that issue not been decided before his most recent re-incarnation. His policy is starve the schools, starve the poor and kiss the business butt. But he will be portrayed as grandfatherly by the media which will not look at his record very hard and thus find little to criticize. Iowa will plod along despite Branstad.

We would do much better as a state with Jack Hatch and his fresh, forward looking ideas. Just for the sake of change I would like to see what Jack Hatch could do. One thing is for sure – he can’t do much worse than Branstad.

And then there is the US senate seat Tom Harkin is vacating. Republicans are in a monumental struggle to decide which will mouth the tea party platitudes against Bruce Braley. Without Vander Plaats and his religiosity, they are pretty much a nameless faceless group. But it matters little since whoever wins will not be running as an individual, but as the one standing for the party. They are interchangeable parts.

So it is same old same old on the tea party side. Yet on the Democratic side there is a good, very forward looking Bruce Braley. His candidacy excites me. I believe Braley truly represents what Iowa is – he is hard working. He has worked in actual blue collar jobs including the family farm, so he knows work. His mother is a devoted teacher. He grew up an Iowan with all the values that entails.

Sending Loebsack back to congress excites me also. The Congressman has been a solid steady voice for progress, often working across the aisle to accomplish progress for the second district. His background of growing up poor, working his way through college to a full professorship is the kind of story that is basic Iowa. Loebsack learned much during those years and uses that knowledge to inform his decisions. He doesn’t forget his roots, working hard to make sure that the ladder he climbed is still there for the next Iowan that needs it.

And Jack Hatch. Simply the thought of a governor who is forthright and open excites me.

So maybe it isn’t the same old, same old on both sides. The Republican Party is putting up tea party approved candidates who work for the rich and are for the most part interchangeable. Yet the Democrats give us some hope that government is a force for good in this country. A force for the good of the people, by the people and for the people.

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About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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