Monday, October 30, 2006

Sorry for my Absence

I apologize for not being around for a while. I had two posts last week that blogger.com ate during their maintenence period, including my debate review that I spent quite a bit of time authoring. GRRR. After that I was quite sick (flu bug), but I am finally back.

Let me begin with the short version of my observations on the previous candidate debate:

The big thing that I noticed is that Gabby Giffords is a lightweight and would accomplish little other than cast a vote for Pelosi as Speaker if elected to Congress. Here is my reasoning to back that up:

At the beginning of the debate, in her opening statement (or close to it) she placed her cards on the table. She brought up her shining example of non-partisan compromise. It was a bill that she said benefited Holocaust survivors and their families. This is classic Giffords. The Holocaust was a terrible event, probably one of the most evil acts to occur in all of history. However, this event has absolutely nothing to do with Arizona some sixty years later, or at least to the extent that involves legislation. Is there anybody in Arizona responsible for this action, or did not have a proper understanding of the depths of horrors that occurred? At what point did Giffords need to step in and take ownership of the State's contrition? How did this bill benefit her constituents and the problems they face now? Where does she rate this in accordance with the skyrocketing property crime, health insurance issues, or the struggles that we are having in education? The truth is that this was meant to be a "easy" bill, free of controversy and therefore tough leadership. Most, if not all of the bills that originate with Giffords fall into this category.

She then explained how she was instrumental in forming a "Coalition for Children" shortly after forming the "Coalition for snuggly puppies" but before the "Coalition for puffy Unicorn stickers." Her grand accomplishment for the coalition was pushing for all-day Daycare, I mean Kindergarten, effectively diluting by half the teacher to student ratio during the time when students are first adjusting to the school system. The victory for children was debatable, but it certainly was a victory for daycare bills. Gabby was a little fuzzy about her actual sponsorship of this bill, but I will give her the benefit of the doubt.

My impression of Giffords is currently short on substance, long on anecdotes, generalizations, and "feel-goodiness". I have yet to see a truly courageous stance on any issue of any substance where she actually led. I am open for examples, but so far I haven't seen any or been given any reason to believe that she would stand up for any issues not pre-approved by her party, or Ms. Pelosi. If any commentors wish to educate me, I am open to persuasion.

I am not even going to say much about her belief that raising the minimum age on Social Security does not qualify as a benefit cut or that Global Warming (and by association Republican policy) is directly responsible for the eight year drought we have been experiencing in the Sonoran Desert. I will choose to believe she would take those back if given a chance.

That being said, I am not too pleased that the new smear site has linked us and I ask them to take it down. My part of the party is better than that. We will run on ideas and leave sensationalist "Gotchas" to the other side. I was hard on Giffords, but this was based on her record and policy which is always open for examination and should be open to debate. Gifford's weaknesses lie in her lack of leadership, her avoidance of anything controversial, and her ties to interests that could compromise her ability to independently represent this district. I decry the personal attacks that have been made such a part of this campaign no matter where they come from.

We have a choice, and it should not be determined by whisperings of indiscretion, feigned outrage, breathless and baseless accusations, and mean-spiritedness. A lot of us need to grow up. If each one of us does not learn to be civil, even with Americans that diametrically oppose us, then what is the point of politics other than to prosecute and slime one another. If your ideas can't compete, clear the field and let someone else play. If you want to cheerlead rather than debate ideas, pick a football team.

I do have to say that for the most part however, the comments section of this site has been a classier corner of the blogosphere, and would like to thank all those involved.

9 comments:

x4mr said...

Not going to engage the content of your post at this time, Framer, a little too much alcohol in the system for such discussion.

What I will offer you, as one blogger respecting another, is that you produce your posts in a word processor, I use Word, but take your pick. Write it, edit, spell check, polish, and get your product saved and safe without dependence on the internet. Then cut and paste, and if blocked connections and sudden "page cannot be found" get in your way, hey, inconvenient, but your content is safe.

It's gotten to the point where even when I post a comment, like right now, I do a control c to capture the text, in case the submission fails.

Kralmajales said...

So...tough post to follow...long and lots to say.

I will say only this. Giffords was a good legislator. She was not an ideologue....simple. She was a good representative. A good public servant. What you seem to be calling wishy washy or a lack of convication, I call thoughtful, smart, and a person who recognizes that knee-jerk principle can just be unwise.

No...I don't know everything she will vote on, but I know she is not doctraine...not an ideologue and not a vote for anyone.

I do know what Mr. Graf believes...and I disagree with most of it. I can't even compare that.

Conviction...being willing to say what you believe in is fine. I just don't agree with any of it, I find it extreme, and I would not want him voting in congress through that lens. I would not see him as a representative of us...but of some lost cause scenario of conservatism.

That is what Graf is...he is not pragmatic...neither are most in your party. That is what people are reacting to.

I don't think anyone sees public servant or representative in your party anymore.

I really believe that...and I dont think im alone.

Framer said...

Yeah, the problem with that, is that they are easier to abadondon and could never see the light of day. There are perhaps a dozen or more posts that languished on my word processor and will never be read by anyone. My general rule is that if I cannot write it in one sitting or blogger session, nobody is actually going to read it.

Of course, you are taking bigger bites in you blog, but your focus is entirely different, as is your voice and style which is better suited for length. I'm supposed to be short and pithy. I get into more trouble with my longer posts.

Congrats on the link from AZ Congress watch. My first link tripled my hits overnight and I never dropped too far from then on.

Framer said...

Roger,

My belief is that there is a place for constraint, and that is the Senate. My idea of a Representative is to be a firebrand risk-taker, that is why they only get two years. If a representative starts as a moderate in the issues that most effect his of her district, they have already compromised half of their position. We need more horse traders and less poll-watchers.

The current Gerrymandered, little-turnover version of the House is an abberation and is directly responsible for the climate and non-responsiveness of that portion of Congress. Randy has shown that he can be effective in moving legislation that has been perhaps controversial. I see no political opponent to prop 200 today other than the 9th Curcuit. It was something desired by the voters of this district, and he led it across the finish line, although it made him many of the enemies that are hurting him now.

Conviction is important, it is the antidote of corruption. The more cozy a rep, the more likely they are to not vote their district's interests.

I will tell you this. Should Gabby prevail and do little more than vote the Democratic line, she will be gone in two years. If you think Reps are not pragmatic, wait until you see what a Democratic Congress can offer after twelve years in the wilderness.

sirocco said...

Framer,

As with x4mr and Roger, I am, of course, of an opinion diametrically opposed to yours vis-a-vis Giffords.

One general problem, I think, with the way we perceive our politicians, is that those who are legitimately thoughtful, try to warp their minds around all aspects of an issue before reaching a conclusion, are somehow seen as wishy-washy.

Meanwhile, idealogues get credit for "taking a stand" no matter how wrong that stand may be ... and yes, I am including Graf in this category.

I often hear Dems and moderate Rep's say things like "I disagree with Randy on everything, but he does have strong views", or similar words. Having "wrong" views and being unwilling to consider other viewpoints or possibilities is a weakness, not a strength.

Liza said...

Framer,
I did not support Giffords in the Democratic primary, but my reasons were somewhat different from yours. Nonetheless, I believe that she is going to be our representative in the House. The difference between you and me is that I am willing to reserve judgement on how she performs as she has not yet even packed her bags for the trip to Washington. I do not see that she is fixated on an agenda, and that may very well be to her credit when she takes office. Perhaps she will be willing to listen to all sides.

Hmmm. Interesting. Did I just define "representative?"

Kralmajales said...

Liza,

I think both you and Sirroco defined representative and public servant quite well.

Of Randy and Giffords, it is clear to me that Giffords is the one with public service, representative, and pragmatism in mind.

I respect Framer's idea about bring firebrand into it...zealously advocating a position even if unpopular...but there is a place for that and a place for compromising and making good public policy.

I don't see any evidence that Graf has done much more than try to shake up the system and vote ideologically.

That is definitely not what would best represent this district, which leans republican, has a ton of independents, and solid constituency of democrats.

I just don't see Randy as someone who will pay attention to the needs of the university, economic growth, the health of the region. To him the border seems to be the cause of all those ills and that is just too simple for reality.

Anonymous said...

Hi again, Arizona 8th viewers.

The final death knell of the Graf campaign will happen tomorrow when Margaret Kenski's poll will be released. I have direct knowledge that it will confirm a double-digit deficit for the Graf campaign with six days left in the race. Remember that it's a Republican pollster.

After all of the attacks, no movement........ the numbers have cemented.

I was the one who called last week's KVOA/Daily Star poll last week when the misinformers here were saying the race was even.

Enjoy the numbers when they come out tomorrow. I will be celebrating.

darapti said...

Giffords over Graf by 15 points. Pretty good for a "lightweight."