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Doug and Doheny

September 12, 2010 - John Stack

 Why is it politicians bother us so much? Many will claim the answer is that in Washington, the elected officials don’t help the people, they only help themselves. This sure is a good reason to dislike politicians. But even those trying to become elected officials are reason to dislike the political process. The current Republican primary between Doug Hoffman and Matt Doheny is a case in point.

            Last week these two debated in Harrietstown. Now, like my brother, many Americans have jumped on the ‘throw them all out’ bandwagon. I even supported this for the NYS Assembly and Senate. My reasoning was that if the politicians do NOTHING that is even worse than trying to make a change. Such as on the national stage. People whine and cry about Obama. Well, at least he’s trying to do something. The GOP is basically saying ‘We will do nothing – and that is better’. – as if the jobs will magically return or the recession wouldn’t have happened if ‘nothing was done’. But, I digress. Both Doheny and Hoffman claim they will shake up Washington if elected. Hoffman has been more of the Tea Party favorite, if only because his ideas and beliefs seem to come from nowhere near anything mainstream. But, what are there ideas?

            During the debate, both were asked what tax and spending cuts they would make. Both claimed there would be a lot of Republicans in congress come 2011, and they would help make changes. What? Oh. Go back to the same people who spent like drunken sailors on W’s watch? Not add anything new? We should just hand them the reins because the CURRENT (and therefore past and recent) Republicans will know what to do? In other words, they will vote lockstep with whatever the party tells them? This is change? This is what the Tea Partiers want? Hoffman said ‘The Republicans already have a plan that is well documented.’ So, no actually plan. We should elect them because they …uh… will do whatever the party says to? I understand that both are really running on the ‘I’m not a Democrat and I’m not a career politician’. But, I can’t vote for someone who is just going to keep up the status quo that has been crippling the US. If you are on a boat, and see a drowning man, and a democrat goes to throw him a lifejacket, and  republican says it won’t support him. If there is nothing else on the boat, do you throw him a life jacket and hope he lives, or stand there and watch him drown instead? Or, when the Republican has to make a decision, he throws the guy a tax cut because its different?

            But the Hoffman camp can’t even seem to understand what principles he is running under. (Fortunately, the GOP electorate doesn’t understand this either). One of Hoffman’s biggest differences between him and Doheny is his pro-life stance.  Does Doug Hoffman even know what it means to be pro-life? The pro-life side is unequivocal in their belief that a human life begins at conception. That abortion is murder. But, Doug Hoffman’s pro-life stance is that ‘I have never said in public that I thought it should be made illegal’. What does this mean? That he doesn’t know if killing an innocent human being should have consequences? That abortion should not be illegal? What part of this exactly is pro-life? Does the Conservative party know that Hoffman says he is pro-life but he doesn’t actually have any beliefs that coincide with actual pro-lifers? Yet, in ads, in letters to the editor, everywhere people say Doug Hoffman is pro-life. But in his own admission, he is not. If there is one thing conservative will not stomach, is a pro-choice candidate. If there is one thing voters can’t stomach, is a candidate who waffles and claims he cares about a certain constituency, yet has no idea what that group stands for. (Pro-lifers – Doug still got your one-issue vote?)

            Finally, a lot of this campaign seems to be about ‘who knows more about the 23rd district. Who cares! He’s not running for town councilman! Or county legislator. Heck, he’s not even running for state office! How much is Watertown like Black Brook? How much is Oswego like Malone? If one of these guys are in congress thinking about a 1.7 trillion dollar tax cut to Americans making over $200,000 – will it matter if they know the difference between Moriah and Moira? They aren’t making NYS policy. They are making policy for the whole United States. If I had the choice between someone who moved in to the district 2 months ago and has a good head on their shoulders and has a plan, and someone who has lived here their whole life (and anyone who says they know the 23rd district and its problems and such because they’ve lived here for X number of years – I have some oceanfront property to sell you in Arizona).  – yet their whole plan is to ‘not do what the other party has been doing, and will just follow the party when they vote’ – I’m pretty sure I’ll go with the new guy.

 

 

 
 

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