Awakened public wants real answers

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What's this? We have an awakened public. More and more voters are becoming (dare I say it?) alarmed at the direction of our state and federal governments and asking for information and answers, not just slogans and posturing. This is not just Republicans, Democrats or independents but all facets, including liberals, conservatives and moderates.

This will make the upcoming election in 2010 less predictable.

The respected Cook Political Report has recently called the U.S. Senate race in Missouri a toss-up:

"Missouri Democrats have had two successful election cycles driven largely by the GOP's waning fortunes.

"However, the political landscape won't be tilted in their favor again in 2010. The question is whether it will be level, or tilted in the GOP's favor.

"If the election was held today, it would definitely be working against Democrats. In a swing state like Missouri, even the slightest advantage to one party or the other can mean the difference between winning and losing, because neither party has any room for error.

"For the purposes of this race, it means an extremely competitive and expensive contest that will undoubtedly turn contentious before it's over. The race is in the toss-up column and can be expected to stay there for the next 15 months."

The apparent initial strategy of the assumed Democrat candidate for Senate, Robin Carnahan, will no longer be able to avoid stating her position on health care, ACORN, cap and trade, Iraq and Afghanistan as she has done so far.

Carnahan is an attractive candidate, but many voters are becoming aware that we've elected a president whose actions are different from what was expected by many who bought into his charismatic campaign.

An obvious strategy of the blog "Fired Up! Missouri" (with major contributions from former U.S. senator Jean Carnahan) is to take cheap shots at Republican candidate Roy Blunt and Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder. Let's get to the issues. Recently the website published the following:

"Missouri's 2010 Senate contest is an open-seat race but you'd hardly know it from the campaign that Democrat Robin Carnahan is running. ...

"Carnahan ... hasn't held a single news conference as a candidate. She has avoided taking specific positions on key policy issues and let Democratic allies and third-party interest groups do the attacking."

Numerous people have forwarded the following 1931 quote to me.

"You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it." -- Adrian Rogers

Economist Thomas Sowell in a recent column asked, "Why the rush on the health bill if reform is four years away?"

"The most important thing about what anyone says are not the words themselves but the credibility of the person who says them.

"One plain fact should outweigh all the words of Barack Obama and all the impressive trappings of the setting in which he says them: He tried to rush Congress into passing a massive government takeover of the nation's medical care before the August recess -- for a program that would not take effect until 2013.

"Whatever President Obama is, he is not stupid. If the urgency to pass the medical care legislation was to deal with a problem immediately, then why postpone the date when the legislation goes into effect for years -- more specifically, until the year after the next presidential election?

"If this is such an urgently needed program, why wait for years to put it into effect? And if the public is going to benefit from this, why not let them experience those benefits before the next presidential election?

"If it is not urgent that the legislation goes into effect immediately, then why don't we have time to go through the normal process of holding congressional hearings on the pros and cons, accompanied by public discussions of its innumerable provisions?

"What sense does it make to 'hurry up and wait' on something that is literally a matter of life and death?

"If we do not believe that the president is stupid, then what do we believe? The only reasonable alternative seems to be that he wanted to get this massive government takeover of medical care passed into law before the public understood what was in it.

"Moreover, he wanted to get re-elected in 2012 before the public experienced what its actual consequences would be."

Gary Rust is chairman of Rust Communications.

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