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Opinion: 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 Politico.com 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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Good column, Mr. Rust ...

"Whatever President Obama is, he is not stupid."

We might wonder ... all things considered ... if he and/or his administration suspect that the majority of the rest of us may be ...?

The media, which Obama used rather brilliantly during the presidential campaign, should now have the responsibility to keep the public fully and factually informed about things like the health care proposals. The proposed effective date for 'national health care,' and its implications of political posturing, has been rather ignored by the media.

-- Posted by gurusmom on Thu, Sep 17, 2009, at 11:47 AM

"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."

Gary, You gotta admit that approach has worked pretty good for JoAnn Emerison.

-- Posted by TheCamp on Thu, Sep 17, 2009, at 11:55 AM

Wow, Adrian Rogers said that in 1931? That's pretty impressive, considering Adrian Rogers was less than 4 months old at the time, having been born in September of 1931.

It seems odd to hear a quote like that from a Christian preacher, since the message seems so contrary to the teachings of Jesus, but perhaps at that tender age, Adrian hadn't been exposed to those teachings yet.

Here's another quote from Adrian Rogers, after he became a preacher:

"Well, I believe slavery is a much maligned institution; if we had slavery today, we would not have this welfare mess." -- As recorded by Sherman, Cecil E. (2008), in "By My Own Reckoning". Macon, GA: Smyth & Helwys Publishing, Inc., p. 189. See an excerpt of the book at http://books.google.com/books?id=ThtH61p...

I wrote to Adrian Rogers only once, when I heard him use a bogus quote promulgated by historical revisionist (and non-historian) David Barton of the Texas GOP.

As gurusmom indicated, the media should have the responsibility to keep the public fully and factually informed. I realize that a substantial portion of the far right generally accepts faux news, chain e-mails, and revisionist history as gospel, but I think a media chairman should strive to do better than the average Joe Six-pack.

I know everybody has an off day occasionally, but please don't make it a habit. You may want to email your sources and encourage them to verify material in chain emails before they pass them along. Too, I'd like to hear more of your own thoughts, and have less cut-and-paste commentary.

Maybe you can expend some ink trying to explain to the "Birthers" among your readers that our President was born in the United States. You also may want to explain to them the circumstances of John McCain's birth in Panama while you're discussing eligibility for President of the U.S.

-- Posted by Ediacaran on Thu, Sep 17, 2009, at 10:29 PM

It's unfortunate that a mostly inconsequential date is the foundation for disputing a valid opinion. The quote is still poignant and most Americans feel that way primarily because government has proved it to us repeatedly in our history. I find it interesting that the critique of the article really can't dispel any of the logic presented, so they find it necessary to create strawmen to snipe at. No one believes the 'birthers', that meme has been rejected by even the most staunch conservative commenters. And its predominantly the conservative internet media that is exposing the truth these days -- see ACORN.

Gary Rust has presented some excellent thoughts to ponder sharing some reliable sources; and the Southeast Missourian continues to hold to the pulse of the Heartland.

-- Posted by blogbudsman on Fri, Sep 18, 2009, at 5:47 AM

Mr. Rust has a lengthy history of posting chain emails rife with error, misquotes, and non-facts as truth. And, as Ediacaran points out, this is ironic coming from the side that whines incessantly about perceptions of a tilted media.

After I emailed a professor to whom Mr. Rust inappropriately and incorrectly attributed a quote, I believed his practice of blindly posting whatever made his inbox that morning stopped. Apparently that is not the case.

The Southeast Missourian holds no pulse other than that of middlebrow Midwest populism - tabloid speculation, email and internet rumor and folklore.

-- Posted by FriendO on Fri, Sep 18, 2009, at 12:17 PM

Ummm so much for unbiased press. Thinking Mr Rust has an agenda of his own. Just noticing it is all anti-Democrat. But then again I've been wrong in my perception before.

-- Posted by Pups on Fri, Sep 18, 2009, at 8:23 PM

Opinions...guess that is why these things show up in editorial columns. One way to summarized the Rogers quote is the observation floating around the internet that socialism fails without other peoples money.

-- Posted by IonU on Sat, Sep 19, 2009, at 11:55 AM

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Gary Rust
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