Still waiting - Take Two

Monday, August 23, 2010

We're now entering the third month of silence by Tommy Sowers to support his assertion that I made "false claims" about his fundraiser at a gay bar in Washington. He previously had said I was "pathetic" and "desperate," but he will not answer which of my claims were false.

We're entering the 11th month of his refusal to say where he stands on issues like: cap and trade, gay marriage and card check. These inquiries were made last September by liberal bloggers who were worried that he is a "DINO" (Democrat in name only).

One month ago I offered to pay for the space for him to state his position on these issues (in 250 words or less). To these I added one more, "Is there anything Nancy Pelosi supports that you oppose?"

It's not clear who you have to be before Tommy Sowers will answer your questions. Perhaps he has to know you'll support him "no matter what" before he'll tell you what he believes. Or, perhaps, he faces a dilemma. If he states conservative views, his money will dry up. But if he states his liberal ones, he knows he'll lose the election by record margins.

One issue did slip out though. Following the overwhelming passage of Prop C in Missouri, to oppose the federal government's mandate that everyone buy health insurance, Tommy Sowers announced that he had always opposed that mandate even as he supported the rest of Obamacare.

Some people thought that was a flip-flop. The term "deathbed conversion" has been used for his announcement following the 75 percent approval rate of Prop C in the 8th District.

I'm not so sure. On the very day (Aug. 6) Tommy made his announcement, his sponsor and mentor Howard Dean took to the national airways to say he also opposed the mandate.

Howard Dean, of course, has always backed a complete federal takeover of health care finance, the so-called single-payer system. That's put him out to the left of President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Claire McCaskill and the other "moderates" in the Democratic Party.

Universally mandated coverage, these "moderates" argued, is necessary if health insurance is to be written that covers pre-existing conditions (i.e. medical conditions the policy holder contracted before they got coverage). Otherwise, they argued quite rightly, too many people would wait to pay for coverage until they got sick or injured. It would literally be possible for people to apply for coverage in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. The entire private system would collapse, and quickly.

Tommy Sowers says he opposes pre-existing condition exclusions but also opposes the idea that anyone should be forced to pay for insurance if they don't want to. He doesn't say who should.

The conservative sponsors of Prop C selected the mandate as the issue that could win in the courts as an over reach of federal power under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. They want to roll back and repeal Obamacare.

Howard Dean wants to hasten the day when the government pays for everything. For him, the collapse of private health care finance would be "Mission accomplished."

Tommy Sowers has aligned himself with Dean and the far-left wing of the Democratic Party but doesn't want us to know it. (When Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi are on your right, you're pretty far out there.)

He may want to sound like a conservative on this issue, but he shouldn't get away with it. Stealth belongs on the battlefield, not in campaign politics.

Oh, and on the other issues, Tommy, we're still waiting to hear your views.

JOSH BILL, 1002 N. Ranney, Sikeston, MO 63801