U.S. Senator Deb Fischer delivered the Republican Weekly Address over the weekend. See it here:
(Entire text of the address at the bottom of this post.)
As has been mentioned here before, Don Walton’s Monday column in the LJS is required reading for Nebraska politicos.
Well, 1) it’s one of the only columns on politics in the entire state. (The OWH would be a lesser paper without the musings of Tom Shatel and Dirk Chatelain on Sports. Why no one on politics?)
And 2), it gives one the opportunity to tear it down.
As he has been doing the entire legislative session, Don has been praising the “independent” Unicameral like a pageant mom at the Little Miss Lincoln event.
They can think on their own!
There are no party whips!
George Norris would be so proud!
(Remember to use your butt-glue!)
So lets knock down a few of these, shall we?
“Nebraska’s nonpartisan legislature counts 49 members and only 13 of them are Democrats.”
See, when you list what PARTY the members are, then that sort of, de facto, makes it PARTISAN. Get that? Chambers is pretty much the only who can claim to not be a member of a party.
“…not all Republicans or conservatives agree. But, of course, neither do all Democrats or moderates or progressives or liberals or whatever.”
Oh, of course. OF COURSE!
Yeah, except that the Democrats, as we have pointed out on Leavenworth St., DO in fact agree on almost all of what they will vote on.
How could such a thing happen?
You know, in this nonpartisan body!
It’s almost as if someone is “whipping” them to keep them in line.
My, it’s like they are thwarting the immortal touch of George Norris!
How dare they!
(Oh, but Don won’t spill any LJS ink on such an idea. You see, if the Dems vote like Dems, that’s just fine you see. Their partisan and dogmatic votes are good — unlike the partisan and dogmatic votes of the Republicans, which are bad.)
And then there’s this one from The Don:
“But would conservatives rather have the death penalty — and a continued ban on the issuance of driver’s licenses to the children of illegal immigrants — or the property tax cuts and marked reduction in the growth of state government spending that they got with the promise of more?
“The answer, of course, is that most of them want everything. Just like the other side.”
Wait. A. Minute.
“Sides”? What are these “sides” Don speaks of?
George Norris didn’t include sides in his Unicameral.
Isn’t the dome round?
And is Don suggesting that (gasp!) Vote Trading occurred???
Weren’t the Death Penalty votes all about “thinking” and “considering” and “sleeping at night”?
Does he mean it was either Death Penalty or Property Tax reduction?
And then, there’s this:
“But this surprising freshman class was filled with senators who were confident and independent and thoughtful and determined to be free.
“Free to study issues and make their own judgments, independent from political parties and partisan pressure.”
“Free” to tell the people who vote for them that they will vote one way, then get to Lincoln and do the exact opposite.
See all this “oh, there are no parties!” and “they use their heads!” is all cute and altruistic… until you realize the voters are being bamboozled.
Voter use the party affiliations to determine who they are going to vote for.
Oh, and they also use the candidates’ positions to decide who to vote for.
When a candidate says “I’ll vote for X!“, but then gets to the legislature and votes for Y, that’s disingenuous. (a/k/a “lying”.)
And this whole, “well, I hadn’t thought about that…” stuff is B.S.
The Death Penalty issue, for one, has only been around since Keyrock stole Ogg’s mastodon loincloth and Ogg let him know how he felt about it.
If you, Candidate, didn’t know all the twists and turns of it BEFORE you told the voters you’d be for or against it, then shame on you.
At the very least you know what that Senator should do?
They should do like Gandhi said in the movie.
When they Hindu came to confess that he had killed a Muslim child, Gandhiji told the guy to find a child in an orphanage, adopt him, and raise him as a Muslim.
(You see where I’m going with this, right?)
If a Senator voted contrary to how they campaigned, they should LEAD the initiative petition process.
They should say, “You know, I told my constituents that I’d vote one way, and then I didn’t. So since I, at the minimum, misrepresented myself, THE VOTERS should have the opportunity to make the decision themselves.”
And they should physically support the drive. With shoe leather, vocal support and probably some of their campaign cash. Then once it’s on the ballot, they can try to convince their constituents of whatever they want.
THAT would be a little justice.
(And commenters can save all of their “Gandhi was against the death penalty” quotes.)
It is interesting nonetheless to see all of the “touchdown dance” articles from the media after the Death Penalty got overturned.
The introspective, “brave votes”. The “old lady cheering from the balcony”. The Senator who “consulted with the victims…”.
Oh, but don’t expect to see any such stories if it get reinstated by the voters.
It will be about the blood-thirsty Neanderthal (Republicans) who don’t understand the nuances of the issue.
And the OWH took a few fresh swings at Governor Pete Ricketts on the mess in the Unicameral this session.
One of the things that was interesting was the different headlines used by other outlets who picked up the OWH’s story.
The OWH went with:
Observers say Ricketts should have pushed conservative viewpoint earlier on in legislative process
But then they also had this alternate headline:
Legislature: Could Gov. Ricketts have pushed conservative view earlier?
But the Norfolk Daily-News said:
Ricketts’ bobbles chalked up to rookie mistakes
And the North Platte Telegram went simply with:
Ricketts swings, misses
Alas, the headlines for a baseball team owner…
And for your consumption (and if you are unable to watch the vid above), here is the text of Senator Deb Fischer’s Weekly Republican Address:
“Hello, I’m Senator Deb Fischer and I have the honor of representing the great state of Nebraska in the United States Senate.
“For generations, our military has answered the call to protect our freedom at home and our interests around the world.
“These service members are men and women of uncommon courage.
“From the shores of Normandy to the fields of Korea and beyond, America’s sons and daughters have never wavered in the defense of liberty – both as a fighting force and a force for good.
“Because of their sacrifice, the 20th century was ‘the American century.’
“But our work is far from done. Every generation faces evil.
“And every generation has been called upon to step forward and protect our way of life.
“Our nation faces many challenges, and I believe the federal government has no higher priority than protecting the American people in an increasingly dangerous world.
“With this responsibility in mind, the Senate will soon consider its annual bill to authorize funding and set policy for our military, known as the National Defense Authorization Act or NDAA.
“I’m honored to serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and I was proud to contribute to this bipartisan legislation, which was overwhelmingly approved by our committee earlier this month.
“This bill takes a common-sense approach: it cuts spending from programs that have been delayed or failed to perform, and redirects that revenue to meet the critical needs of our warfighters.
“In all, this year’s NDAA finds $10 billion in savings, which it uses to increase the capability and training of our men and women in uniform.
“It also invests in the future of our national defense, setting aside $400 million for the development of new technologies that will ensure our troops maintain their superiority on the battlefield.
“We are also addressing issues like the growing bureaucracy at the Pentagon.
“Our military is getting smaller, but combat units shouldn’t bear these cuts alone.
“This bill targets real reductions for headquarter and management staff as well.
“It would also take steps for real reforms to our acquisition system – the way our military purchases weapons and equipment – to prevent wasteful spending.
“It’s no secret we live in a very dangerous world.
“As chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, I am deeply concerned by growing instability, particularly in the Middle East where violence continues to consume Iraq and Syria.
“From Iran’s nuclear ambitions to China’s aggressive territorial expansion, Russia’s belligerence as a regional bully, and the growing threat of the Islamic State, we have no shortage of challenges.
“This underscores the importance of providing for our military.
“A strong and capable defense deters our adversaries.
“President Reagan said it best with his principle of peace through strength.
“It remains as true today as it was thirty-five years ago.
“But as we all know, sometimes this deterrence is not enough, and Americans are called to act.
“Providing the men and women of our military with the training and resources they need increases their ability to complete their assigned mission and safely return home.
“Unfortunately, too many of our service members pay the ultimate sacrifice.
“From natural disasters to war-torn nations, the United States has rapidly deployed to help those facing danger.
“This past month, one of our own Nebraskans gave his life while searching for victims of the massive earthquake in Nepal.
“Captain Dustin Lukasiewicz of Wilcox, Nebraska was a Marine Corps helicopter pilot who flew the helicopter that disappeared during the disaster relief mission following the Nepal earthquake.
“By forging into danger to rescue strangers in a distant land, Captain Lukasiewicz and his fellow Marines represented the ideals of our nation, personifying our mission as a force for good in the world.
“There are countless stories like this from Americans across our country.
“Brave men and women who serve our nation every day, all over the world.
“Our men and women in uniform inspire me.
“Because of their courage and sacrifice, I believe in a brighter future for our children and our grandchildren.
“There can be another American century.
“With the right leadership and the proper resources, the U.S. military will continue to lead the way.
“May God bless our troops, their families, and our great nation.
“Thank you for listening.”