Wednesday, March 10, 2010

ToT: Kirkpatrick 'Talk' feeds pablum

Dennis Duvall is a familiar name hereabouts for speaking out about our simmering wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today he excoriates Rep Kirkpatrick for voting with the majority to continue war funding while selling the idea of fiscal responsibility.

I have to agree that her bill to reduce legislator pay amounts to showboating without real substance. If it were a detail in a larger bill that would do more to reduce waste in government, say, or otherwise offer us more value for our tax dollars, it would be a nice gesture. Standing alone, it's nothing.

Dennis' point about the money we're throwing away in Iraq and Afghanistan is well taken, and while I understand that the nest of snakes we inherited from the Bush administration will not be easily sorted out, I share his impatience with the Obama administration for not living up to its campaign rhetoric and showing clear commitment to getting us off those tar babies.

I have to say, however, that if I were in Ms Kirkpatrick's place I would probably be doing much the same thing. The war problem belongs to the administration, and with plenty of public voices pointing the president in the right direction, it doesn't make sense for a Dem Congress to create more problems. Further, Ms Kirkpatrick has been generally correct in representing the majority of people in this district, a principle we should all care about in elected officials. She's a freshman in a very complex situation and has a fine wire to walk anyway. Don't forget that making policy happen takes a lot more than one vote.

That said, all of us who care should communicate directly (and respectfully) with the Representative about the wars, jobs, health care, energy, education and real effort to rebuild our economy in smarter ways. Every sensible voice with a name on it moves the perception of what the majority wants.

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