I about fell over laughing when I saw the following tagline “Members of Congress must embrace accountability – People across the country are tightening their belts, and we must expect our government to do the same.” That was the op-ed title from U.S. Representative (Dem-04) Betsy Markey in a special to the Times-Call on March 25, 2009.
Six days earlier I wrote a piece requesting an apology for what our current crop of representatives pulled with their signing of the stimulus bill without reading it. I’m not going to jump to conclusions and delusions of grandeur that these representatives actually read it or care what I wrote, but I did log a lot of hits from U.S. House of Representatives and Democratic National Headquarters computers. They like Googling themselves apparently, cute.
But this pack of nonsense from Ms. Markey was just too much, and more than likely people bought it hook, line, and sinker. She just signed the bill that people are howling over because of these AIG bonuses, yet now proclaims she and her fellow representatives “must embrace accountability” and “tighten their belts”? This is the same old claptrap of “do what I say, but not what I do” in the guise of freshman, inexperienced politics. This of course includes their party leader, President Obama, whose last press conference was a clinic in doublespeak and dodging.
She mentions “implementing effective policies”, like these ridiculous deficits over the next 12 years? Like not noticing these AIG bonuses you signed for? She’s “proud” of her “efforts to bring real change to our government”. Sounds like more of the same, including the lousy congressional ratings. But what “change” has she brought? Once again, I’m all ears.
She worries about the word “accountability” being “in danger of becoming just another meaningless buzzword”. She’s right, and she’s engaging in that very activity. What total hypocrisy and double standards.
When I met and spoke to her my advice was to try to run a clean campaign and stay above the mud slinging, and that she’d probably have a good chance at winning. I wasn’t saying that because I necessarily wanted her to win. While being a nice enough lady, I saw her as a fairly inexperienced, unseasoned future bureaucrat who couldn’t even keep our fairly large union’s name straight. But I gave this suggestion because she needs to keep in mind the district she represents, which is not some heavily leftwing district by any stretch of the imagination.
You that were fooled into voting for her, you’ve also been put on notice by her, if you didn’t catch it. If you read between the lines of her op-ed she’s telegraphing that she’s about to disappoint a lot of people who voted for her. Sure didn’t sound that way during the campaign jumping fully onboard the Obama bandwagon like a bunch of other suckers. This is the problem with going all in with the hero worship when it involves politicians, whether its people seeking office or their minions. Of any party. Sooner or later these people let you down or will be let down, and they sure take it harder than finding out something like Britney Spears isn’t all she was cracked up to be, or the pundit (or governor) they follow is a pedophile, home wrecker, or tax cheat.
When in comes to Ms. Markey, this isn’t some newfound independent streak, it’s the classic art of political self preservation. She knows she’s in a mostly rural, fairly Republican district. She knows she won against an incumbent (and incumbent party) that wasn’t very popular. She knows she played dirty during the campaign. She knows candidates are lining up against her for 2010 already and that she’ll be in one of the national “targeted” races. She knows she needs either a) Republican votes to win, or b) hope, as in 2008, that Republicans don’t show up on Election Day, or both. She hopes op-eds like this one will fool enough people into believing what she says, and ignores her actual actions on The Hill.
Since I gave advice once, and know these blog entries somehow get the attention of certain sites (mentioned above), here’s another tip for Ms. Markey: be yourself. That’s right, be yourself. You were elected to represent this district, but being this is (still, for now) a representative government, you don’t need our constant approval or endless polls, nor do you need numerous town hall meetings to hear griping and your sycophants nudging. (But if you are going to have these kinds of meetings, can they at least be in non-partisan locations and venues?)
Stand and vote on your principles, whatever they may be. You won, with a majority even. Don’t just pander for the next election, actually do something, you may not have a second chance (as in term). And I think you know that. If how you vote now is contrary to what you “sold” during the campaign (for instance, did you say you were against the assault weapons ban? I didn’t hear that), explain it – don’t try to cover it up like this op-ed piece does. Your voting record will be closely scrutinized, count on it. Might as well make the best of it.
But while you’re at it, don’t forget you don’t just represent your party or the drones who would vote for you no matter what. You don’t just represent women, you don’t just represent this district or state. You represent this country above all else. Waste that and you don’t deserve support or re-election.