Thursday, September 14, 2006

Throw 'Em Out

Mark Hyman’s latest “Point” amounts to a two-minute unpaid for commercial for the Republican National Committee. Okay, I suppose that could be said for most of Hyman’s editorials, but this particular example is especially bold.

Saying that “some pundits” are predicting the Democrats will win the House of Representatives and “come close” in the Senate.

Hyman proceeds to use scare tactics to suggest what wold happen if Democrats took over the chairs of some important House committees.

It doesn’t matter that his prognostications are based on zero evidence. Simply making the assertion is damaging enough.

For example, we’re told to “Imagine Charlie Rangel as Ways and Means chair, raising taxes on the middle class.” Yes, let’s imagine that, since there’s no evidence that this would happen.

California Henry Waxman, who could become chair of the Government Reform committee, “wants one big government-run Hillarycare-type HMO in charge of all medical programs.” Yikes—that would be scary! Every citizen of the wealthiest country in the history of the world actually having access to healthcare; decisions on treatment being made by doctors rather than accountants! Oh, the humanity!

The “extreme” John Conyers would, as chair of the Judiciary Committee, make our courts “even worse.”

Barney Frank would likely chair the Financial Services Committee. Oddly enough, Hyman doesn’t say why that would be bad. You don’t suppose he’s insinuating that simply having an openly gay man running a committee would be a horror, do you?

But all this raises the question: what’s so great about the current heads of these committees?

Let’s look at the rogue’s gallery of GOP chairs and see what we’d be in danger of losing if the Democrats prevail in November.

On the Ways and Means Committee, we currently enjoying the chairmanship of Rep. Bill Thomas, a man who called in Capitol Police to oust Democrats from a meeting after they had the gall to object to Thomas trying to ram a bill through without giving them a chance to read it fully. Thomas later
was forced to apologize, not because he or the GOP thought he was wrong, but because it was a public relations nightmare.

As for raising taxes, Thomas voted to extend the Bush tax cuts that have shifted the tax burden to the middle class. He also voted in favor of creating special ethics rules (actually, unethical rules is a better name) to help protect disgraced House leader Tom DeLay.
On the Government Reform Committee, we’ve got Rep. Tom Davis, a man who apparently abused his chairmanship in order to
get his wife a sweetheart consulting gig with a firm run by one of Davis’s best friends. Nice work, if you can get it.

He’s also
has ties to disgraced GOP lobbyist and convict Jack Abramoff.

What about the Judiciary Committee? There, we’ve got Rep. James Sensenbrenner, the man who infamously voted against aid for victims of Hurricane Katrina (he was only one of 11 in the House to vote that way). He later
rubbed salt in the wounds by tabling a measure that would have helped protect those who were devastated financially by the hurricane from recently passed bankruptcy laws.

He also
famously threw a hissyfit when he didn’t like what Democrats were saying at a public hearing and turned off their microphones and stomped out of the room.

Yes, we certainly wouldn’t want to get rid of this bunch of ethically-challenged, self-interested, misanthropic ne’er-do-wells, would we?

And, as you likely know, this is just scratching the surface. Republican control of the House over the last ten years
has seen mounting corruption, in addition to bad policy. In an ongoing effort to assert one-party control over the lives of all Americans, the GOP House membership abandoned their empty claims of “cleaning up Congress” they cynically spouted in 1994.

Things have come to a head in the last couple of years, most notably with the revelation of
widespread taking of money from the corrupt Abramoff.

Oh, and don’t forget that this current do-nothing Congress has abandoned its Constitutionally mandated duties to provide a check on the executive branch. While intelligence has been spun, war profiteering has gone on, and intelligence agencies have spied on Americans, the Congress has sat idly by.

That’s a bad thing. But don’t take my word for it. Listen to
this current member of Congress:

Republican Congresses tend to overinvestigate Democratic administrations and
underinvestigate their own . . . I get concerned we lose our separation of
powers when one party controls both branches.

Who said that? Ted Kennedy? Nancy Pelosi?

Nope. It was Tom Davis, current chair of the Government Reform Committee (desperately trying to distance himself and his GOP mates on the Hill from the Incredibly Shrinking President).

Let’s give the man some help and do some voter-based government reform in November.

And that’s The Counterpoint.

Hyman Index: 5.21


At 11:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Even under the extremely lax "rules" of the Right Wing FCC (basically: Owners, do whadever ya want, but don't show boobs), is Hyman's use of the public's airwaves legal?

Are there ANY protections against overt political endorsements -- without contrary views -- anymore?

I wonder if those who support Hyman, Fox, and the generally right-leaning CEO's of the networks realize that constant bias in reporting does no one any good. (of course, that assumes that those people WANT a democracy).


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