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I am a self proclaimed coffee addict and Executive Director of a non profit missions agency working primarily in the Mexican cities of Oaxaca, Guadalajara, and Ensenada. I've been married for over 30 years to Chelle, and we have one grown son, Joseph, a graduate of Auburn University in Alabama.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

An Interview With The Democratic Leadership

Last week I posted a little ditty titled “An Interview With George Bush.” I received a lot of responses from some of my conservative friends. In the interest of fairness, I also promised to put up a similar list of questions for the Democratic Leadership. I am seeing that as Senator Harry Reid and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

So for Timmer, Highland History, James Manning, and anyone else on the more liberal side of the spectrum, it is now your turn to let us know how you think they might answer.
  1. Which one of you has the bigger office? Do you have servants, or porters?
  2. Fairly or not, the Democratic Party has a reputation of generally being supportive of higher taxes. Putting aside the political talk that will say you favor fair taxes, etc., why do you think your party is seen in that light? Has it helped that former presidential candidate Walter Mondale advocated higher taxes in his inauguration speech and now candidate Jonathan Edwards has done so also?
  3. Your party has been very critical of the war in Iraq, yet voted overwhelmingly in favor of going to war against Saddam. Did you believe then that we could win the war? If yes, do you still believe that to be true? If no, why did you vote yes?
  4. President Bush has said his goals in Iraq are a stable, democratically elected government that can protect the people, is non sectarian, and an ally of the US in the War on Terrorism. What do you think we should do now to achieve those goals?
  5. Mr. Reid, since you do not support the “surge” in Iraq, why did you and your party vote to approve the nomination of the man who developed the plan, Gen. David Petraeus, to lead our troops in Iraq? How can you have confidence in a man who devised a policy that your party has openly said will only result in more American lives lost?
  6. Do you think it is right or consistent that a 16 year old girl must get parental approval for a body piercing, yet can get an abortion without any parental oversight?
  7. Regarding federal budgeting, can you explain why a cut in the growth of a program, say from 6% growth to 4% growth, is then portrayed by your party as a cut in spending? Isn’t still an increase over what was previously being spent?
  8. Why is it that most politicians wear the same color when they are in Washington? Don’t you all get tired of looking alike?
  9. Does your party think it is a crime to enter the United States without proper approval from the government? If so, what steps should our government take to stop this crime from occurring? If not, would explain why not?
  10. Would each of you please give me two federal programs that you believe we could defund or eliminate on a federal level in order to balance the budget and show the Republican party that Democrats are serious in balancing the budget?
  11. Finally, if you were having a party at your home, what type of music would you choose to entertain your guests?
That’s it. As you can imagine, in my humble opinion, most of our politicians, on both sides of the aisle, are a little weaselly when it comes to answering tough questions. I feel most interviewers are either too deferential when answers are not forthcoming, or have become shouters, as if their subject is hard of hearing. My hope, and I’ll admit I am not holding my breath, is that the folks running for President in 2008 would all get a dose of what it was that made the title character in Bullworth so appealing. Candor!

Comments on "An Interview With The Democratic Leadership"


Blogger Timmer said ... (7:00 AM) : 

What type of music?

Techno: It's just as unpopular with the American public as the republican party!


Blogger Timmer said ... (7:57 AM) : 

Seriously though, good questions and tough to answer...some answers I would like to see or would predict:

2: I think the dems are seen as the higher tax party because they are usually the ones opposing tax cuts. They also have a reputation for supporting programs such as welfare and social work that hold a negative tax stigma among the general population. So while they do not always directly vote to raise taxes, they often vote against lowering them. The point democrats should emphasize is that sometimes taxes are required for a balanced budget and to overcome a deficit. Frankly, they should have the courage to say that taxes are necessary in a society such as ours and that being a tax and spend democrat is better than being a tax-cut and spend republican.

3-5. They need to suck it up and say they were wrong about supporting the war in Iraq. That Afghanistan should have been the primary target. But that's all I have to say about Iraq. I am admittedly very biased on the subject of war and am not helpful in any discussion of it.

6. I do not know how a run-of-the-mill dem would answer this question. Half of them would pander to the extreme left by saying the girl should be able to pierce anything without parental approval while the other half would dodge the question...like I am doing right now.

7. Not sure that is a fair question, given that more often than not a lack of growth in a federal program is directly correlated to a lack of spending.

8. We wear different ties.

9. The US has a long history of welcoming those who enter the country without proper approval. However, the US has just as long of a history welcoming those who do have proper approval. Given that statement, if entering the US without proper approval is a crime it is essentially a victimless crime. Besides, how can we call those who seek a better life without killing or cheating fellow citizens criminals? However, people entering the US without approval needs to be curbed and managed for the sake of our own citizens in terms of assuaging fears and avoiding huge spending increases on related federal programs. A fence is not good enough, and neither is letting mercenary-like, trigger-happy locals do the job. Americans need to be encouraged to take responsibility on their own by not hiring undocumented workers, and the INS needs some beefing-up.

10: I can think of a few programs off the top of my head...

Program one: No Child Left Behind - Leave the school systems to the states. They know their own populations, their own needs and subtleties, much better than the federal government could ever dream to.

Program two: The National Railroad Passenger Corporation - Amtrak...it has long been one of the biggest drains on the federal budget percentage-wise given the volume of people who actually ride trains. If you are going to put money into it, get serious about it. Otherwise, let it die and/or sell it to the highest bidder.

Program three: The FCC. Cut funding big time and stop clamping down on our most basic right.

Program four: The Department of Health and Human Services - It at least needs to be cut down a bit. It needs less to help pharmaceuticals get their drugs on the market and more to regulate these drugs and promote more options (than drugs alone). Think of Vioxx...instead of doing everything they could to get it on the market they should have been pushing Merck for more testing.

Anyway, I hope this helps at least a little. Personally, I think my best answer is to question 8.


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (9:48 AM) : 

Good job Timmer. As I understand yours, and many others anger on Iraq, the problem is we are there now, so what do we do. We will never get a do-over. That said, it is incumbent on our political leadership, no matter the party to find a solution that
1. Does not leave Iraq a total mess.
2. Does not embarrass the US any more internationally.

How we do that, I do not know. I hope there is someone amongst the cherry trees that has that answer.

On #8, I remember seeing Robert Byrd one time in a yellow jacket. That may be a little out of line, but can't there be a little variety? Browns, sport jackets, how about casual Wednesdays to end their week? Anything to break up the monotony.


Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said ... (1:38 PM) : 

Wow!!!!!!! I'm pretty impressed!! These are very good and pretty intellectually honest. Kudos to Dave!!


Blogger highlandhistory said ... (1:46 PM) : 

1. Pelosi: Harry has the bigger office. His friends from the Nevada Gaming Commission rigged our little game of paper-rock-scissors to see who would get the bragging rights. But I have the bigger porters: my portmanteau, after all, is loaded with whale-bone corsettes and such. Harry just has several servants named "Scarface" and "Silent Tony".

2. Reid: We are seen in that light because we have lots of plans for wonderful things to do and we want to fund them properly. Unforunately, we have trouble convincing Congress to tax the reach more heavily or to cap CEO earnings. Ha, wouldn't want to cut our own earnings, now, would we! And Mondale never did know how to place a bet.

Pelosi: Edwards? He was a Puritan, wasn't he?

3. Pelosi: Well, now, this is an interesting point. You see, we did believe that we could win the war. Of course we do not believe so now! We have, since voting to give Bush power to invade, googled Iraq and discovered to our dismay that they have sectarian problems and are not even Christian!

Reid: Actually, um, we didn't think that we could win the war. But we figured that it would be nice to let W dig his own grave. It's worked pretty well, hasn't it?

4. Pelosi: In order to achieve these goals, we should bail out and let the civil war flame out.

Reid: I agree. It should only take about fifteen years for the Shiias to wipe out the Sunnis. That is, in the grand scheme of things, not too long.

5. Reid: Um, yes, well. Gen Petraeus was chosen because he knew how to solve the Iraq dilemma. But we do not particularly desire to encourage American interventionism, so we are more content to lose gloriously. Supporting the General was necessitated by our desire to appease the conservatives, but we had to balance that out by tossing the liberals a bone and not increasing troop strength to the General's suggested levels.

6. Pelosi: hmm... there would seem to be a little of the illogical in that one. But that does not concern me, because no one I know will be doing either in the meantime.

7. Reid: In politics, wording is everything. Po-TAY-to, Po-TAH-to.

8. Pelosi: We do not wear the same color!!! Mine is jet black, his is navy blue, and yours is straight black!

Reid: I can only see green, so I wouldn't know. All other colors look gray to me.

9. Pelosi: Harry, you'd best take this one.

Reid: No, Nancy. It's yours.

Pelosi: I don't want it!

Reid: I outrank you, so you take it!

Pelosi: Sexist!

Reid: Am not!

Pelosi: Are too!

10. Pelosi: Is "defund" a word?

Reid: We should get rid of NCLB and instead allow states to control their own education programs. Except in the "red" states, where their curriculum will be egregiously backwards and traditional.

Pelosi: Ooh, and we could stop funding the embassy to Mars. The Martians haven't been much help recently.

Reid: (whispers something to Pelosi)

Pelosi: Did I say "Mars"? I meant "France".

11. Both: Reggaeton!!!


Blogger Timmer said ... (4:04 PM) : 

Who just got called an assmunch??

And who called whoever got called an assmunch an assmunch?

Hey Brian, way to not actually answer any of those questions...just like college, eh?!?!


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (4:37 PM) : 

Anonymous, if by liberal, you mean someone who cannot discuss things in professional, respectful language, then no, I am not a liberal.

If by liberal, you mean someone who does not have the courage to at least put their name on a post, then no, I am not a liberal.

If by liberal, you mean someone who can only follow a set dogma, without thinking, and who does not desire legitimate, open dialogue with people who believe differently, then no, I am not a liberal.

But if you mean someone who believes in the historic liberal principles of equality, justice, access, and that government can indeed be part of the solution, then I am a liberal.

If you mean someone who believes that there is a God and that life is sacred, so sacred in fact that we stand against the death penalty, poverty, and character assasinations, then yes, I am a liberal.

If you mean someone who supports civil rights, and not the knee jerk reactionary viewpoints that today pass for civil rights, then yes, I am a liberal.

If you mean someone who can understand that even today, people can be victims of discrimination and that as a people, we still have a long way to go and knows that all the positive thinking in the world won't solve the problem absent action, then yes, I am a liberal.

Finally, if you mean someone who believes in fiscal responsibility, much like Franklin Roosevelt and John Kennedy, then yes I am a liberal. The liberals I choose to support harken back to political parties that were full of ideas, ideas that gave us Social Security, civil rights legislation, an end to slavery, and made it possible for women to vote. Liberals who understood that we needed judges like Thurgood Marshall who knew from experience that seperate but equal was not equal at all, but a recipe for disaster for our country. Parties that celebrated the contributions of all Americans, from all colors and walks of life, not just those who agreed with you. And yes, sometimes that meant conservatives!

You will notice that I have deleted both of your comments. Since this is my blog, that is my right. I get to choose who can comment. Here is the general rule. Use respectful language and have the courage to identify yourself and provide your blog or web address. Pretty simple stuff.

I'd love to continue the conversation.


Blogger Dave Miller said ... (4:39 PM) : 

Timmer, wasn't that beautiful? In case you couldn't figure it out, it was directed at me.


Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said ... (10:00 PM) : 

You must be doing something right Dave to get a mean troll :-). I had a jerky one today who not only attacked me but you also so he was banned, I love haloscan ;-)!!


Blogger Timmer said ... (1:16 PM) : 

well done miller.


Blogger Mike's America said ... (8:54 PM) : 

Harry Greid may have the bigger office, but ole Nance is gonna make sure she gets the bigger plane.

Did you see her comment that this "wasn't a question of size."

Heck, she's from San Francisco, of COURSE it's about size.


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