Today I got a phone call from an acquaintance who would like my endorsement of his candidacy for state office.
I inquired why he is running against the current representative, and he tells me that, as a former representative, a certain “watchdog group” gave him exceedingly high ratings - in the 70s! – whereas the current representative only earned a 14.
So I looked up this watchdog group online. They’re called the Eagle Forum and they were founded by Phyllis Schlafly. Highlights include opposition to environmental legislation, noting, “Republicans in the House are not allowed to use the phrase ‘cap and trade.’ They have to say ‘cap and tax.’ If they slip up, they are fined.” Senator Inhofe of Oklahoma reassured a conference crowd that new environmental legislation “would never pass the Senate,” saying, “only 34% of Americans in a recent poll blame humans for global warming.”
Another big favorite feature of the site – a Twitter feed stating: “I pledge to serve my Lord God – NOT the president!” Very sweet; very charming.
Now obviously this potential candidate does not know me at all. But I’m starting to wonder if this might be because I don’t know me, either – at least not politically. I think I might be bi-political. I swing both ways.
For instance, I am distressed about the music on the radio stations that cater to every teen I know. Let’s look at today’s playlist:
“Disco Stick” – Lady Gaga “Let’s have some fun… this beat is sick… I want to take a ride on your disco stick…I’m on a mission… and it involved some heavy touching, yeah… you’ve indicated your interest, I’m educated in sex, yes, and now I want it bad, want it bad…”
(“Well,” I say to my daughter, “I guess she’s not talking about Pogo.”)
“Room Service” – Pitbull
“I’m the plumber tonight, let me check your pipes, oh you’re the healthy type. Well, here goes some egg whites. Now gimme that sweet, that nasty gooshy stuff. Let me tell you what we gon’ do. 2 + 2, I’m gonna undress you. Then we’re gonna go 3 on 3, you gon’ undress me. Then we’re gon’ go 4 and 4, we gon’ freak some more!”
(“Maybe they’re talking about Twister,” I say cheerfully amidst the eyeball rolls as I change the station. I just love my steering wheel radio controls.)
This stuff is everywhere, mixed in with Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, and the Jonas Brothers, and call me a crazy conservative whack-a-loon, but I think raising teenagers to make responsible long-term choices is kinda tough when TV, movies, Internet, and radio are issuing frequent, catchy invitations to the drug/alcohol/sex orgy. I don't want to go as far as censorship, but I’d love it if artists and media companies blue-penciled themselves, just a bit. But there’s money to be made. Seems to me that entertainment media really likes the unfettered free market theory.
Then I open the paper and swing liberal. Turns out my state is the proud #1 in repeat teen pregnancies. We’re not even biggest, but we’re beating California, baby! And why? Well, call me an immoral devil spawn, but I think it might have something to do with our abstinence-based education laws. We’re not allowed to teach birth control in the schools. We’re allowed to teach abstinence, and the SHORTCOMINGS of birth control. In other words, condoms fail, kids, so don’t have sex! Ever! (And of course they listen! Don’t all teenagers listen?) Our state-funded clinics are required to get parental permission to give out birth control to minors – even if the teen has already given birth! My favorite quote about the sense of this policy, from Democrat Leticia Van de Putte, “I’ve been a pharmacist for over 30 years… and I can tell you, once they start having sex, they ain’t going to stop.” (“Fascinating,” says Mr. Spock.)
I swing both ways on healthcare as well. I’ve been in polite but persistent war with our lovely Aetna non-medically licensed bureaucrats who have questioned just about every test and procedure as my husband has been struggling through the Multiple Sclerosis summer from hell. I went to the dermatologist myself the other day, and my doctor burned off what she called a squamous cell carcinoma. Aetna refused payment, calling the procedure “cosmetic.” (And let me tell you, I do look sexy with my cute little scar and bandaid.)
So I want reform, but so far, I don’t have a great understanding of the plan, and the Democrats are frankly not doing a fantastic job of explaining themselves. Just today, I tuned in – with extreme trepidation – to Lou Dobbs. Senator Judd Gregg, R, faced off with Senator Bernie Sanders, D. Same talking points as usual, right up to the end, when Lou (“Tough, Relentless, Independent” – cough cough) asked, “Would our Senators and our Congressmen be willing to put aside the healthcare insurance they have now and take on the one that they would create?”
Mr. Gregg, the Republican, says he actually created a bipartisan bill that does just that. It has ten sponsors from both parties.
Mr. Sanders, the Democrat, gives us this zinger: “If the public option were there, and it were better for me than the Blue Cross, Blue Shield I have right now, I certainly would take it."
Dobbs: "Well, what if it wasn’t?"
Sanders: "Well, like every other American, I surely would not take it. It’s a choice. Nobody HAS to take it; people should have that choice."
Now I get what Mr. Sanders is saying… that’s why they call it the public OPTION… but really, buddy, Americans just aren’t good at nuance. They want to know you’re standing behind what you’re selling. It’s kind of like when Michael Moore was following around Republican members of Congress asking if their children were willing to serve in the war they were promoting. I for one would like to know that my representatives are enrolled in the plan they create because in my mind, this gives them quick incentive to fix anything that might be wrong.
So call me conservative; call me liberal; call me bi-political. I voted for you Mr. Obama. I really need some clarity I can believe in. And my prayers go with you as you walk in to address that joint session of Congress and America tomorrow night, because unlike that Eagle Forum twit, I proudly serve both God AND my President.