November 18, 2014

Knock Knock. Who's There? Tone-deaf Politicians

Tone-deaf politicians who?

Tone-deaf politicians who are so out of touch with reality that they actually think what they say they're going to do, or threaten to do, or promise to do, or promise to NOT do, makes sense.

There's practically a cast of thousands to choose from, so I can only provide a sampling. And, given that I'm an equal opportunity kind of gal, I promise we'll have representation from both political parties.

Ready?

I have to start with Dems in Washington, who are not allowing one of their members to vote by proxy for the upcoming House leadership positions.  Tammy Duckworth, who represents folks in Illinois, is eight months or so pregnant, and her doctor has restricted her travel.  Duckworth asked to be allowed to vote by proxy; this is simply not done, apparently. Seems the thinking is that once you do it for one person, it'll open the floodgates of proxy-vote-wishers and heck, Congress will be a mess. Or something.  The congresswoman is being the better person in this one, I think. I mean, correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't the Dems the party of women? The ones who are all about workplace equality?  The party that brought us the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act ? Not for nothing, but it seems if you want women to be treated fairly in the workplace, perhaps you should set an example by treating them fairly in your own workplace.

Staying in Washington, let's talk about our tone-deaf President and Congressional leaders, Barack Obama, Crying John Boehner, and Mitch McConnell.  For someone who was such a strong communicator and messenger in the beginning, POTUS is demonstrating a clear lack vision, and a lack of understanding of what people want, or don't want, in the shadow of the mid-term elections.  Remember, Mr. President, turnout was only 37% - so no, you don't have a mandate to do something on immigration at this point, and the the Republicans don't have a mandate to repeal the Affordable Care Act.  The three of them need to share more than a glass of bourbon - they need a leadership seminar instead. I can't imagine they'd come out worse than they went in.

And lest you think that tone-deafness is a Washington-only affliction, let's turn our attention to New York Republicans. You recall that the Rs gained a slim majority in the State Senate, holding 32 seats now.  Naturally they re-elected Dean Skelos as their leader, and also continued with Southern Tier area senator Tom Libous, who is under indictment for lying to the FBI, as second-in-command. Apparently having ethically-challenged leaders is OK with the Republicans. But the real winner for the Rs is that Skelos believes it's time for a pay raise for the politicians in Albany. That's right -- their part-time base pay of over $79,000 (and average pay of around $100K) is not enough, and they haven't had a raise in 14 years, and well, it's about time, don't you think?

Um, no. It's not time to keep pregnant women from fully participating in elected office, and it's not time for crazy action by leaders in Congress, and it's not time for a pay raise for New York legislators.

It is time for these folks to start treating women fairly, time to listen and collaborate instead of bloviating all over our nation's capital, and time o pay attention to the people who can only imagine in their wildest dreams what they'd do with an income close to that of an Albany politician.