Here’s Matt Brown’s latest blog entry: Watch My New Ad! In it, he mainly shows off his cute newborn daughter. How sweet. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do much for my understanding of his public policy priorities. It also says to me, once again, that politics is a man’s world, for surely it would be the end of any woman candidate for any office, should she get on TV and show off her newborn.
The latest from the Laffey camp: week after week of righteous indignation over the supposed abomination of pork spending, as if this is the be-all and end-all crisis of our modern times. In fact, the pork funding Rhode Island received accounted for 3% of its $1.876 billion total allocation for 2005. This is called the great Republican talent for making a mountain out of a molehill and getting the public to focus on small problems while effectively diverting attention away from big problems — the war in Iraq, the terrible state of our health care system, the skyrocketing national debt.
(Sorry, no link to Laffey. The code on his site holds you prisoner, not letting you return to where you came from, an internet-surfing practice to which I am opposed.)
And here is Sheldon Whitehouse: having meetings on the medicare benefit with seniors in elderly housing; writing critically in his blog about the Medicare changes, citing timely sources such as Paul Krugman in The New York Times. Here is a candidate paying attention to one of the most real and pressing issue of our country: the health of our citizens, particularly the elderly.
If you’re not elderly, perhaps you are saying, oh that Sheldon, he’s just pandering to a voting block. What does it matter to me if the elderly have health care or not? To which I respond: if your parents are receiving medicare, or if you have family members who are mentally ill or cognitively impaired, these benefits affect you. They mean that the pressure is not on you to buy your mother her prescriptions because she can’t afford them, or to help your sibling or your uncle with his spending money because he spent every last dime on his medication this month.
It is disingenuous at best for Republicans like Laffey to say that we should shrink government, without acknowledging how government programs directly impact the ability of this nation to maintain a solid middle class. Laffey himself has mentally ill family members, a fact he has called attention to in the past. Does he imagine somehow that he has not benefited indirectly from the care they receive?