Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Final Four—Arizona CD 8 Candidates

Having watched many debates including Tuesday night in Tucson as well as reading many blogs and the media, including an interesting video posted at the Star's (direct link not available) website this morning, I find myself compelled to take a deeper cut into discussing the CD 8’s Final Four.

And most authentically, folks, disputes and refutations are welcome. If you think what I am about to say is crazy or misinformed, let me have it, both barrels, holding nothing back. Just note that I have the right to return fire, and I am likely to exercise this right. As has been demonstrated, even at considerable embarrassment I will admit when I am wrong. Was married once, have got the being wrong thing down.

Starting with David Nolan, the more I watch this guy, the more I like him and the more intelligent I realize this guy is. This guy isn’t just smart, this guy is really, really smart. When I was in high school, I went through the whole Ayn Rand objectivism thing, touting Atlas Shrugged as the greatest novel ever written.Remember Hank Rearden (my first hero) Dagny, Francisco, and that breathtaking scene where Rearden points a finger at Dagny, his voice grave towards Francisco, "Is this the woman you love?"

Had a "Who is John Galt?" bumper sticker on my car and voted Libertarian in 1980.

Then I got a summer job at an air compressor company—learned they charged the military $55 for an o-ring that cost 84 cents. I was told to dump some stuff in the creek out back, looked at the bottle—sulfuric acid. This was 1981. Reagan was President. Did what I was told. The water bubbled and white smoke hissed and the nearby plants foamed up, and the acrid smell burnt my nose, "This is bad."

Decided to follow the creek, and it led into a subdivision, the backyards of some homes. Three houses down, some little girls were playing near the creek. The flash I experienced was quicker than thought, and when the economics professor introduced externalities the following semester, he didn’t have to elaborate.

Laissez-faire died that instant. Without government protection, corporations will take, rape, pillage, and burn. Corporations may have legal status as individuals, but they have no soul. They will smile as they eat your children.

As sharp as David Nolan is, this notion of gutting the government and thinking the rest of us will do the right thing simply isn’t reality, and frankly, that makes me sad as a human being. If we collectively had the character I believe we should, David Nolan would quite possibly be right. We don’t, and he isn’t.

Jay Quick is fine human being who like many of us is disgusted with the partisanship and mean spirited arrogance that has infested Washington, and I do place more blame on the republicans, who have the House, Senate, and White House, and instead of demonstrating real leadership and the pursuit of what’s best for the country, they are pandering to their friends, bullying both the country and the planet, mortgaging our future, and frankly ignoring any points of view that differ from their own. I’m glad Jay’s running, but frankly, this business owner is over his head the instant he starts to engage in any substantive conversation about the reality of using an Office in the House of Representatives to effect change in Washington.

Let’s face it, any serious analysis of Randy Graf shows that he is a one issue candidate focused on a set of problems that stem from one conversation, people crossing into this country illegally and participating in its affairs, be it as employees, as students, as hospital patients, and, yes, as criminals. He’s obsessed with whatever this might be costing us, not entirely clear of the economic value they provide, and for some reason feels that this issue dwarfs the other issues facing this country. Really?

Randy’s recent remarks and Tuesday’s debate virtually cement the notion that outside of the border and immigration he rapidly loses horsepower, making statements like, "That’s above my paygrade." Listen to him on North Korea. If we send Randy to Washington, we are going to get a representative who will howl draconian measures about the border and immigration that will never be implemented, and he will obey established republicans on those issues "above his pay grade" like some lost puppy dog.

Playing golf and umpiring little league does not prepare an individual for the street smart hardball Washington maneuvering to address the world of globalization, economic development, international relations, nuclear proliferation, the war on terror, building multi-lateral support for addressing serious global issues threatening our future, energy policy not just of this country, but of the world as a whole (important!!!!!). The list is overwhelming, and when it comes to shaping public policy, addressing the needs of not only this country but this planet, Randy has not done his homework. Someone else in this race has.

Now envision Gabrielle Giffords, what you have heard her say in her ads, during the numerous debates and interviews, and imagine this individual saying, "That’s above my pay grade."

During Tuesday’s debate when Friedman’s important globalization work The World is Flat was brought up, neither Graf nor Quick showed the slightest recognition of the title. I assert neither had heard of the book. Perhaps Nolan has heard of it. Giffords could quote from it.

She completed her Fulbright scholar work during a year in southern Mexico, completed a Master's degree in regional planning at Columbia, served on the Governor's 1) Economic Development Hot Team, 2) Council on Innovation and Technology, and 3) Council on Health Status of Women and Families, just as a quick sampling. She serves as President of the Atlantic Association of Young Political Leaders and represents the National Committee on China-US Relations as a Young Leader’s Forum Fellow. CHINA! Come on, folks, what do you need?!

Gabrielle Giffords has organized her life around maximizing her ability to serve in public office. Heard she got engaged. Anyone care to guess on this astronaut’s chances of interfering with her ability to do her job? I will—about the same as her chances of interfering with his ability to do his.

3 Comments:

Blogger Liza said...

As for being able to quote Iraq war mongering Thomas Friedman, I have to quote Shania Twain, "that don't impress me much." I wouldn't read a book written by that man if it was the only book left on earth. I don't read his column in the NY Times and I'm pretty sure I've sent him hate mail.

10/19/2006 5:44 PM  
Blogger x4mr said...

OK, Liza, being familiar with and able to quote the "bad guys" (will discuss Friedman in a moment) doesn’t mean alignment with them. The point of those remarks is that in terms of scholarship and familiarity with current literature, international events, and public discourse and policy issues on a global scale, Graf and Quick are in kindergarten when placed against Giffords. I don’t know enough about Nolan to say, but merely suggest he is not who we should send to Washington, although frankly, behind Giffords, he would get my vote.

Now, to Friedman. I hope you saw my Class With No Cake post where I expressed some of my views on growing inequality and its increasing importance as a global issue. Folks are reacting to Friedman’s admittedly limited perspective, in particular we have Congressman Bernie Sander’s Global Sustainable Development Resolution which does address issues of inequality, as does Mark Rupert’s Globalization and International Political Economy.

At prior TDP threads where we really got into it, I almost demonized corporations and pressed the need for a new way for humanity to organize itself that will transcend current notions of nations governed by politicians bought and sold by corporations.

Long answer I know. I could stayed with point that ability to quote a guy doesn’t mean you agree with him.

Agree with Friedman or not on how to address it, that globalization is upon us is beyond dispute.

10/20/2006 9:48 AM  
Blogger Liza said...

x4mr,
Yes, I see your point. I guess that I just don't have the temperament to read a whole book written by someone who I feel has no credibility. Friedman got it all wrong about Iraq, and that was a no brainer for anyone with internet access and a desire to know the truth. As far as I'm concerned, his work is tainted, not worth reading, and not worth discussing.

This is an extreme example, but on a couple of occasions someone has told me they were reading a book by Ann Coulter. I wouldn't even allow a book written by her inside my house. Well, the reason given was "you need to know how to respond to people like this." The fact is, you don't. You dismiss them, you simply don't acknowledge them. Anyone who likes Ann Coulter is beyond hope and not worth having a discussion with. As I said, that is an extreme example.

We have to stop giving credibility of any kind to those who don't deserve it. Popular writers who have run out of things to say need to be discarded along with all the others who have nothing to say.

BTW, I did read your post about "the class with no cake." That's a great post. I've started doing some volunteer work with a group that tries to find employment for people over 50. What has profoundly affected me on a personal level is the difference between reading about these issues and actually coming face to face with the working poor.

Well, more later, I'm sure.

10/21/2006 6:43 AM  

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