Thursday, March 25, 2010

Minnick On KIDO

Congressman Walt Minnick (D-Idaho) appeared on Austin Hill's KIDO show today (after Austin Hill complained on his blog that Minnick had been refusing to come on the show). The Idaho Conservative Blogger wondered if Minnick's surfacing had anything to do with people's dissatisfaction with "Obamacare" and that Minnick needed to "reaffirm his Blue Dog status." Chances are good Walt Minnick appeared on the Austin Hill show because he and his staff didn't like being called out for his recent absence in the media.

Today, while Minnick's campaign spokesperson was busily trying to get the word out about Walt being featured in CongressDaily (an offshoot of the National Review) for upcoming legislation that would allow the President to strip pork from passed legislation without having to exercise his veto power over entire appropriations bills, Walt was speaking with Austin Hill and not doing his party any favors. In case you've lost track, his party is the Democratic Party and his leadership are the very people he was recently scolding.

While Austin Hill kept referring to "Obamacare" and the Speaker's heavy-handedness, the only thing Walt sought to correct the radio host on was his name--he prefers to be called Walt, not Walter. Walt wasn't without his own false statements and zingers directed at Speaker Pelosi (who Hill disrespectfully insisted on referring to as 'Miss Pelosi'). Here's the first Republican talking point and false statement Minnick trotted out:
"I absolutely disbelieve that [the bill] is going to be paid for because if you look at the history of Congress, there's no way that we're going to adopt and leave in place $500 billion in Medicare cuts. It's just not the way the place operates. When push comes to shove we'll repeal them."
Both the White House via their Reality Check website and FactCheck.org have come out swinging against this false and often used Republican scare tactic, but Minnick, like all the Republicans who voted with him against the bill, continues to use the disproved talking point. When did Medicare become one of Minnick's concerns? Perhaps around the time he started talking about tort reform...

Another talking point Minnick was peddling was his belief that if the Democratic leadership had brought their Republican colleagues to the table and hammered out a bill that addressed their mutual concerns, "we would have had a health care bill and it would have been a mainstream, sensible bill with good ideas from both of the parties." The Gang of Six wasn't enough for you, Walt? The fact that the Republicans really wanted nothing to do with health care reform from the get-go didn't matter? Really, in what alternate universe were the Republicans really going to sit down and compromise?

Perhaps the most telling (as well as discouraging) portion of Minnick's segment on the Austin Hill Show was when he talked about the midterms and what the 2010 cycle will mean to his party--just another reminder, that party, believe it or not, is the Democratic party. Here's what he said:
"I think that it's hard to argue that we're going to... I think that we hit a high water point, I think the real issue is how many seats do we lose at this point. That's rather typical of a midterm election in a president's first term--his party almost always loses and I expect we are going to lose because America's not happy with what has, they don't like the congress. They don't like the hyper-partisanship, so my guess is we will have more than average losses in this election."
Is Walt's pessimism realistic? Maybe. Is Walt's disinterest in seeing his party succeed at all veiled in this prediction? Hardly. This is simply who Walt is. Walt doesn't care if his party is in the majority or not, he is going to continue to vote against them on key pieces of legislation (i.e. health care, cap and trade, the stimulus) throughout this session. What Walt should care about is the near certainty that if the leadership, his leadership, does change hands after the midterm election is because faux Democrats, DINOs, like him in very conservative districts like the Idaho 1st and the Mississippi 1st were unseated.

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