Wednesday, July 20, 2011

An Interesting Phone Call

Tonight I received a phone call from Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) inviting me to take part in a telephone town hall meeting. Naturally, I said I would love to share my thoughts with the Congressman who's now running for Jon Kyl's Senate seat.

A staffer came on the line and asked me what question I wanted to ask Rep. Flake. I answered that I would like to know why he was adamantly opposed to closing tax loopholes and why he insisted on Social Security cuts being included in any plan to reduce the deficit, especially since Soc. Sec. has absolutely nothing to do with the deficit. I said I would also like for the Congressman to explain to me somehow why the idea of a balanced budget amendment is not the stupidest idea in American history. I was very polite speaking to the staffer, so I was a little nonplussed when he told me that I could hang on the line, but they probably wouldn't get to my questions.

My first thought was "why would you ask me if I would like to speak when you seem to know that there won't be enough time?" My second thought was that this absolutely sounded like every Republican in America since George W. Bush -- if you're not in lockstep with them and willing to swallow their talking points wholeheartedly, then they want no part of a discussion with you.

I sat on the phone for the next 45 minutes listening to right-wing uninformed nutjobs telling Rep. Flake what a great job he's doing, how he should continue to support "cut, cap & balance," and how they were certainly going to vote for him come November (I guess they all assume he will win the Republican primary for Senator, which in Arizona pretty much amounts to winning the election). Several of the callers urged him to vote not to raise the debt ceiling under any circumstances.

In the entire time I was on the phone, I heard one caller ask him what could be called, maybe, a tough question. A lady named Cindy from Glendale asked him why the government couldn't do anything to punish corporations who accept tax cuts and subsidies from the government if they decide to outsource labor overseas, especially when unemployment is so high and the economy is stagnant. She suggested that tax penalties and stiff fines be assessed to these companies, along with possible tax rate hikes if a certain percentage of jobs were not maintained in the U.S.

Here's where I almost lost it -- Flake told her that in a free society such as ours you can't punish a business for making a sound, rational decision that is in the stockholder's best interest. He said what we need to do is reduce taxes even further on these "job-creating" corporations as low as possible and hope that they will then decide not to outsource! I was stunned, to say the least. That seems to be the Republican plan for job creation -- cut taxes and hope for the best.

I won't even get started on the misinformation he then supplied to his constituents, such as comparing our debt to that of Greece, Ireland and Portugal, and his outright lies about our tax rates in comparison to the rest of the world, and his assertion that the healthcare bill passed last year is "socialist job-killing legislation" (that's an exact quote -- I'm really not making it up).

Needless to say, I wasn't all that surprised that I never got to speak to him. I'm sure his muddled little mind has no intention of ever speaking with someone who can counter his lies with factual information.

Somehow, I don't think I'll be voting for Jeff Flake (Flaky R-AZ) for Senate next year.


Anonymous said...

Funny, the same thing happened when my Representative, McMorris-Rogers called me. "Absolutely must not tax the "job creators!"

Must have been a coincidence that it was too late for me to ask my questions (which were the same as yours).

Only question I have now is, Just how dumb and ill-informed do you have to be to vote Republican?

CLIFF said...

You have to be vilely rich or sadly stupid to vote GOP. We know that only about 5% -- maybe only 2% -- of us are vilely rich. The remaining GOP voters are just flat out plain stupid.

The GOP from time to time actually comes out and says publicly and clearly what its interests are: lower taxes on the wealthy, destroy the social safety net, increase (by means indirect) taxes on the middle and lower classes.

They tell us that they want us to live in poverty, to struggle with soaring and destructive medical bills -- or to die young, and to raise our children in ignorance so that the only opportunities available to them is death in the military or a stunted life eked out at a series of menial jobs.

And millions of Americans rejoice and proclaim the GOP the true Savior of the "Homeland".

Anonymous said...

I agree wholeheartedly that republican voters are stupid but what about those of us who voted for a liberal Obama, are we not just as stupid as republican voters? Isnt the point not that voters are stupid to vote for liars and theives but that the rich conservative scumbags that control America only allow candidates that support their scumbaggery to run for office, they buy the candidates they want and we the voter only get politicians that represent the rich. Watch in the 2012 election...we will only have candidates that represent their rich masters, no one will represent the poor majority in America.

Anonymous said...

My Congresscritter Ken Calvert does the same things at his telephone town halls. He only takes softball questions that mostly deal with illegal immigration so he can talk about what a great thing he created in e-Verify.

Chris said...

@ Cliff.... but but but... that's what Jesus would do... If Republicans are Christian - and Christians are for Jesus.. then whatever Republicans do is obviously blessed and ordained by God...

NAY! - Commanded by God.
In fact, didn't Jesus say "I have not come for the socialists, but to save the job creators?".

I'm pretty sure its in there somewhere.

All kidding aside - I do believe there is an element of this strain of thinking among the right.

I'm frustrated that manufactured, controlled events like that are called Town Hall Meetings. They're really staged campaign events.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your post. It also reminds me of the recent Minnesota government shutdown.

The Minnesota tea taliban was working on such important budget issues as limiting abortion, eliminating stem cell research, photo ID requirements for voting.

Along with their most important budget issue in their last session (in the MN House and MN Senate, where they hold the majority).

A vote on marriage in 2012.