This evening Keyron and I attended an election season dinner put on by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. It was held in the Cafeteria at Hope High School in Providence. I did see and greet Vivian Spencer there, she works for the Senator and I had worked for her when both of us worked at the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s office. Turnout was pretty good with a large contingent of elderly folks.
It was the usual event, Sheldon was introduced by a woman who he had disagreed with but when it came to brass tacks, his office helped her and now she was a supporter and proud to introduce him.
There were a few statements by the Senator to which I had interesting responses. Senator Whitehouse was talking about the health care debacle and he mentioned the 45 provisions in the law and what their effects were on the population. For example was the part where the Senator mentioned the reduction in re-admissions. I commented to Keyron that you generally don’t re-admit dead people.
But then there was the obvious Republican plant in the room who asked why Senator Whitehouse voted against the JOBS bill. The reason I say Republican is because this is a common theme within the Repubican game plan. JOBS actually stands for, and I thank the Senator for explaining that JOBS actually stood for Jumpstart Our Business Startups which includes ” intended to help start-ups raise capital and go public, but may also lead to many more money-losing Groupon-like I.P.O.’s.”
That just sounds like Trickle Down economics, E.g. big business does well, people do well which is patently a falsehood.
But a bit later on someone else asked a question of if President Obama could have done a better job of selling Health Care Reform maybe we wouldn’t have the court case, etc.
The Senator actually agreed with the man, leading to great consternation on the part of Keyron. He and I both know, all the Republican obstructionism that the Republicans in the Senate and in the House, as Senatore Whitehouse loves to talk about, is all based in large part on hatred of the black man who is President.
Now don’t get me wrong, Sheldon Whitehouse is actually a pretty good Senator. He’s a bit more left than most and I think that comes from his take on Noblese Oblige. And I still think he’d make a damned good Supreme Court Justice. But after listening to all this I think I know what most Congressmen and Senators real job happens to be:
Grease the skids, rails, and the other processes of government. When you’re trying to get federal benefits such as death benefits, military matters, passport expedition, etc. Call on your elected representative.
Because otherwise you cannot compete with the lobbyists.