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Parker Griffith Disappoints Again

by: mooncat

Sat Aug 29, 2009 at 10:30:10 AM CDT


My expectations for Congressman Parker Griffith (D, AL-05) were low to begin with, but 8 months into the job he's under-performing in a big way. I was resigned to another Bud Cramer style Blue Dog -- hopefully without the inheritance tax obsession -- but Griffith is now badmouthing other Democrats on a regular basis, something I don't ever recall from Bud Cramer. In fact, Cramer made a career of saying very little in public, most of that related to issues affecting the local economy -- common ground for his constituents. Amazingly, I wish Griffith would behave more like Bud Cramer did. Yes, it's really that bad.

Obviously, Griffith is dealing with difficult crowds at these town hall meetings. According to the Huntsville Times report of yesterday's Town Hall in Athens, a man was "booed back to his seat" after saying he considered President Barack Obama a Christian for wanting to help the poor. Not easy people to talk to, I get that. But tense situations call for careful rhetoric and Griffith's recent statements about Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D, CA) are anything but careful. First it was the ego comment a few days ago:


"Nancy Pelosi's ego and (President Barack) Obama's ego and Waxman's ego are all involved."

At the same time said he didn't regret voting for Pelosi as Speaker "though I'd have a difficult time voting for her now."

A few days later in Florence he took credit for stopping health care reform ...

"Conservatives could not have stopped this (health care reform) bill (from coming to the floor for a vote)," he said, adding that only the conservative arm of the Democratic Party - the Blue Dogs, of which he is a member - could.

... dissed both Pelosi and mental health patients ...

Griffith laughed and said, "If she doesn't like it, I've got a gift certificate to the mental health center."

... and reiterated that he would no longer vote for Pelosi as Speaker ...

Griffith said that if matter came up for a vote today, "I would not vote for her. Someone that divisive and that polarizing cannot bring us together."

The newspaper story doesn't include this, but a friend who attended yesterday's town hall in Athens says ...

During the town hall, Griffith said (at least twice) that he will not be voting for Nancy Pelosi for speaker of the House again.

How's that going to work, Congressman? Is she planning to retire? Are you? Or are you planning to abstain? I'd love to know.

mooncat :: Parker Griffith Disappoints Again
My friend also related an interesting exchange between Griffith and a woman with a question about government involvement in health care.

She said that she understands he is against government-run healthcare. She then asked him if that meant he was planning to work to dismantle Medicare and the VA system? That seemed to fluster him. He talked around it, but she kept asking him to answer the question. The crowd was mostly quiet during this ...

Excellent question, although technically Medicare is government run insurance which is distinct from government run health care (which the VA is.) It would have been a great opportunity to explain to the crowd that Medicare has very low overhead compared to private insurers, in part because they don't spend millions on advertising and executive bonuses. I guess that wouldn't have fit with the right wing talking points he's decided to push.

According to the paper, Griffith also took the obligatory swipe at illegal immigrants and evil trial lawyers yesterday. I wonder if he's noticed that malpractice claims have been steady in recent years but malpractice premiums have continued to rise -- maybe the insurance industry ought to come in for some criticism?

Griffith outlined his vision for health care reform as having no government insurance, shutting down the borders to curb illegal immigrants so that emergency rooms wouldn't have a continuous flow of non-paying customers, increasing medical school slots for qualified students and tort reform to allay doctors' fears of lawsuits and thereby reduce the number of unnecessary tests and procedures.

...

When some of the testier speakers accused him of partisanship, the congressman said there was plenty of blame to go around, reminding them that Republican President George W. Bush was responsible for the multibillion-dollar Wall Street bailout.

"The left-wing crazies are as crazy as the right-wing crazies," he said. "America works best in the middle of the road."

I always heard "the only thing in the middle of the road is a white line and a dead armadillo." It's a no place for a Congressman.  

Political parties are teams, not unlike sports teams. Nothing is served by trash talking your teammates in public. Quite the opposite, in fact. The common (economic) interest of Alabama's 5th district has a lot to lose if Parker Griffith turns himself into the team outcast. The Republicans damned sure aren't in any position to help him -- and wouldn't lift a finger even if they were.

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2nd Word of the Week :) (4.00 / 1)
Fifth Column:
A fifth column is a group of people who clandestinely undermine a larger group, such as a nation [or, in this case, the Democratic Party], from within, to the aid of an external enemy.

In Europe German minority organisations in Poland and Czechoslovakia formed the Selbstschutz, which actively helped the Third Reich in conquering those nations. After 1945, this was cited as justification for the wholesale expulsion of ethnic Germans from Czechoslovakia, Poland and the Soviet Union, as well as the return to these countries of territories which had been annexed by Germany.

dare we hope?  :))

A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on. -Churchill


Where did you go to school? (4.00 / 1)
Excellent connection between the past and present! Your history classes were either far better than mine or your self teaching skills are impressive.

Work harder and work smarter!

[ Parent ]
well (4.00 / 3)
I was fortunate enough to attend public school in Fairfax County, VA (which has truly eye-popping property taxes).
I was always a Humanities type, and took full advantage of the fact that, in our *public school, I was able to choose from French, Latin, Greek, Russian, German, or Spanish.
I managed Latin, French and Greek.

I attended George Mason University in Fairfax for a time, but transferred to conservatory in Philadelphia in order to pursue music full time, which became my profession. (not sure I would do that again - it doesn't pay d**k) :)

But mostly, I had my Dad and Mom.

My Dad graduated from Georgetown University, where he majored in Foreign Affairs. He was a Green Beret (via 82nd Airborne Ft. Bragg), trained in Military Intel, and we used to have a great time at the dinner table, where he would make me argue for-and-against things like Communism. Those Jesuits train them well. I was never allowed the luxury of glittering generalities  And I learned a lot of History from him.

My Mother was typical of her generation - mostly trained to be Wife. But she was a great reader, and a pretty good writer, and also worked for a time as an Editorial Assistant on a now-defunct Washington newspaper. She also forbid TV in the house, so we didn't have one until I was well into my mid-teens.  As a consequence, I read a lot. Really a lot.

My Grandad was Phi Beta Kappa in Chemistry from the University of Chicago. He was also Army, and attained a fairly high rank which I forget. He worked in Bio Weapons at Ft. Dietrich in MD. He's also the inventor of that nerve gas that killed all those sheep back in Provo, UT way back when, when an unlucky (?) windshift blew it that way....oh the stories...

Farther back, we actually have an Admiral - Thomas Kincheloe Stribling. That's my other Grandad's family. We have (had - decommissioned now) two US Navy ships, and a road (I think) at the Naval Academy in Annapolis named after us. Adm. Stribling was called out of retirement by none other than Abraham Lincoln to help with the blockade of Mobile during the Civil War...lol (And I'm still firing broadsides at Sessions of Mobile....just occurred to me) some things never change, I guess :P

As I shared once before, if you go even FARTHER back, we are descended from one of the original signers of the Declaration of Independence. His name is directly above John Hancock's. They were Carrolls, and I believe, while they started out in Massachusetts, they wound up owning a lot of what is now Georgia via land grants. I'm a bit foggy on this, as they are only trotted out every 20 years or so at family reunions which I generally don't attend.

Dolly Madison and Patrick Henry are both in branches of our family tree. (Dolly was on my grandmother's side).

SO if you've made it to the end of this shameless bit of bragging, I apologize for the self indulgence, but also want to make a point to people like Bamaguy.

Don't be effin' telling ME what is or isn't Antiamerican, you SOB. I'll say what I want. We always have :)

A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on. -Churchill


[ Parent ]
All Right! (4.00 / 2)
We got the obligatory "Who I am" page done.

Just pick an office and put the fear of God in the lily-livered con-men who dare to call themselves Democrats. All you need is the filing fee, and as long as you don't officially associate yourself with any of us at this point, you should be able to pass all background checks.

If you need help with the filing fees (in case your a "frugal liberal", not to be confused with "fiscal conservative"), we can tap the Over the Hill Democrats, they don't have any candidates, either.

State-wide office would broaden your base.

The last sentence of your bio should be saved for debates, town halls, and U-Tube. Shouted out loud! With rage and feeling!

Also, you could go ahead and bring Redeye aboard. We all need a little "anti-Cheney" whispering in our ear.  


[ Parent ]
I have other plans for Redeye (4.00 / 2)
was trying to think what to call it and forgot to put it in...

Redeye will head up the Too White is Not Right Committee, which is in charge of overseeing school districting, tax shelters, and also property taxes. She will also head up the Gambling Study....lol

Everybody wanting Casinos should start bribing ......NOW!

A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on. -Churchill


[ Parent ]
No bribing necessary (4.00 / 2)
Or needed. :)  I would be honored to head up the Too White is Not Right Committee and school districting, but you need to find someone else for the tax shelters and property taxes (mooncat, countrycat?).  No need to waste tax dollars doing a gambling study either.  If you are against gambling don't gamble.  Study done.

The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die.~Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D. MA)



[ Parent ]
now THAT (4.00 / 2)
is efficiency. I'm feelin' vindicated! lol

A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on. -Churchill

[ Parent ]
Get Loud and Proud! (0.00 / 0)
I always knew you were special...

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
- John Adams


[ Parent ]
Is this as good as it gets? (4.00 / 2)
Griffith and Bright, Sparks and Davis?

Why can't Julie run for something?  


AMEN, Yellowdog! n/t (4.00 / 1)


"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."  - John Kenneth Galbraith




[ Parent ]
I'll only run if (4.00 / 2)
you are all in the cabinet!

and definitely Dardango has to be the Media person.

YD has to be Press Secretary - he gets to the point as fast as anyone I've seen.

OP and BenGoshi can be the Legal Eagles, HOC can head up Defense, BlueBear can be Education, and Piggie can be homeland security.

Country Cat definitely gets the nod for Agriculture, and Mooncat....well

Mooncat sort of has to be in charge of everything.

Actually, I think Mooncat oughta run, and I'll be PR :) I have a small gift for propaganda....lol

A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on. -Churchill


[ Parent ]
"a white line and a dead armadillo" (4.00 / 2)
OMG, mooncat, I'm cracking up!

Only after the last tree has been cut down. Only after the last fish has been caught. Only after the last river has been poisoned. Only then will you realize that money cannot be eaten. Cree Nation Tribal Prophecy

Although maybe a yellow line is more appropriate. (4.00 / 1)


Only after the last tree has been cut down. Only after the last fish has been caught. Only after the last river has been poisoned. Only then will you realize that money cannot be eaten. Cree Nation Tribal Prophecy

[ Parent ]
There is no way Parker Griffith is in the middle of the road. (4.00 / 1)
He is as right wing as you can get and only uninformed deomocrats would believe he is middle of the road.

[ Parent ]
but there is a yellow line down his back -he must be in the middle (4.00 / 1)


Only after the last tree has been cut down. Only after the last fish has been caught. Only after the last river has been poisoned. Only then will you realize that money cannot be eaten. Cree Nation Tribal Prophecy

[ Parent ]
a yellow streak a mile wide! (4.00 / 1)


[ Parent ]
Well said, mooncat (4.00 / 3)
My expectations for Congressman Parker Griffith (D, AL-05) were low to begin with, but 8 months into the job he's under-performing in a big way.
As I've often said lately to my fellow Democrats, 'and to think I campaigned for him, walking door to door, plastering his stickers on my car. I feel dirty and used.'

Racism, False Equivalency, and Self-serving nonsense (4.00 / 2)

"shutting down the borders to curb illegal immigrants so that emergency rooms wouldn't have a continuous flow of non-paying customers"

Sigh. I suppose we should be used to this by now from Alabama Democrats. Griffith is channeling George Wallace.

"The left-wing crazies are as crazy as the right-wing crazies," he said. "America works best in the middle of the road."

Double sigh for the false equivalency. The "left-wing crazies" aren't showing up at town hall with assault rifles and nutty signs about health care reform eating your grandmother.

Personally, I think Griffith has enough ego for Waxman and Pelosi put together.



Website || Twitter

the bad thing is like (4.00 / 2)
What someone said earlier in this thread.... we have a whole damn lot to lose here in North Alabama. We have Already lost 2 major manufacturing plants recently with the loss of Dunlop & Delphi.... not to mention Wolverine, Champion, and Chrysler doing the sell out reshuffle type deals where they sell off to another company and the wages go down 50%.

Also our great legislator's let the cookie crumble on the nissan plant (a looong time ago) and more recently the Volkswagon plant. They could care less about their constituents.

if you want to see the list of contributers to the "good doctor" go here....

http://www.opensecrets.org/pol...

i could use some help further investigating his contributions, but the 50K from lawyers and health care industries stands out like a sore thumb.  

btw i know i can not spell worth a shit so please lay off the spelling wise cracks, because my thing is physics and history.. i work at a nuclear plant in operations so i know i have a brain somewhere, but it is better used protecting ya'll from radiation than spelling :P


[ Parent ]
No problem, AB, Redeye and I are the designated targets of the spelling jokes. (4.00 / 1)
We appreciate what you do (the only radiation I like is sunshine), and especially your decision to join us here in our sandbox.  You are insightful in your comments and I look forward to your diaries.

Only after the last tree has been cut down. Only after the last fish has been caught. Only after the last river has been poisoned. Only then will you realize that money cannot be eaten. Cree Nation Tribal Prophecy

[ Parent ]
What that you say AB? (4.00 / 1)
You don't want to be a proud member of the "can't spell worth a sh!t but that's OK" club?  Piggieheart is the President and I'm the Secretary.  Countrycat was recently inducted (we're still trying to find an office) and you would be more than welcome,not to mention in the best of company.  

The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die.~Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D. MA)



[ Parent ]
Some questions (4.00 / 3)
Some questions I have for Congresman Griffith based on his comments regarding health care (and some other things):

1)  Is the exponential rise of health care cost an issue to the Congressman?  One of the major concerns I have is that we must do something that not only addresses coverage, but reduces costs that form a fiscal health issue.  If Griffith claims to be a fiscal conservative, this is an important issue for the long term budget in the country.  (And no, tort reform, the only answer he seems to suggest, is not the answer).

This also hits the issue of making health care more affordable for individuals.  I vividly remember one of Griffith's first ads in the campaign, where he discussed health care.  He brought up the issue of politicians talking about making health care more affordable.  He then stated "Doctors are about results.  Actions, not Words.  That is why [Griffith is] running for Congress."  Where are you on bringing about that action, Cogressman???

2)  Do you have any critique of the way health care is delivered in this country?  Is there a better way to shape the system?

3)  Bringing up the threats about not voting for Pelosi for speaker brings up the example of Jim Traficant.  Does Griffith remember that story?  Traficant, a Democrat from Ohio, voted for Hastert for Speaker in 2001.  House Democrats did not take to kindly to this, stripping him of all committee and leadership assignments.  The GOP did not greet him with open arms either, and he was not on any committee.  There was one Mississippi Congressman who voted for another Democrat when the Democrats were in the minority, but voted for Pelosi once the party gained the majority, not losing any seniority.  Does Griffith expect that he can do this and maintain any sort of influence, especially in a district that looks heavily to DC?


This Pelosi bashing and Democratic party bashing only makes sense (4.00 / 3)
if he is thinking of switching parties.

[ Parent ]
I'm still trying to figure out (4.00 / 2)
what happened to the Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from the Birmingham Jail reading, Howard Dean supporting,  Parker Griffith that ran for mayor of Huntsville 4 years ago?  

Huntsville whispers regarding Parker Griffith.  There are two camps emerging within the African American community regarding PG. One camp is going to support Lester Phillip (or is it Phillip Lester?) because they say they might as well have an African American Congressman kicking them in donkey since they are getting their donkey's kicked either way.  The other camp is going to hold their nose and vote for PG because the alterntive (Mo Brooks) is worse.

*Sigh*

The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die.~Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D. MA)



[ Parent ]
That assumes he's still a Democrat next election (4.00 / 1)
Any idea who would get the nod if the choice was Parker Griffith (R) vs. a more definite Democrat like Susan Parker or Randy Hinshaw or even a more conservative Dem. like Lowell Barron or Tom Butler?

Work harder and work smarter!

[ Parent ]
Who is Walter Jones? (4.00 / 2)
BTW, I was polled by the Alabama Federation of Farmers or is it the Alabama Farm Federation?  Anyhoo, the first question was do I approve of President Obama (yes). Next question was would I vote to re-elect Phil Williams (HELL NO), then asked If I would vote for Tom Butler or the republican candidate (Butler of course).  The others were about ballot initiatives concerning condos (undecided), insurance (undecided) and paying a one time $100 dollar fee to pay for natural disaster relief(yes).

The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die.~Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D. MA)



[ Parent ]
My dad is supposed to have a meeting with PG (0.00 / 0)
Sometime this coming week so i put a few little questions for him to ask PG. Dad swears PG is a hardcore Yellow dog, but even my dad who is about as yellow dog as they come can not stand pelosi, and neither can I. She is arrogant and borderline idiotic, but if i were the 5th's JUNIOR congressman i would vote for whomever the party leadership told me to vote for.

Anyone know why Pelosi got speaker anyway?  Did we not have anyone better? I mean hell surely she is not the best we have to offer.


[ Parent ]
Too bad you don't like Pelosi. (4.00 / 1)
She is a smart brave woman and as a Democrat you are missing a great opportunity to feel proud of someone who will be known as a great American hero. I'm totally open to hear your specific examples about why she is so horrible. My guess is that your negative reaction is not logical, but sociological.  

[ Parent ]
Parker is a yellow dog and Pelosi is borderline idiotic? (0.00 / 0)
It must be Opposite Day.

[ Parent ]
Whoa there AB (0.00 / 0)
What's up with the Pelosi hate?  Be specific.

The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die.~Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D. MA)



[ Parent ]
it is more of a personal thing, and no not the fact (0.00 / 0)
It is NOT because she is a woman, rather she is a bit too fake for my liking. Yes i am really happy she is speaker, but like i said i would have rather had someone else.

It is kind of like why i don't like Joan Rivers, the excessive plastic surgery whether on a man or a woman makes me distrust them....

Hell i don't trust or like Kenney Rogers either have you seen him lately?  

What it boils down to is too much emphasis on appearance and to me that is shallow and borderline idiotic.  So yeah im hatin' on anyone with a lot of plastic surgery. Oh and no i didn't like MJ as a person but his music was cool LOL

All my life i have been an excellent judge of character and i have grown to trust that intuition, and just like i thought Bush was a mistake for a President i feel like Pelosi will turn out to be a mistake for a speaker..... I do hope i am wrong, but we see how Bush turned out.

Oh and do not be so quick to hop on the southern men don't like women bus because everyone is entitled to their opinion.... which are like a--holes, everyone has one and most of them stink.....


[ Parent ]
Pelosi is not like Bush AB (0.00 / 0)
I hear you about the stinking A--holes.

The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die.~Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D. MA)



[ Parent ]
Well, I think Nancy Pelosi has been a pretty good Speaker (0.00 / 0)
Not perfect from a progressive's viewpoint, but better than average. Under her leadership House Democrats have their act far more together than Senate Dems, for sure.

But I'm glad you brought this up. Pelosi seems to be a lightning rod for a lot of Southerners. As you say, some of them are even yellow dog Democrats. It isn't a point of view we hear at this blog very often and I hope you'll try to give us some insight on why her negatives are so high here.

Is it her demeanor/attitude? Policies? How she looks or talks? I honestly don't understand it and I'd like to, because this could shed light on why Democrats have problems with Southern voters in general.

Please help us understand why so many people (including Griffith) like to bash Nancy Pelosi?

Work harder and work smarter!


[ Parent ]
Top Ten Reasons Southerners Bash Nancy Pelosi (4.00 / 1)
1.  She's a woman.

2.  She's a liberal woman.

3.  She's a liberal democractic woman.

4.  She's a liberal, democractic woman from San Francisco aka the home of them there gay folks.

5.  She's a powerful, liberal, democratic woman from San Francisco aka the home of them there gay folks.

6.  She's a woman.

7.  She's a liberal woman.

8.  She's a liberal democratic woman.

9.  She's a powerful liberal, democratic woman from San Fransico aka the home of them there gay folks.

10.  Did I say she was a woman?

The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die.~Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D. MA)



[ Parent ]
Poetry is truth (0.00 / 0)
and that is a great poem Redeye.

[ Parent ]
Pelosi is not a good national politician... (0.00 / 0)
She is not a very strong public speaker (compared to leaders in the past like Tip O'Neil) and her personality can be grating.  And it must be said that she lost control on the stimulus bill, allowing way, way, way too much useless pork (and I believe that some pork is indeed useful), especially from GOPers who were never going to vote for the bill.  She has also lost control of this healthcare bill but then again so has the President.

That said, she has done an OK job of whipping up votes from conservative dems on some issues, but not all.  Speaker of the House, like Senate Majority Leader, has become a position for the person who knows where the most bodies are buried, not the most charismatic or the best leader.  There are several house members I would take over Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House.  And there are about 59 Democratic Senators I would take over Harry Reid as Senate Majority Leader.


[ Parent ]
I have never been a fan of Pelosi, the person. (4.00 / 1)
I believe that her personal (financial) ethics are open to question,  However, she is a shrewd, (not idiotic), dedicated liberal and is currently showing more "testicular fortitude" than those endowed by their creator with a pair.

Only after the last tree has been cut down. Only after the last fish has been caught. Only after the last river has been poisoned. Only then will you realize that money cannot be eaten. Cree Nation Tribal Prophecy

i agree with you on that point she has balls (0.00 / 0)
a US version of Margret Thatcher maybe.... minus the crazy right wing views...

[ Parent ]

 

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