When President Obama was just candidate Obama and tossing promises to us like Mardi Gras beads to shirtless women he made a few that we all liked. The two things even we of the far right wing nut job persuasion hoped might be true were that he was going to change the way things were done in Washington and there was going to be a new transparency in government. Even though I am at times jaded and a bit cynical I have never given up hoping. I wasn’t holding my breath but if President held up his word I was willing to give him credit.
The poster boy for these two broken promises is Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown. If you’ve never heard of Senator Brown he is probably most famous for being mistaken for an African-American by Rush Limbaugh because of his name. He is actually a child of privilege who was raised in Northeastern Ohio. Senator Brown has never had a “real” job. After graduating from Yale Senator Brown entered politics taking a short break to go back to college for an advanced degree. Despite the fact Senator Brown has never worked in the private sector much less gotten his hands dirty with physical labor he like to see himself as a common man. What rich, well connected politician doesn’t? The Senator has been in Washington so long he has come to think he is employed by the Democrat Party and not the people of Ohio.
Senator Brown was one of the brave legislators who when he saw how the whole open town meeting thing was going last summer staged a number of “community roundtables” in heavily Democratic areas. Senator Brown claims to have visited voters in every Ohio County but has dodged my country and my invitations to appear at a true open town meeting. His propaganda events were heavily attended by stooges from the SEIU and other Brown operatives. Public input was heavily limited and also staged as I have documented in the past. These union “workers” would have been easy for Senator Brown to turn out as his daughter is employed by the SEIU. His other daughter works for the Ohio House Democratic Caucus. If one were a cynic they might wonder how hard those two had to work to get those jobs
His biggest achievement in his three years in the Senate was that he had compiled a voting record that is 97% along party lines. Recently, Senator Brown did a bit of grandstanding and included his name on a Republican amendment that would demand all congress members join the public option in healthcare. An amendment he knew would not make the bill but gives him cover at home. Again a cynical person might wonder if he had to get permission from his boss Harry Reid to make this move. If the Senator wants to show he is serious he should write his own amendment, get a few other committed Democrats to join him and refuse to vote for any healthcare legislation that does not contain his amendment. Rep. Bart Stupak, a Michigan has already shown this kind of courage but I am guessing Senator Brown doesn’t have that much spine.
To see how much of a lap dog to the party Senator Brown has become one only need look at his voting on the meaningful amendments to the Senate healthcare legislation. On the three amendments to stop stripping a total of $560 billion from Medicare, Senator Brown said no, no, no!
If Senator Brown believes in transparency and bipartisanship why he has not spoken against the closed door meeting that excluded conservative voices in drafting this legislation? Why has he not demanded the President uphold his campaign to put the crafting of this legislation on C-Span? If he is a man of the people why has didn’t he support the amendment limiting the payout to tort lawyers in medical malpractice lawsuits? I have an idea how we can help Senator Brown achieve his desire to become a man of the people of Ohio, help him join them in the unemployment line in 2012.