Monday, November 30, 2015

Too Big to Fail, Boozman Letter Strikes the Wrong Chord

U.S. Senator John Boozman is running for re-election. Before he faces Democrat Conner Eldridge and Libertarian Frank Gilbert in the General Election he faces Curtis Coleman in the Republican Primary. Boozman's campaign team appears to have mastered the art of misleading people away from his actual record while stopping just short of saying something untrue. If you want to know how the pros mislead voters, you should read the letter his campaign sent out on November 17th. If I were not aware of his actual voting record I too would have been fooled.

I begin with less objectionable minor distortions of the facts. The letter starts off by saying that he has always stood by the people of Arkansas "by fighting against failed programs like Obamacare and the kind of tax-and-spend schemes that are robbing future generations of Americans."  It is true that Boozman voted against Obamacare, but I don't consider voting against it the same as fighting against it. He was extremely quiet during the fight over Obamacare. By the time a bill gets to the floor the fight over it is often over. I can't ever remember Boozman "fighting" against Obamacare, but he did vote against it after the fight was over. That's something I guess. On the most important issue of the decade he gave the bare minimum people could expect given the base's feelings on Obamacare.

I also object to the second part of his statement. What does it even mean to oppose "tax and spend schemes" that "rob future generations"? "Tax and spend" burdens the present generation, which at least pays for the government it wants with taxes. What Boozman does not seem to mind, what he has voted for repeatedly, is borrow-and-spend schemes. Those schemes really do rob future generations- IOW my children. What Boozman has supported is even less moral than taxing and spending. He is a borrow-and-spend Republican.

Then he explains why he voted against the latest deal to bust budget caps and increase the debt "limit." If you did not know his record, you would think he was a fiscal conservative who was opposed to more debt, but again that is not his actual record. In a way he admits this because he says he voted against the budget-busting deal on procedural grounds. It is easy to miss that and just think he is opposed to more debt in principle. He isn't, he just did not like the manner of this particular increase in debt. The wording of the letter carefully threads the needle to give the causal reader the idea that John Boozman is opposed to more debt. So it gives the wrong impression without telling an outright falsehood.

The letter further states "The political class in Washington, D.C. must get away from the mindset that big government is "too big to fail.""

Please. Boozman himself is surely a part of the political class in Washington D.C. as he has already been there for fourteen years and wants to be elected to a term which would have him there for twenty years. It is insulting to me that he is trying to run against Washington. He is Washington, and he hasn't complained about it until election time. Not only that, but the statement hints that Boozman is against a "too big to fail" mentality when the truth is Boozman was and is an unapologetic supporter of the bail outs for the giant banks. Much of the bailout money went to foreign banks!

Even if its not a lie per se, I consider it outrageously deceptive for Boozman to pose as someone who is against a "too big to fail" mentality. Even if he does not support that mentality for government, he supported it for the banks which seem to own our government.

The whole thing reminds me of Bill Clinton claiming he did not have "sexual relations" with "that woman" and later claiming he was telling the truth because "sexual relations" meant something very specific. I don't know why I expect any better than Clintonizing from Republican candidates, but it grates on me when I get communications like this. Do any of you feel the same way?


Blogger Wilson Kanaday said...

Great post Mark. Boozman is really a perfect example of how Washington works. He appears to be right leaning - I would have said he was a legitimate Conservative three months ago - but then you look at how he weaves his votes through rhetoric and legislative procedure. He is actually going completely against the people who elected him.

It's really going to take grassroots efforts like this blog and our personal relationships to start shining the light on how Congressmen like Boozman are really big spending crony capitalists. But the GOP message has been so strong that it is difficult to believe that Senators like Boozman, and he isn't close to the worst of them (see Corker and Alexander out of TN), are willfully going against the principle they purport to get elected.

Keep up the great work.

7:46 AM, December 01, 2015  
Blogger Doc Washburn said...

You made the case better than I could, Mark. I'll be reading it on my show today. Great job! Boozman's team must have learned how to parse from Bill Clinton.

10:35 AM, December 01, 2015  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Thank you for the encouraging words gentlemen.

12:28 PM, December 01, 2015  

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