January 23, 2010

Rhode Island's Poor National Representation

Justin Katz

Could there be anything more indicative of poor representation than Rep. Patrick Kennedy's dogged insistence that he's going to shoot for the healthcare stars, no matter what the people say?

Kennedy flatly endorsed a strategy for passage of the pending health-care overhaul that many fellow Democrats are wary of pursuing: a swift vote in the House to accept the Senate version of the bill verbatim.

"We can come back and fix those problems," Kennedy argued, perhaps by using arcane budget-writing rules that might let Democrats win controversial votes by a simple majority in the 100-member Senate. As it stands, Brown represents the 41st Republican vote that could permit them to block the health-care initiative. Kennedy said the alternative to immediate action may be the loss of a "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunity to advance national health-care legislation.

Kennedy's post-mortem on the Massachusetts result appeared to jibe with Democratic sentiment expressed Tuesday by White House senior advisor David Axelrod for a preemptive populist campaign that would brand Republicans as handmaidens of a special-interest status quo represented by Wall Street and the insurance industry.

The clear message of the right-of-center populist trends, of the past year, from the Tea Parties to Scott Brown's proclamation of "the independent majority, is that Americans understand that both parties are indebted to special interests (although there's increasing appreciation of the fact that the interests don't line up perfectly with the parties as if they were opposing teams). In the current policy disputes, we just prefer the policies associated with interests, such as Wall Street, that Kennedy despises. That could change, of course, were Republicans to pursue real healthcare reform to that limited the importance of large insurance carriers; in such a case, the independent majority would likely part ways from the insurance lobby.

One can only hope that the upcoming elections prove that Rhode Islanders are tiring of the simplistic analysis that our current delegation insists on serving up. Many of us are also fed up with dead-end promises such as this, from Langevin:

Langevin also said that it's essential that Democrats indicate their solidarity with angry voters by heeding their message from Massachusetts. He said he wants to signal to his Rhode Island constituents "that I'm listening and I hear them."

All I can picture is Rep. Langevin's town hall meeting in Warwick, this summer. Among his peers, his performance was certainly the least scripted, and for that, he gets courage points, but little evidence emerged, subsequently, that Mr. Langevin's listening and hearing had any effect on his doing.

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Langevin is the only one that isn't a scumbag,but Mark Zaccaria has better ideas for representing RI.
The rest of them could be ground up for fertilizer for all I care.

Posted by: joe bernstein at January 23, 2010 3:03 PM

Bernstein can not post a comment without
Calling Jack Reed, Sheldon Whitehouse and Patrick Kennedy SCUMBAGS does NOTHING to promote the Republican party

Posted by: jeff at January 23, 2010 6:53 PM

Why are you berating Joe for telling the truth!

Posted by: Biagio at January 23, 2010 7:38 PM

... er, Jeff, you're barking up the wrong tree. Joe B could care less about promoting the Republican Party.

It's certainly nice that Congressman Langevin is listening rather than name-calling, as Senator Whitehouse has been doing.

But it kind of needs to go beyond listening. For a legislator to say, "I understand the concerns of my constituents" and then not act on them in his official capacity misses the point entirely.

Posted by: Monique at January 23, 2010 7:47 PM

Jeff-what ever made you think I was a Republican?George Bush is another scumbag.
I cannot believe you want to be represented by an(a)money grubbing crook(b)arrogant empty suit fop(c)alcoholic drug addicted nitwit.
There-no name calling.Whew!!
Jeff-relax and please stop defending people unworthy of your fervor.

Posted by: joe bernstein at January 23, 2010 9:39 PM

The more I think about,it the more accurate my description of Sen."Gried" seems.He sits on a committee that oversees the banking industry(no problems there,right?)and takes $3.5 million dollars for his "campaign".Seeing as how he ran virtually unopposed,that must've been essential to retain his seat,right?
Schumer,Dodd,and Bunning,a conservative on the same committee took even more from the same industry.
If I had taken money from alien smugglers on my job I'd still be in Leavenworth.Same thing as I see it.
Whitehouse and Kennedy are probably bribe proof-they've never had to think about money in their pampered lives,so in that one respect I can't say they're dishonest-but both are seriously addled.
And I'm not supposed to call a spade a spade?If the shoe fits,wear it.

Posted by: joe bernstein at January 24, 2010 5:20 AM
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