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‘Up’ With Chris Hayes, ‘Down’ With Congresswoman Adams (FL-24)

A perfect Sunday morning begins with a steaming bowl of café au lait while watching ‘Up with Chris Hayes’. The show’s title is not in the least misleading. Regardless of the issues, its very talented host leaves you feeling more informed, more inspired, more enthusiastic, and yes, more ‘UP’.

But Sunday is also the day when ‘Down With Sandy Adams’ arrives in my mailbox. This e-newsletter, officially called ‘The Central Florida Update’, is based on a GOP gloom and doom template where the first sentence must begin with “great disappointment with President Obama”. Here are three examples from the month of January 2012.

I was greatly disappointed with President Obama’s speech on Tuesday night. — January 29th, 2012

I am greatly disappointed by President Obama’s decision
to once again put his political priorities before the best interests of the American people and our nation’s struggling economy. — January 22nd, 2012

I am deeply disappointed with President Obama’s decision to blatantly circumvent Congress and ignore our Constitution… — January 8th, 2012

Sandy Adams does not stop with this ‘great disappointment’, but goes on to proclaim that

“This president has chosen to divide the country for political gain.”

And then, like a dutiful cheerleader, she chants the GOP’s favorite refrain, their hymn to divisiveness

‘President Obama has made a bad economy worse.’

As the saying goes, “If you throw enough dirt some of it is sure to stick”, and a Google search on ‘President Obama has made a bad economy worse’ produces 340,000,000 results (340 million).

That is a lot of dirt.

“With 14 million Americans out of work, my House colleagues and I have passed over 30 bipartisan jobs bills to create new jobs and get the economy moving again.” she writes. But according to Media Matters “these bills are mostly highly partisan attempts to slash regulations that protect, among other things, public health, consumer rights, workplace safety and the environment.”

And with the exception of the Keystone pipeline where job creation estimates vary greatly, our Congresswoman does not indicate how many jobs each of these 30 bills would create. Surely if there was any evidence of job creation here, the numbers would be included in the eNewsletter in big and bold type.

According to the Congressional Record, one of these bills, H.R. 3012 — Fairness For High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2011, has been put on hold by Republican Senator Chuck Grassley; another, H.R. 10 — Regulations In Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, is called a “radical departure from the longstanding separation of powers between the Executive and Legislative branches would delay and, in many cases, thwart implementation of statutory mandates(…)”

I am stunned by our Congresswoman’s misplaced audacity when she proclaims that a president who has not raised personal taxes nor corporate taxes, who has cut payroll taxes, who approved an individual mandate in the ACA (an individual mandate that was endorsed time and again by Newt Gingrich and even legislated by Mitt Romney in the State of Massachusetts), who has maintained free trade with our global trading partners – that this is a president determined to make the economy worse. Really!

And here’s another fact. December 2012 marked the 22nd consecutive month of private sector growth – a private sector that has added over 2.5 million jobs since it bottomed out in February 2010.

While I believe the American people deserve, and need, substance rather than spin from their elected officials, I would never shake my finger menacingly at our Congresswoman on an airport tarmac, nor even in one of her district Town Hall listening sessions, not because this kind of impudence is the privilege of those who are elected to office – governors like Jan Brewer and other ranking officials, but simply because Sandy Adams was elected democratically to represent District 24.

In 2010, she received 146,129 votes from the 487,862 registered voters in her district. You may remember that when Tom Feeny lost in 2008, he received 151,863 votes. Yes, Tom Feeny lost with considerably more votes than Sandy Adams needed to win the election in 2010.

Which is why I don’t believe that Sandy Adams has a mandate to gleefully participate in the desperate partisan and ideological wrangling that is the mainstay of this most unpopular Congress, a Congress that hardly manages to get double digit approval ratings.

Just 13 percent of Americans in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll approve of the way Congress is handling its job, while 84 percent disapprove – its worst rating in poll results since 1974. Sixty-five percent disapprove “strongly,” a vast level of high-intensity criticism.

This disapproval is surely fed by spin and lies repeated ad nauseum by some media and elected officials who have chosen to throw dirt “to divide the country for political” and monetary gain rather than engage in meaningful discourse.

So Sunday is a roller coaster ride: Up with Chris Hayes, Down with Sandy Adams, and up again with my evening media addiction, the BBC Downton Abby Series shown on PBS, where I am grateful to be reminded of a time and a place where rhetorical style and grace were not just respected by all but also expected. And I dare to believe they still are.


Cross-posted on www.bluetabletalk.com.

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Diana Robinson Bardyn

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