Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Congressman Geoff Davis

This fellow is the U.S. congressman for my district in Kentucky.  He's not anyone you've ever heard of, of course, but most congress people are not prominent enough to get national media attention, unless they commit a crime.

From everything I know about him, he's a pretty strong conservative, and if you know anything about me, you'll know I'm a lifelong Democrat.  Be that as it may, I get his weekly email newsletter to keep up with what he's doing in office.

The thing that strikes me every week about this newsletter is that it is unashamedly partisan.  The newsletter is sent out under the guise of "informing" constituents about what's going on in Washington, but the entire thing is just a set of Republican talking points and criticisms of the Obama administration.  Now this, by itself, isn't so surprising.  I'm sure Democratic congressmen have similar newsletters, probably just as unashamedly biased.

What really bugs me, though, is that every couple of weeks, he will include a link to a "survey" that he has "put together" to "find out what his constituents think" about a given topic.  These surveys always make for a good laugh.  Take this week's survey for instance.  The first question is this: "How have you been affected by rising gas prices?"  It then lists several answers, and you can click as many as are applicable to you.  Okay, fair enough.

The second question is this: What do you think of the Obama Administration's energy policy?

Here, there are only two answers possible, and you have to choose one or the other (there are also "unsure" and "other," but I'm not counting those).

The first answer is this: I agree with the current policy.  Increasing regulation and taxes on energy companies will protect the environment and fight global warming, which is necessary even if it raises gas prices.

The second answer is this: America needs a new energy policy that will encourage more domestic production of energy to lower the cost of fuel and create more American jobs.

Hmmmmmm.  Which answer do you think is going to get the vast majority of votes?  It's a tough one, I know, but it's answer number two.  Who, after all, is going to say they want "regulation" and "higher taxes" and will gladly suffer through "higher gas prices"?  With the obligatory reference to to the divisive issue of global warming, the entire answer is worded in such a way as to ensure that no self-respecting Republican, and very few Democrats, are going to choose it.

The second answer, on the other hand, is spun out to sound totally reasonable, with its reference to "America" and "new energy policy" and "domestic" and "lower fuel costs" and "American jobs."

In other words, Obama is all about taxes and regulation and evil global warming and high gas, while the valiant Republicans are all about America and domestic prosperity and low fuel costs and more jobs.

Why does ANYONE take this shit seriously?   I didn't even respond to the survey because it was such an obvious sham.  Geoff Davis does not have one iota of interest in what his "constituents" actually think.

But that's how this game works.  Will it surprise anyone when Geoff Davis gets up on the floor of the House, or gets on an  interview with a reporter, and says that his constituents have "told him" that they want "a new energy policy" and that they disagree with Obama's policy?   And he can just conveniently point to his little survey to "prove" that.

What a sham.  And what a sham for a politician Geoff Davis is.


Trent N. said...

"Push Polling" is a technique that is used by every single member of congress regardless of party. As a Democrat, you are obviously attempting to paint Geoff Davis in some sort of negative or even sinister light. However, the title of your essay could have just as easily been titled "Congressman John Yarmuth' or "Congressman Ben Chandler" or "Congressman Barney Frank" and it would have been equally as accurate.

I am a former Republican turned libertarian who is completely disillusioned with both parties. I don't know anything about Geoff Davis and I am certainly not defending him. But rest assured that he is no different than his Democratic colleagues.

Anonymous said...

But rest assured that he is no different than his Democratic colleagues.

Actually, there are enormous differences between the parties, collectively and individually and philosophically and intellectually. The "Both Sides Do It" argument is lazy at best and libelous at worst. It's the equivalent of throwing up one's hands and saying, "Well, I can't figure it out!" You can figure it out, and you owe it to yourself and your fellow citizens to do so.

Trent N. said...

Anonymous - when I say "he is no different than his Democrat colleagues", I'm speaking specifically about "Push Polling" (not abortion or school vouchers or invading Iraq).

You either misunderstood my post or didn't read it very well.

I agree, there are "enormous" differences between parties, philosophically and intellectually, such as the moral compulsion to shut down Guantanamo. Oh wait.....

Trent N.

Scott said...

Awesome!! My first blog fight!!! :)

Trent, thanks for the information about Push Polling. I didn't know what it was called, but I figured that Geoff Davis wasn't the only one who did it. What a complete crock. I read a bit about it online. Sheesh. It's no wonder 52% of people polled this week say they want another party in this country. Not that a new 3rd party would likely be any different.

I do, however, agree with Anon's basic argument - that too many people just throw both parties out the window as though they are 100% the same. They may both use the same political tactics - and those political tactics are frequently detestable - but as for philosophies and ideologies, there certainly is a difference, and it's because I think the Democrats are closer to the right thing that I identify with that party.

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