We’re getting more and more suspicious that Marsha Blackburn qualifies as our first Stepford Congresswoman.
These days, she sounds like a mindlessly robotic candidate programmed to spew more wedge issues per second than Karl Rove.
She can rattle off a litany about the enemies of her district – people supporting a woman’s right to choose, people who care about the environment, people who drive hybrid cars and people who think it’s more important for their children to pray at home than school.
Lost In Space
Lost in the diatribes is any mention of what she has accomplished in her terms in Congress, particularly any legislation that she has introduced that helped improve the lives of 7th District voters. More to the point, she’s been a rubber stamp for the Bush Administration, reliably casting votes that have created the largest budget deficit in the history of the U.S.
We’ve heard so much about “liberal elitists” from Mrs. Blackburn that it’s almost possible to forget that her opponent in the primary is the reliably Republican and conservative Tom Leatherwood, Shelby County register.
If she was a football coach, the only play she would call is a misdirection. The more Mr. Leatherwood suggests that the campaign should be about the real issues of daily life in the 7th District, the more she talks about anything but that.
Stuck In Time
Her latest foray into the land of unrepentant pandering is her blast about “latte-sipping earth-first-istas,” and just in case you thought she had fully mined her dictionary of political clichés, she added a threadbare canard about environmentalists’ obsession with “the ridge-crested woodchuck.”
Contrast those dreaded environmentalists with her constituents, who are too busy for such frivolous conversations because they are piling “their kids into the mini-van and head(ing) for church, summer camp, swimming lessons and baseball practice.” Apparently, she believes that everyone in her district has small children, which comes as a shock to the empty nester here from the 7th District.
Seemingly, in the alternate universe of Marsha Blackburn, environmentalists are atheistic, bike-riding, child-abusing people with an addiction to a kind of coffee that sounds suspiciously French.
Vive La Difference
In the same commentary, she said that “my constituents and I live a very different lifestyle.” That is undoubtedly true, but not in the way she meant it. Clearly, she does indeed live a different lifestyle. After all, there’s not many of her constituents who can invite over their daughter and son-in-law who have made more than $1.3 million in four years as a result of their professional influence.
Her son-in-law racked up about $1 million to lobby the federal government, and his client list included companies located in his mother-in-law’s district (you would assume these companies could call on their congress member’s help without a lobbyist) and companies who had business with his mother-in-law’s committee. Meanwhile, Mrs. Blackburn’s daughter has been paid more than $325,000 to help her mother’s campaigns.
We get cold comfort from Mrs. Blackburn’s pledge that she and her son-in-law never discuss his clients. Mr. Leatherwood’s words ring true when he says that they don’t have to discuss his clients, because she knows who they are.
Drilling For Answers
Meanwhile, Mr. Leatherwood labors to get the race for 7th District Congressman focused on anything that matters. For us, these would include gas prices that have more than doubled while Mrs. Blackburn has been on the House Energy & Commerce Committee, salaries of the middle class that are declining and her blind support for a war whose pricetag will be more than $1 trillion while she voted against programs to help average Americans because she said they cost too much.
In light of the admission by the Bush Administration that it leaves office with the largest deficit in the history of the republic, she might want to reconsider the words on her website which brag about her “helping shape American fiscal policy.”
In keeping with her scorched earth political style, she attacks Mr. Leatherwood for being uppity enough to run against her, and in her tours of the 7th District, she tends to say he’s from Memphis as if the word almost chokes her. Actually, he lives in Arlington.
Memphis As Whipping Boy
She blames Mr. Leatherwood’s entry into the race on the courthouse crowd in that dreaded Memphis, but it’s pretty hard to understand who that crowd would be since Democrats have taken charge of Shelby County Government and surely not even Mrs. Blackburn would accuse Mr. Leatherwood of being a pawn of those political interests.
All in all, it’s easy to understand why, during her years as a Tennessee Senator, her colleagues and her party’s leaders frequently granted themselves exemptions to the Republican Party’s 11th Commandment when it came to her.