Former President Bill Clinton appeared in Stockton Wednesday night to rally support for Jerry McNerney, and First Lady Laura Bush will be visiting in Pleasanton this morning to try to generate enthusiasm for Richard Pombo and his sagging campaign. The local media, of course, is completely atwitter at so much star-power being unleashed on humble little CA-11. If you read the local coverage, you’ll know all about the weather conditions, the fashion choices, the crowd size, the level of crowd enthusiasm — all the usual barometers our local writers use to judge political performances in our community.
Very few of them will waste many words focusing on the actual message brought by these political ambassadors. Too boring, I guess. Which is unfortunate. Because what both Bill Clinton and Laura Bush have to say is vital to voters making a choice in CA-11 on Tuesday.
The Tracy Press actually devoted a little space to Bill Clinton’s comments on Wednesday night:
“They believe that the government should be run for and by the special interests. We think it ought to be run for ordinary Americans,” Clinton said. “They believe that decisions should be made by ideological extremists in a way that divides the country; we believe decisions should be made by good, thinking progressives and conservatives that sit down and look at the evidence, hear each other’s arguments before doing what’s best for all Americans.”If you take Clinton's map for American progress and contrast it with the present course that’s been set by George W. Bush and the Republican-led Congress, the contrast is sharp indeed. And it’s obvious that our country is headed in the wrong direction.
Clinton attacked the Republican Party’s record on national security, saying the war in Iraq had emboldened North Korea and Iran to develop weapons, had kept soldiers out of Afghanistan, and had cost the country money that could have been used to implement the recommendations of the Sept. 11 Commission for homeland security.
That’s why I was so surprised to hear Laura Bush pretty much let the cat out of the bag last night when she appeared on behalf of John Doolittle in CA-04.
"This election is critical to the future of our country. President Bush has an aggressive agenda for the rest of his time in office," she said before hundreds of flag-waving supporters.I don’t know about you, but that one sentence makes my blood run cold. Just last weekend, I wrote about the ramifications of a Richard Pombo victory in a post, Say No To George W. Bush:
If the Republican Party maintains control of the Congress in the 2006 election, you can bet that the Bush Administration will interpret such a victory as a complete vindication of its policies. With that validation, the Administration will continue its disastrous Iraq policy; it will be emboldened to expand militarily into Iran. The Administration will continue to borrow and spend, cut taxes for the wealthy, and push the national debt into uncharted territory; it will continue to shred our rights under the Constitution. Bush himself openly stated earlier this week that he plans to bring back Social Security privatization after this election.Now, even though I knew what a Republican majority after next Tuesday’s election would mean to our country, I thought the Republicans were trying pretty hard to keep it under wraps. With the bad notices that the Bush Administration’s policies have been getting lately, I kind of imagined that the Republicans would be a little stealthier about their plans. But no, there it is, laid out for all to see:
This election is critical to the future of our country. President Bush has an aggressive agenda for the rest of his time in office.And Laura Bush doesn’t lie.
[UPDATE]: Okay. I was wrong. Laura Bush DOES lie:
"U.S. Rep. Pombo is an enthusiastic steward of our country's natural resources," Bush said in Pleasanton, about 40 miles east of San Francisco. "Because of his leadership, wildlife, property and people will be protected from dangerous flooding."The AP writer covering the event did go on to set the record straight, though:
A staunch advocate for private property rights, [Pombo] pushed an overhaul of the Endangered Species Act through the House last year that gave new rights to landowners and limited habitat protections.
He also supported legislation that would have allowed the sale of public lands for mining and advocated for more domestic oil drilling, both offshore and in Alaska. Meanwhile Pombo has taken campaign money from oil, gas and timber companies that would benefit from his legislation.