Kathleen Sebelius & The Democratic Responseposted by Christopher
After watching the Democratic response to the State of the Union address, I had one thought:
"Kathleen Sebelius' campaign slogan must be: Snoozing To Victory."
Did anyone actually watch the whole thing? I tried but the part of my brain that doesn't let people get away with stupid crap kept making comments that somehow fell out of my mouth. Thus I didn't actually hear everything she said, but that's okay because apparently she said the same thing about 40 different times: "Join us Mr. President," "Let's get to work," and "Please don't sit near anything with corners because if you fall asleep listening to me I don't want to be held liable when you pitch forward face first and break your nose."
If you would actually like to watch the response (and I wouldn't recommend it for women who are nursing, pregnant, may become pregnant, or anyone who doesn't have an extremely high tolerance for monotony), it's available on YouTube. To save you the time, I'll give you the highlights:
- Kathleen Sebelius is very boring.
- She wants Democrats and Republicans to work together on the issues that differentiate Democrats from Republicans, which makes her plea effectively pointless.
- She wants President Bush to help, because a lame-duck, term limited President in the last year of office who is possibly the most divisive political figure in the country would really do a lot to bring people together.
- The most important issues are green energy, bringing people together to overcome their problems, and kids eating their vegetables.
You think I'm kidding? Go ahead, watch the speech for yourself. If you find anything else in there that I missed, I'll ask the Democrats to let you give the next response.
And speaking of responses, is there a statute of limitations on much you can disagree with somebody? The State of the Union is a required speech given only once a year, and almost entirely ceremonial. The President doesn't make policy (Congress does that, and Democrats control Congress), and this President doesn't really wield any political capital given his term situation. Now, despite all of that, the Democrats still felt it necessary to put forth both a pre-buttal and a rebuttal of the speech.
In other words, the Democrats don't know what the President is going to say, but they don't agree with whatever it is. And when they find out what it is, they immediately disagree with that, too. And not only that, individual Democrats (such as those running for President themselves) felt it necessary to provide their own rebuttals of the speech.
Let's be honest: if anyone out there thinks that Hillary Clinton is going to get up and say "You know, that Bush fellow isn't so bad," then I'd like you to wear aluminum foil hats so we know who you are.
But back to Mrs. Sebelius. How does her message measure up to her record as governor? On the economy -- about which, just like every other issue, she wasn't so much critical of the Republicans or Bush as she was politely nagging and condescendingly chastising -- she advocated the fiscal stimulus, but said more needs to be done. What has she done in Kansas?
- Proposed tax increases totalling over $600 million. I'm sure this will help those families in the middle class, who will undoubtedly bear the heaviest burden of any new tax increases.
- Proposed hiking property taxes by 10%; what a great way to help people struggling with rising adjustable rate mortgages -- increase their taxes!
- Proposed state sales and income tax increases of 8% and 5% respectively -- because the way to foster economic innovation and strength is by taking money away from hardworking Kansans.
- Increased local taxes by 6%, giving Kansas the 15th highest state-local tax burden in the nation.
- Proposed a $0.50 per pack increase in cigarette taxes.
Is anybody noticing a pattern here?
Okay, sure, she proposed some tax increases. But she's a Democrat -- really, what did you expect? But surely, she's created some jobs, right?
Actually, Kansas ranks 49th in the nation according to Forbes in economic climate, which includes "job[s], income, and gross state product growth as well as unemployment and presence of big companies."
She rejected a new coal-fired power plant solely because they emit carbon emissions. This makes Kansas the only state that now has the radical view that no new coal plant can ever be built. Even one that, like the one she rejected, would have brought 2,400 jobs.
She does create some jobs though -- government jobs. Not accountable to the public and at her discretion. Kansas now ranks 3rd in the nation for most government employees per capita. She has also increased government spending 28% since she took office -- I suppose you do have to do something about all that tax money you're raising and all those bureacrats you're hiring.
Kathleen Sebelius looked the other way when thousands of illegal immigrants poured into Kansas to take low-wage jobs in meatpacking and agricultural sectors. Then, to keep all those people here, she granted in-state tuition to illegal immigrants, effectively rewarding lawbreaking. An illegal immigrant from Juarez, Mexico can now get into a state of Kansas university easier than can a kid from the Missouri side of Kansas City.
Don't get me wrong: I'm not necessarily in favor of kicking every illegal immigrant out of the country immediately. But I am certainly not in favor of any kind of benefit codified into law for breaking other parts of that law.
But it's okay, because while Kansas families are struggling, and immigrants are surging into the state in record numbers, Kathleen Sebelius is posing for Vogue magazine. That's what responsible governors do.
I wouldn't be so upset if I didn't love Kansas so much, and hate to see it so mistreated. I don't think Kathleen Sebelius represents the interests of Kansans, and it's partially the fault of the Republican party for not giving Kansans a viable, electable alternative. (Tim Shallenburger's campaign in 2002 was horribly mismanaged, and even then he almost won; Jim Barnett in 2006, despite my campaigning for him, was not a strong candidate and did not connect with people.)
But, we're stuck until 2010, when Mrs. Sebelius is term-limited from running again. And then the real fun starts, because you know who is going to be governor in 2010?