Recently I was solicited by both candidates seeking my vote for the 5th Congressional District in Washington state.
Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the incumbent, did so as the spokeswoman for the Republican Party in delivering the response to President Obama’s State of the Union speech.
I won’t repeat the critique made by a writer for the Spokesman Review (and repeated in the Union-Bulletin) criticizing a faux pas by Rep. McMorris Rodgers concerning the Affordable Care Act.
I will point out that yammering on about the Affordable Care Act is water under the bridge and serves no purpose at this date.
The act passed both houses of Congress and was signed into law by the president so it makes no more sense to call it “Obamacare” than “McMorris Rodgers Care.”
I was also amused to note that one of the commentators on a national news service said that “ ... her speech writers did her no favors ...” I am certain her speech was crafted for her far in advance of the president’s remarks and therefore lacked the substance it might have had if she had been allowed to speak her own mind.
In the aftermath of the McMorris Rodgers speech, Ann Coulter, exasperated, nailed the problem exactly when she tweeted of the congresswoman’s painful effort: “Republicans have got to stop hiring speech coaches. Just stop it.”
Later, on Jan. 29, I got an email note that read, in part, as follows: “ ... My name is Joseph Patookas and I am a Democrat from the 5th Congressional District running against Cathy McMorris Rodgers.”
He proceeded to invite me to a meeting held the day before. I would like to have met him, but his resume as a business executive convinced me he would be a good alternative to McMorris Rodgers. I did call and also sent an email and am still waiting for an answer. Perhaps it is the same old story, “ ... as soon as the coin in the coffer rings ...” I will get an answer.
I do believe it is our duty as citizens to be informed and vote, but the current system makes it difficult and unpleasant. The Economist, in its Jan. 25 issue, points out that “ ... most young Americans have told Pew that they do not ‘enjoy’ following the news, in any medium ... In time politicians may be begging for any coverage at all.”
James A. Swayne