A show horse and two work horses: A senatorial comparison

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Again, this Congress is demonstrating why they are the least admired in the history of polling. Congress is risking a prolonged government shutdown and default on federal debt because they refuse to compromise and legislate.


The primary issue is defunding Obamacare. Republicans are united in their dislike for Obamacare, but party leadership and most Republicans recognize that attempting to defund is not a successful strategy. They conclude that the risk of government shutdown or default will harm their party more than any unlikely reward.

INTO THIS TURMOIL, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz from Texas has opportunistically leapt in front of the TV cameras. A Tea Party favorite, the controversial Cruz is expert at getting press coverage, but not much else. A national champion debater in college, his recent 21-hour fake filibuster is an example of talking much and accomplishing little.

A freshman senator in his first elective office, Cruz has spent more energy alienating his Republican colleagues than building the relationships necessary to actually get things done. His histrionics are designed to enhance his personal profile and expand his fundraising list more than defeating Obamacare.

Ted Cruz is a narcissistic show horse.

Contrast Cruz with Georgia’s two Republican senators, Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss. Both have worked for years in the difficult world of budgeting to improve America’s fiscal situation rather than their own profiles.

Georgia’s senior senator, Chambliss, continues to work behind the scenes to find a deficit solution. As the leader of the bipartisan Senate “Gang of Six” that developed a workable deficit reduction plan, Chambliss has built credibility and trust on both sides of the aisle. His efforts help to lay the groundwork for an eventual solution to the nation’s fiscal malfeasance.

CHAMBLISS ALSO had the courage to break with Americans for Tax Reform founder Grover Norquist and his appealing, yet unrealistic, mantra to not increase federal revenues. This upset many in the senator’s base, but it was the right thing to do.

Isakson is likewise attempting to find real solutions. He has sponsored and fought for a biennial budgeting bill to improve the federal budgeting process. The bill would allow Congress to pass a two-year budget, and in the non-budget year make minor budget corrections and focus on other congressional business.

I wrote a research paper at the National War College some years ago on the need for biennial budgeting. As a result, I am very appreciative of the importance of
the task the senator has undertaken to improve congressional budgeting.

Isakson was one of eight GOP senators conducting recent discussions with the White House to avoid government shutdown and default. Isakson’s stature and calm counsel made him a leader of the Republican group. The discussions have been suspended, but they were important in establishing respect and open communication with the White House.

These problems are not easily solved, but our Georgia senators are working to find solutions. The relationships they have nurtured and the ideas they have formulated will be helpful when our national politicians eventually realize they must work together to solve our fiscal imbalance. Georgia’s senators understand the reality of shared political power, and that real solutions require hard work and compromise.

THEIR RECORDS contrast mightily with those from the extremes of their party who would rather be bomb throwers than legislators.

Chambliss and Isakson provide excellent models for the new senator Georgia will elect in 2014 when Chambliss retires. Someone who can work across party lines, compromise and legislate to accomplish the people’s business is
what Georgia and the country need.

Our responsibility as citizens is to determine who that candidate is, and then elect and send that person to Washington. Congress doesn’t need another show horse.

(The writer is a retired U.S. Navy officer. He lives and writes in Savannah.)

Comments (21) Add comment
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deestafford
42035
Points
deestafford 10/05/13 - 11:49 pm
9
2
The writer is off base if he thinks we need more "go along, get

along" politicians like the moderates we have in our two Georgia senators. Granted, they have done a few good things in the past; however, a blind hog will find an acorn if he roots long enough. Republicans like them are why we have such a large deficit and national debt. I don't remember them fighting GW Bush and his spending.

Biennial budgeting along with term limits and time limits on how long congress can be in session would be steps in the right direction.

My hat is off to Cruz for not playing the game of being elected and waiting until he has kissed the rings of the party leaders enough times to get the "privilege" to speak up. He is the epitome of what the Founders envisioned when they set up the government to have citizens serve and then return home rather than becoming careerists in DC.

Too many of us seem to think that a person must work their way up from the local council, to the county level, to the state, to the House of Representatives, and finally to the Senate in order to be effective and worthy to serve in DC. Many in DC are proving on a daily basis one does not have to be intelligent in order to be elected.

I would take one Ted Cruz over ten moderates like we have in our two Georgia senators and SC's Graham and TN's Corker and TN's Alexander and AZ's McCain and AL's Shelby and more whom I could name. He is a man who believes in The Constitution rather than compromising to be friends with "my esteemed gentlemen" and doing what's right for the people back home who elected him.

The best thing that could be done to improve the Senate, short of getting rid of all liberals and RHINOs today, is to go back and have the state legislatures electing our senators. Right now the state of Georgia has no elected people in DC representing the interests of the state of Georgia. Rather they all represent the people of Georgia and that is no always in the best interest of the state. The Founders knew what they were doing when they had the state legislatures electing the senators.

Sadly, the progressives knew what the result would be when they railroaded the 17th Amendment and had the senators elected by popular vote...creating a group of 100 who could be swayed by popular opinion and the next election rather than what was in the best interest of their states.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 10/06/13 - 04:57 am
8
1
"bomb throwers"???

Captain Conant, your periscope has fogged up on you. Congress is vilified because of the liberal press. The House is our only mine left to stop the liberal destroyers ruining our country. Our Cruz missile has attacked and liberals are aghast that Obama is actually confronted. Congress works as it always has, but now when we have a liberal president that the press protects because he is a poster child to show the world how fair we are, a conservative House is attacked with torpedoes. If you want to blame someone for the impasse, blame Harry Reid instead of Ted Cruz.

As you note, Cruz is a national debate champion. He is the son of an immigrant who came to America with $100 sewed in his underwear unable to speak English, but found a way to graduate from the U. of Texas. Ted Cruz graduated from Princeton and Harvard Law. He was Solicitor General of Texas for five years. The first Hispanic and youngest Solicitor General in the nation. Conservative folks like his message and style. The attacks on Cruz remind me of the attacks on Tea Party candidates in previous elections by establishment Republicans. Try to understand, the Tea Party is simply the conservative American people, nothing more, not that it is a trivial thing.

Captain Conant, your line that we need someone who can work across party lines is one conservatives mistakenly have said in the past out of some kind of attempt to appear more like Democrats. John McCain and Mitt Romney come to mind. Ronald Reagan would work with the Democrats, but they had to come to him. By the way, your comparison of Cruz and Tea Party Congressmen to bomb throwers while calling Chambliss and Isakson legislators should be used in Faulty Logic 101 as an example of a faulty either/or choice. Your depth gauge has broken.

GACopprhed
2136
Points
GACopprhed 10/06/13 - 06:04 am
3
12
Man, this guy makes decent
Unpublished

Man, this guy makes decent sense, and I'm not even Republican. The extremists of the Republican party, well represented here, will insure the demise, for some time, of their party. They will push more voters to the independent side(read Republicans who vote for Democrats), and as demographics change to the point that Republican gerrymandering no longer can effect the outcome of House elections, it's conceivable that the Republican Party could be realistically neutered.

Riverman1
114037
Points
Riverman1 10/06/13 - 06:34 am
7
2
Magnifying Glass Needed

When Democrats try to help you out, do the opposite. When they say the Republican Party will be neutered they fear the virility. If you want to neuter a Democrat like those represented here you'd best bring a magnifying glass.

SB3
3934
Points
SB3 10/06/13 - 07:07 am
7
2
I agree with Riverman

We need more like Cruz and far fewer like Isakson, McCain, and Graham. None would be best. When I hear advice from people like Captain Conant and GACopprhed on how to vote, I know to do the exact opposite. Progs always want us to reach across the aisle... it makes it easier for them to pull us even farther left. No more.

We'll see whose demise is coming. I'm betting it's going to be RINO season at the voting booth, followed by a little TEA for everyone in the national elections. The IRS isn't going to be able to suppress conservative groups anymore.

Just in case someone wants to report this, I'm talking about peaceful elections and nothing more. I know progressives will twist words and lie in order to claim being b*tthurt, offended!!, and threatened. Hunting metaphors are a common target (pun intended).
[edited for clarity]

gaflyboy
6175
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gaflyboy 10/06/13 - 07:45 am
6
1
GACopprhed

"Man, this guy makes decent sense, and I'm not even Republican."
My thoughts exactly. This gentleman sounds more like Harry Reid than Cruz or Chambliss.

He wraps up with 'compromise' and 'what the country need(s)'?
How does one compromise with anyone who wants just the opposite as you? Impossible. What the country needs is more Cruz', Lee's, Paul's...

In Navy parlance, we don't need to correct to correct course. We need to do a 180 and quick.

seenitB4
119300
Points
seenitB4 10/06/13 - 08:33 am
3
5
Cruz is a showhorse

Mr Conant is right....yeh, I know yall will thump me for saying this but I've been thumped B4...hahah

Our two Senators have worked their hineys off for this state & yall trash them like crazy...GEEZ

Cruz won't last because too many HATE him!

Get over your "Elvis" fascination with him...he is a goner!

gaflyboy
6175
Points
gaflyboy 10/06/13 - 08:37 am
5
1
seenit

Chambliss has done some good things for this state. He's also done some not-so-good things for this state and this country.

Isakson has done some good things for Isakson.

Concerning liberals hating Cruz ... well now, that's a good sign that he's doing the right thing!

seenitB4
119300
Points
seenitB4 10/06/13 - 08:46 am
3
3
Not just libs

He is hated by his OWN party ...he is a show horse & they see through him.....sorry to disappoint you guys but he is a goner!

seenitB4
119300
Points
seenitB4 10/06/13 - 08:48 am
3
2
Magnifying Glass Needed

Yeh,....yall need one all right. :)

deestafford
42035
Points
deestafford 10/06/13 - 09:05 am
3
1
Two points

GACopperhead, You are always talking about gerrymandering. Do you realize at least one-half of the blacks in the House would not be there if it was not for gerrymandering?

As far as compromising goes...I want to compromise with the current crop of democrats the same as a mongoose compromises with a cobra.

soapy_725
44992
Points
soapy_725 10/06/13 - 09:19 am
0
0
Cudos for you service. Go to the uptown VA for you brain.
Unpublished

Two workhorses? LOL Freeloading,egomaniac, career politicians. FACT
Kick both the bums out. Now. Eliminate fecal waste from Congress.

Lee Benedict
1681
Points
Lee Benedict 10/06/13 - 09:20 am
5
1
Jokes

Who wrote this letter? Dick Durbin's or Chuck Schumer's Chief of Staff?

Georgia's two US Senators are a collective disgrace. They talk so conservatively and campaign and ask for money equally so, but when it comes time to vote and advocate for principles, they go the way of Harry Reid. I am elated that one is leaving next year (but hope that he is not replaced by one just as wishy-washy and manipulated) and sincerely hope that the other is booted in 2016.

http://chronicle.augusta.com/opinion/letters/2011-05-10/are-real-republi...

http://chronicle.augusta.com/opinion/letters/2011-05-25/why-vote-approve...

http://www.peachpundit.com/2010/02/22/benedict-says-no-to-challenging-is...

Lee Benedict
1681
Points
Lee Benedict 10/06/13 - 09:30 am
6
1
What's a "freshman" to do,

just sit around and watch and learn while getting paid for six years, THEN, if s/he is reelected, start doing something? The writer's "logic" represents what is wrong with Congress.

If Ted Cruz campaigned and pledged to do "A" if elected, and he then goes and does "A", then good for him. If, however, he does "B", then he has some 'splaining to do. Cruz is doing what should be done; stand firm for liberty against a tyrannical government and Marxist president.

In the words of Samuel Adams, “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

SB3
3934
Points
SB3 10/06/13 - 09:59 am
4
1
seenitB4,

The ones who hate him aren't the ones voting for him. I don't think some or many of them will be around to hate him for long either. We're tired of the GOP elite doing backdoor deals and being two-faced with us. We're growing stronger and won't be stopped by these petulant and vindictive progressives illegally using the power of government to get their way. The Republican good ole boy network won't stop us either. We owe it to our kids to get this debt and spending under control.

faithson
6173
Points
faithson 10/06/13 - 10:49 am
2
5
vain and aspiring men

having watched cspan this week, I am of a mind that Ted Cruz fits this axiom perfectly. I am always taken aback by how easily the hard right is taken in by the likes of these, wolves in sheep's clothing. Take a look at his background, he is in it for 'Ted', a consummate self promoter with deep, deep relationships in the body politic. Just the kind of 'preacher' so many hook their wagon to, who knows how to tell YOU, WHAT U WANT TO HEAR,

freeradical
1361
Points
freeradical 10/06/13 - 10:54 am
2
2
Lap Dogs The Two Of Them .

If those two limo riding spineless Obama lap dogs had a backbone,

they would be running national commercials advertising what an

economic disgrace it is that they had their own Obama-care nests

feathered by Obama himself , because their six digit salaries rated

a 75 % subsidy while the rest of the common working class pay that

75% subsidy for their ruling class sorry behinds .

But they won't utter a syllable about it because now that they are

sophisticated Washington ruling class material they believe the rest of

tabaco spitting , pickup riding , squirrel hunting , backwards populace

, of hardscrabble Georgia is just to stupid to figure it out anyway .

faithson
6173
Points
faithson 10/06/13 - 11:03 am
2
3
proof in point

blow it up, but what is the strategy after the 'boom'. Here is the nub so many miss. baby out with the bathwater comes to mind. great way to govern. and if you don't think the rest of the world are scratching their heads and losing respect for America, you live in a bubble.
Germany's influential newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung bemoaned the U.S. political chaos.

"At the moment, Washington is fighting over the budget and nobody knows if the country will still be solvent in three weeks. What is clear, though, is that America is already politically bankrupt," it said.

seenitB4
119300
Points
seenitB4 10/06/13 - 10:58 am
2
2
We are caught in a trap..

My thoughts...

Let Obamacare happen...let folks see up front & in a personal way what they are up against....the Reps will take the blame if we keep going down this road with Cruz..

Look at it like this....A woman is in love with a "wonderful"man (she thinks). Her friends tell her he is an abuser...she marries him anyway. Only after a couple of trips to the er after his beatings, she finally GETS IT! I really want to see a Rep President next time, yakow, the decider in Chief....sometimes you just have to know when to fold them...

I'm folding now...I have a lot to do & stuff to read....have agood day.

chascushman
6653
Points
chascushman 10/06/13 - 04:11 pm
2
1
"Just the kind of 'preacher'
Unpublished

"Just the kind of 'preacher' so many hook their wagon to, who knows how to tell YOU, WHAT U WANT TO HEAR"
faithson, I agree. Oh after rereading you were not talking about the lying, racist, America hater in the WH.

faithson
6173
Points
faithson 10/06/13 - 04:33 pm
1
1
chas

I agree, we have them on BOTH sides... although I don't agree with your invective's.

deestafford
42035
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deestafford 10/06/13 - 05:15 pm
1
1
The problem with implementing Obamacare to show everyone

how bad it is and then we can vote out the ones who want it is once an "entitlement" is in place it is nearly impossible to get it recinded. The more tenacles get into the populace the more difficult it is to get rid of them.

faithson
6173
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faithson 10/06/13 - 06:06 pm
1
0
shutdown at what cost...

sure default seems like a 'proper' response to not getting what you want... BUT... when the global exchanges no longer have full faith and trust in the American economic system, all hell will break loose and this Armageddon so many speak of will be upon us... CAUSED by petulant politicians who's only answer to HOW it happened will be Some metaphysical, WE deserved it. Everyone really needs to look into what WILL happen when petro exchanges vote to use other currencies in trading. The lose of the use of dollars to price petro will crush the value of the dollar, all you people who have 401's and other 'paper' assets get ready for a loss that will make the '08 debacle look like a simple hair trim at the barbers. only to find that we still OWE our debtors, only we get to pay them back with a currency that has a value of less than half of what was borrowed at the time we borrowed it, let alone every commodity sold in the market's increased cost. To invite inflation is to invite an even greater crisis. Yea, crash the whole enterprise, we deserve it, our EVIL good for nothing elected twice President, and his supporters deserve a take down. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face, you guys are really a trip cause you really would do it, out of personal righteous spite, not for the good of the country.

Lee Benedict
1681
Points
Lee Benedict 10/06/13 - 09:18 pm
1
1
Common sense

tells us, or, should tell us, a few things:
1) if the federal government laid-off/furloughed/whatever, 800,000 non-essential "employees", you really have to ask just why in thee sam hell they're employed to begin with (800,000 x $20/month [conservative estimate] union dues =...) and what legitimate purpose they serve;
2) the hysteria over a possible default is ridiculous. Money will still be rolling in to the nanny state government via federal income tax, fuel tax, tobacco tax, fees for this that and the other thing. Come 10/17 if no agreement has been reached, the US government will just not be able to incur NEW debt. Is that really a bad thing?
3) all of the hoopla and discussions about our impending doom just furthers the conservative viewpoint of a) national government is too big, too bloated, and too out of control, b) the American people as a collective group put their happiness and success eggs in to the federal government's basket, and the list goes on.

Use some sense here. And oh by the way, if everything was George Bush's "fault, and the US House of Representatives and the US Senate were innocent, helpless little pawns, is it then fair to use THE SAME REASONING USED BY THE LEFT THAT WAS PONTIFICATED BY THE MEDIA and put all blame and fault on the desk of Barack Obama or Barry Soetoro or whatever his name is? By the way again, why are US Representatives called "Congressmen"? The Congress has two chambers, so all 535 of them are Congressmen.

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