Saturday, August 05, 2006

Paul Hodes on Homeland Security

Paul Hodes does a masterful job addressing homeland security in an AP article, to be found at the Boston Globe site. I say masterful because he hits the stuff one needs to say to questions like these--again and again the article presents him "agreeing" or "sharing concerns" with the Republicans in the race (incumbent Charles Bass and his primary opponent Berlin Mayor Bob Danderson)--and then he goes a solid step beyond.

For instance, Hodes and Bass both told the AP they were concerned about the strain imposed on the National Guard by overseas duty.

Hodes is more forceful than Bass in expressing that view.

"We should adhere to the Guard's traditional role as stewards of domestic security, not as a standard military option for deployment in extended wars like Iraq," he said. He blames some of the shortcomings in the nation's response to Hurricane Katrina on a shortage of specially trained Guard members due to deployments in Iraq.

Or, on the relationship between national security and civil liberties, it becomes clear that though Bass gives lip service to the importance of civil liberties, Hodes really means it:

But Hodes said he is uncomfortable about the administration's commitment to civil liberties.

"I find it disconcerting that President Bush talks about an unending war on terrorism. I do not advocate any permanent suspension of civil liberties," he said.

Hodes also continues to see the interconnections between seemingly unconnected issues. For instance, he is quoted saying that
The problem with homeland security grants is that President Bush and Congress have cut homeland security to pay for tax breaks for the super-rich.
That kind of understanding of the trade-offs involved in government funding, and willingness to speak to it clearly and directly, distinguish Hodes from the mush of a Bass too scared to participate in serious discussion of policies he won't know if he supports or opposes until he gets the word from his masters in the Republican leadership.


Blogger DavidNYC said...

Did you mean to quote the same paragraph twice?

Anyhow, this story was definitely a bit of a coup. Not often that congressional challengers get featured in major papers for their views on topics of national importance.

2:52 AM  
Blogger Keener said...

There is a newspaper article or press release somewhere where Bass brags about getting night-vision gogles for Jaffrey out of the homeland security honeypot or something like that.

If you've ever been to Jaffrey, you'd know why that is ridiculous.

7:56 AM  
Blogger MissLaura said...

No, I didn't mean to quote the same paragraph twice, and have fixed it. Serves me right for writing while tired.

Having read the original article that Hodes wasn't in, I feel like this was also such a better one - if only because it allows for direct contrast rather than 3 and 4 way contrast. So a coup on a couple of levels.

Jaffrey? I actually did go through there. I mean, I guess night-vision goggles could come in handy if you were trying to go anywhere after dark, since I can't imagine it's very well-lit there, but otherwise...

12:06 PM  
Blogger Keener said...

I'll see if I can dig it up. I can't seems to find it -- if anybody comes across it let me know.

A lot of people don't know it, but NH ranks pretty highly in pork barrel projects. I'm not sure how to address that politically -- obviously the opposite pitch is Charlie brings home the bacon.

I think the majority of people think it's a free-for-all and if our state doesn't grab it someone else will. But the question is what does Charlie promise other congresspeople to get his Keene ice rink money?

Jeesh - got VH1 classic on right now. The Pretenders were just an incredible band.

3:04 PM  

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