Thursday, August 17, 2006

Policy and Politics

I think that The Yankee Doodler is right that, beyond the point we all noted yesterday - Rahm Emanuel did a press conference and a fundraiser with Paul Hodes - today's story is in Charlie Bass's response.

Charlie likes to act so, so above it all, resignedly accepting the dirty, dirty fact of his opponents bringing up nasty political issues. In the Nashua Telegraph, he talks about "the difference between policy and politics" and says

“I’m going to run for re-election the way I have the previous six terms. I’m going to run a positive campaign and I’ll work harder than anyone else,’’ Bass said.

“I’ll win re-election the old fashioned way.’’

This sounds familiar. It sounds, in fact, like his derisive dismissal of issues Katrina Swett raised in 2002 as "silly season issues." And yet, color me confused, because our Charlie hasn't proven immune to "silly season issues" raised by his own party.

Let's review. How many times in the space of a month did Charlie vote against raising the minimum wage?


When he finally did vote to raise the minimum wage, what else was he voting for?

Tax breaks for the wealthy.

Preempting state laws for tipped workers, thereby cutting wages for waiters and others in several states.

And was this bill a matter of politics, done with the November elections in mind?


Or, regardless of season, let's think about the fact that this is the guy who showed up in the middle of the night to strip courts of their jurisdiction and Michael Schiavo of his right to allow his wife to die in peace. That was policy not politics?

For that matter, what about the press conference Bass held yesterday
to announce that all satellite-dish owners in New Hampshire can receive WMUR, the state's only network-affiliated television station.
I'm sure that'll be great for the population of people affected by his measure, that being people with satellite tv in the North Country, but as Yankee Doodler observes

It boils down to this: While Hodes wants to help you get an education, Bass gets you more TV. Bread and circuses, anyone?
(And never mind that even on the subject of tv, while Bass giveth with one hand, he taketh away with the other.)

Charlie Bass's game is to pretend to be above politics, above partisanship, while he sneaks in in the middle of the night to vote to interfere in people's personal lives. Paul Hodes, on the other hand, may be doing politics (and I'd hope so, given that this is a political campaign), but he can do so openly, without shame or sneering about it, because he is doing an honorable politics.


Blogger yankeedoodler said...

"Charlie Bass's game is to pretend to be above politics, above partisanship, while he sneaks in in the middle of the night to vote to interfere in people's personal lives."

You nailed it, Laura. The implication behind Bass' "positive" campaign is that when anyone mentions his rotten voting record, it's somehow negative and beneath his grand dignity to respond.

Should Paul and Charlie be discussing their favorite hobbies instead? I mean, come on, this is a campaign for political office, and a voting record matters.

8:21 PM  

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