Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Roskam's Annual Review

Peter Roskam's most recent post is his self-evaluation of his first year in office. It contains a reflection of how divided Washington is, and invokes the words of Lincoln ("A house divided cannot stand") to show how sincere and committed to bi-partisanship he is. He gloats about how much he has done to serve all people and transcend the divide of a congress "beleaguered by partisanship". All great words, Mr. Roskam. But, some things you forgot to mention:
  • You talk alot about government accountability, and even serve on oversight, but you have seemed oddly silent on Bush Administration doings ("Scooter" Libby, Attorney General Gonzalez, Halliburton and military mismanagement, torture, etc.), while voting for troop build-up. You mention the need for light and honesty to shine, but not once have you called for this from the house floor.
  • You lamented in your tax-day message government waste of tax-payer money (even going so far as slamming the "bridge to nowhere", a pet project of Republican Stevens), but did you mention this is a non-partisan way? No, you mentioned it as a sign of wasteful Democrats. Hardly a model of bi-partisanship.
  • You also touted that you voted for the recent Energy Bill that "Bush signed", not mentioning that the Democrats in the House and Senate passes. Again, hardly a mark of bi-partisanship.
  • You routinely placed a higher priority on tax cuts and protections for mostly the wealthy and, most shamefully, oil companies, above healthcare and education for children, environmental needs, housing relief during the current housing crisis, and employment protection for gays and lesbians. And, of course, the inconsistency is the "blank check" for the military without calling for oversight.
  • on the ethics front, some of your first votes were to protect lobbyist interests and to protect the government benefits of congressional peers who are convicted of political wrong-doing while in office (in both of these cases, you were on the losing side of the votes).
  • There were many times this past year when your colleagues Kirk and Biggert crossed the aisle, but you did not. Just in general, if you really are committed to 'bi-partisanship', you might want to follow their leads as a start.
  • To read a review of your website, your math seems to be "Bush = good, Pelosi = bad". Hardly the math of a 'uniter' that you seem to self-proclaim to be.

Let's hope 2008 holds better things.

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