Like other Memphians, I am on an email list for Rep. Steve Cohen. When I see his name in my email box, I have to resist the urge to delete it immediately. Like most Republicans, I don’t feel he speaks for me, understands us or has Memphis’ best interests placed above his own. If you’ve ever called the office of a Democrat as I did once when Harold Ford Jr. was our congressman, you get short shrift and a quick click.
Anyhow, when Cohen does send an email – if you can stomach reading it – it is full of his accomplishments, his pomposity, his beliefs about how Republicans are keeping the country from nirvana and links to get in on federal goodies.
Back to his email. First he attacks the NRA:
My heart goes out to those who lost loved ones in the senseless gun tragedies last week — in both Memphis and Newtown, Connecticut. I know that everyone is coming together to help our communities in their time of need
and I support President Obama’s call for meaningful action to try to prevent such events from taking place in the future. But I also call on Speaker Boehner to join Democrats in pursuing a comprehensive approach when we return in January to passing crucial gun violence prevention legislation.
On Wednesday night I appeared on Current TV’s “The Young Turks” show to discuss President Obama’s new effort to reduce gun violence. Click here to see my remarks. And today I issued a statement on the NRA and their recent remarks. The NRA isn’t going far enough to curb gun violence in America. I own a firearm – I support the 2nd Amendment – and I authored the concealed carry law in Tennessee. But I do not support having assault weapons or high-capacity magazines on our streets.
We must do a better job of screening those who want to purchase firearms and also invest more in mental health to better prevent gun violence.
The NRA is powerful because of ultra-conservative Republicans who refuse to compromise on legislation that prevents gun violence and increases the safety of everyone, including those who do not own a gun. The suggestion by the NRA that we should have armed security guards in schools does not address the Tucson shooting where Gabbie Giffords was shot. Nor does it address the shooting in Portland. Does the NRA want armed guards at every shopping center in America too? Wayne LaPierre’s suggestion for more guns and bullets sounds like Robert Heinlein who said “An armed society is a polite society.”
Cohen manages to get the narcissism in with his mention of his TV appearance on a network rarely tuned in by anyone. And when you click here in the original article you don’t get the video, but a note that says “this video is private” and a black screen. So much for that. The idea that this old politician is a “young turk” is laughable. Cohen’s wallowed in politics for decades.
Then you get the Democrat mantra of them being “for the second amendment.” He has a gun, he says. Does he want you to have one, too? No. Investment in mental health? He’s all for it. Of course, any time money is doled out a Democrat wants to be in on the cut, er, action.
Republicans and Wayne LaPierre of the NRA are in his bull’s eye, as they always are. Cohen never misses a chance to slam the GOP. The shootings were because of “ultra conservative Republicans,” of course. Funny, no proof of any party affiliation has surface in any of the killings.
On to the fiscal cliff and Cohen’s “clever” take on it:
Yesterday I spoke on the House floor about the “fiscal cliff” and the “physical cliff.” The legislation Republicans are pushing forward to address the fiscal cliff would make drastic cuts to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – our physical cliff. The NIH provides funding to places like the Methodist University Hospital Transplant Institute in Memphis so people like Dr. James Eason can continue to do their life saving work.
I was planning to vote against Speaker Boehner’s “Plan B” measure because it punishes the middle class and provides an average tax cut of $50,000 to those earning over $1 million – that’s 3 percent of all American households, but the legislation was pulled at the last minute because there was no support for it. Under the Speaker’s plan, 25 million working middle-class families would pay an average $1,000 more in taxes; 11 million families would lose a tax credit that helps pay for college; 2 million Americans looking for work would be cut off from unemployment insurance; and devastating budget cuts would be enacted that cripple investments in education, research and economic growth. The President said he was willing to compromise and tax those who earned $400,000 and more but the Speaker refused to accept anything under $1 million because the Speaker wants to give tax breaks to the super wealthy. Unfortunately, Republicans are more interested in catering to their base and scoring political points than they are to compromising and preventing the fiscal cliff.
Yesterday I voted against the Defense Authorization bill because it is full of appropriations that benefit contractors more than it does our military and security. Even the Pentagon was against the measure. Click here to read a short New York Times article on the subject.
Quite the Shakespearean wordsmith, isn’t he? Fiscal and physical. Cleverness for the American moron, I suppose.
Of course, for Democrats, any cut is a “drastic cut.” Middle class and working families get the shaft in all Democrat talking points, while the rich become even richer at their expense. Anyone above moron status realizes the rich don’t have enough money to fund anyone, but it sounds good, right? The GOP only cares about “catering to their base” (Democrats don’t?) including the military because defense isn’t a big deal in a dangerous world now, is it? Citing the New York Times is like a mud pit to a pig. They can’t get enough of the mire and rolling around in its muck.
Onto juvenile court, Social Security and the Tennessee lottery, Cohen’s 17 year final achievement.
The agreements with the DOJ “resolve findings of serious and systemic failures in the juvenile court that violate children’s due process and equal protection rights.” For the children and for equality are arguments that never fail to get Democrats leeway to do whatever they want. “I appreciate Attorney General Holder and all the members of his staff who crafted this important agreement. I also appreciate the leadership of Commissioner Henri Brooks, who first brought concerns about the Court to my attention…” Any time he can call attention to race issues, Cohen will.
Cohen continues, “Recent news reports indicate that the fiscal cliff negotiations might include a proposal that would slow the growth of Social Security benefits. Social Security is more than just a retirement program – it is a lifeline that keeps millions of Americans out of poverty. Many seniors in Memphis and across the country rely on Social Security for the majority of their household income.
“President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law in 1935 and it remains a successful, strong program today. There is no need to fundamentally alter Social Security during fiscal cliff negotiations because the program is built soundly enough to pay full benefits through 2033 without changes.”
Cohen knows that current seniors and those nearing that age would not be hurt by Republican changes to Social Security. He can’t admit that, however. He has to resurrect St. Franklin and insist it is a strong program today. Really? Because the money is going to run out. Ever hear of the baby boomers, Congressman?
Never one to shy from his “accomplishments,” Cohen calls our attention to FAFSA: “As an advocate of making higher education more affordable, most notably through the establishment of the Tennessee Lottery.” He’s got to remind people to get their goodies for college. You can also get a free congressional calendar and ” list of grant announcements from federal agencies like the Department of Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Transportation, and others. These federal funding opportunities are available to faith-based and neighborhood associations, nonprofits and other community organizations in the 9th district.” Translation: don’t miss out on the pork parade.
Cohen’s emails show what is wrong with the Democrats in DC and probably elsewhere. They blame the Republicans for everything that goes wrong. We are nothing but an obstacle to them. They don’t come up with any new ideas. Notice how he didn’t have any suggestions for fixing anything? It’s because a. they don’t want to and b. they don’t ever look deeper into a problem than the surface. Their arrogance is apparent in everything they do. They don’t care about the welfare of the country, just pleasing their constituents with dependency handouts. The country be damned. There’s not a statesman among them, nor anyone willing to take heat for the good of the country. They follow a playbook that appeals to the lowest, greediest among us.
There are so many worthy Republican congressmen, senators, governors and past office holders. I wish our party recognized that and stopped acting defensive. We have the ideas and the values to put our country back to prosperity and virtue. Time they pushed fear aside and started acting like Republicans.