Marsha Blackburn appeared on CNN's State of the Union with Candy Crowley and it seems she's hoping no one remembers this rant on the House floor from back in March when the health care bill passed where she was attacking Social Security.
BLACKBURN: My colleagues are celebrating the birth of a great new entitlement program today. Only they see dependency on the Federal government and the death of freedom as a cause for celebration. My colleagues celebrate this day as being like the day when Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid were passed. They forget that today those programs are insolvent and will likely crush our children under their debt. My colleagues are overjoyed that soon their goal of having Americans dependent on the Federal government for mortgages, student loans, retirement and health care will be realized.
That is a chilling goal. My colleagues cheer that this bill is paid for. They ignore the fact that it is our children who will pay for their greed. My colleagues shame us for scaring the American people about the contents of this bill. We know the consequences of this bill will be frightening and horrible. Freedom dies a little bit today, unfortunately some are celebrating and I yield back.
As I said back then, it's too bad she didn't show the same indignation for those tax cuts for the rich or endless military occupations that she loves so much. I'm wondering if their direct attacks on Social Security have been giving them some headaches from real life voters because in her interview with Crowley she changes her tune a bit.
CROWLEY: Congresswoman Blackburn, can you cure what ails the U.S. economy without taking on entitlements, which also are not addressed in this pledge? Nothing about Medicare, nothing about Social Security. Can you really do anything about the economy unless you look at those, as well?
BLACKBURN: Candy, one of the things we have to realize is the document that is in front of us, the pledge, is for the here and now. These are things that could have been -- they could be done right now before the November elections, and they should be done, to give some certainty.
And yes, what we do is roll the spending back, cap it, freeze the federal hiring, and then start working our way through. You know, what the American people have told us as we have listened to them, spent months listening to them, and developed this document is, look, show us what is going to be the pathway to a balanced budget. Show us how we're going to be able to get this debt under control because it has skyrocketed, absolutely skyrocketed in the past three years.
And then let's sit down and have a discussion, an adult discussion between the tax-payers, between our elected representatives of how we address entitlements and how we make certain that the commitments that are there on Medicare and on Social Security are going to be kept.
We have to remember that money, the Medicare money, the Social Security money, people have had that coming out of their paycheck all their working lives. It is their money.
It's their money, huh? Except you want to turn it over to Wall Street under the guise of "protecting it." And as far as her pretending she's listening to her voters when it comes to that ridiculous "pledge"on they just sent out, Rachel Maddow had something to say about that last Thursday. They're only listening to their voters if those voters happen to be the former corporate lobbyist who wrote the pledge for them. They're not listening to the people who weighed in on their web sites.
MADDOW: Now, in politics, of course, whenever you‘re making one of your sacred pledges, you also, you know, want it to seem—you always want to seem like that God beamed this down to you and you were just the spokesperson, just the mouthpiece for the Almighty. It wasn‘t authored so much as it was delivered.
Well, in this case, the right click trick shows that this document the GOP pledged for this year is less of a delivery from the Almighty and more of a delivery from AIG and ExxonMobil and Pfizer and Comcast. The magic of right clicking the PDF revealed today that the listed author of the Republican Party‘s new “Pledge to America” is a fellow named Brian Wild, a staffer for John Boehner, who is also a former lobbyist for all of the aforementioned companies and more.
Mr. Wild worked for the Nichols Group, a lobbying firm that was paid more than $740,000 to lobby for AIG, more than $1.3 million to lobby for ExxonMobil, more than $625,000 to lobby for the pharmaceutical company Pfizer.
The reason that is particularly awkward for this particular political document is because Republicans went out of their way with this thing to make this particular pledge seem like it was just the voice of the people.
Republican Congressman Mike Pence said the effort would prove that “the Democratic majority isn‘t listening, but House Republicans will.” House Republicans will, not like those rats.
House Republicans will listen and then we‘ll have an Exxon lobbyist write it down.
As part of that “we‘re listening to you” spin, the whole basis of the Republican campaign pledge was their big “America Speaking Out” Web site—giving the impression to anybody visiting that Web site, that whatever suggestion got the most thumbs-up votes on the Web site would become part of this Republican agenda. Republicans were merely a vessel for the desires of the American people.
But it turns out the desires of the American people as expressed at AmericaSpeakingOut.com with those little thumbs-up, they were for legalizing pot and ending the outsourcing of American jobs to other countries. Those are some of the things that turned out to be the most popular ideas, the most thumbs-up on the “America Speaking Out” Web site.
But those stated desires of the American people, that Americans weren‘t going to ignore like that Democrat majority does, those desires were not, in fact, beamed directly from AmericaSpeakingOut.com through the larynxes of the Republican leaders today and back out to the American people when these Republican leaders gather to unveil their new agenda. Legalizing pot, for example, shockingly, is nowhere to be found in the Republican‘s new “Pledge to America.”
And Republicans say nothing at all about that other very popular idea of trying to stop the outsourcing of American jobs, which would seem to suggest two things. One, who they say they‘re listening to doesn‘t seem to be nearly as important as who they actually let the write the thing. And two, next time Republicans decide to come up with a pledge or contract or manifesto, wouldn‘t it be awesome if the pot lobby got a lobbyist on the inside who could secretly author the whole thing? That I would pay to see in a full-page ad in TV guide. That I would tear out and put up on the fridge.