There is a marvelous video of FDR during his reelection campaign in 1936.
FDR’s words are as follows, but you should really watch it because he is so eloquent: “Let me warn you, and let me warn the nation, against the smooth evasion that says ‘Of course we believe these things. We believe in social security. We believe in work for the unemployed. We believe in saving homes. Cross our hearts and hope to die.
‘We believe in all these things. But we do not like the way that the present administration is doing them. Just turn them over to us. We will do all of them, we will do more of them, we will do them better and, most important of all, the doing of them will not cost anybody anything'”.
This is what we are up against with Gabriel Gomez. He believes in everything we do (almost, anyway). He just doesn’t like the way we are doing them. Gomez is no fool. I just went to his issues page on his web site, and he knows how to talk the talk. But what is remarkable is what he doesn’t say. I have tried to point some of this out in this essay. I am sure other people can find more. You can see it here.
1. Gomez believes that climate change is real, but supports the Keystone XL pipeline because it will create jobs, lower energy costs and promote energy independence, in spite of the inconvenient fact that the oil will come from Canada and be shipped overseas. Not a word about Jim Hansen’s assessment that Keystone XL is “game over” for climate change.
2. Gomez believes that climate change is real. He says we need a “serious energy agenda that promotes private sector innovation”. This, of course, can mean anything, or nothing. Not a word about renewables.
3. Gomez supports the second amendment, and would like to close some gun show loopholes and keep weapons out of the hands of the mentally ill. Not a word about a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines.
4. On the economy, Gomez is in lock step with the Republican playbook of the past thirty years. He says we have a spending problem and a $16 trillion debt. His answer: “meaningful spending reductions without hurting military preparedness”. So Gomez is talking about cutting social programs. And as Paul Krugman explains, when the economy is depressed, cuts in government spending is not only heartless, but they make the problem worse by making the economy more depressed and increasing the debt. If the government spends money on job creation, all those unemployed workers create wealth and pay taxes, which reduces the debt. The solution is more government spending to create productive jobs, not austerity which has failed badly here and even worse in Europe.
5. Gomez believes that everyone should have access to health care, but thinks Obamacare only addresses part of the problem. He thinks health care should be left to the states. In plainer language, repeal or undermine Obamacare and throw people on the tender mercies of their underfunded state governments. He says that Obamacare does not address the increasing cost of health care, but does not say anything about things that would actually address this – namely single payer and negotiating prices with pharmaceutical companies.
6. The big ones – Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Here Gomez wants “entitlement reform” so that these critical programs will be solvent. This is just a nice way of saying they should be cut. Not a word about the basic solvency of Social Security, or of raising the cap on the income that is taxed. Not a word about allowing Medicare to negotiate prices with drug companies. And certainly no pledge to not cut these important earned benefits. Grandma, Grandpa, watch out! You do not want this guy in the Senate.
7. Finally, in a rather telling comment, Gomez says that he is “pro-life”, but that Roe v. Wade is “settled law”. He is finally realizing that, certainly for the first time in my memory, Republicans are losing on the wedge issues, and he would rather they go away. But don’t be fooled. What kind of Justices do you think he would vote to confirm?
All in all, this election needs to be about the issues. Gomez is a right wing Republican who is smart enough to put a moderate gloss on his words. As for the kind of guy he is, go to his campaign’s home page where he repeatedly refers to “Mudslinging Markey”. Haven’t we had enough of ad hominem attacks?