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Posts Tagged ‘Mezvinsky’

You should take one for the team.  That’s what a baseball player (like on the Bad News Bears) does when letting a pitch hit him.  In the 90s, Chelsea Clinton’s new mother-in-law did just that to help pass Bill Clinton’s budget plan by one vote.  As a congressional freshman, Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky knew the plan was good for America and that it was political suicide in her district—always try to do the right thing.

Texan J.J. Pickle voted for civil rights legislation after famously saying, “Lyndon, I can’t vote for that…that’s political suicide in Texas.”  LBJ then listed all the appropriations projects he was going to pull from Pickle’s district.  Pickle survived had a sweet suite in the Cannon House Office Building for years—his constituents could stand behind him while he sat at his desk and get a photo with the Capitol dome in the background in the window.  All politics is local at the end of the day.

On a trip back to D.C. a few years ago, I met Georgia Rep. David Scott on the corner outside Pickle’s old office.  He was nice to my friends and me.  I hate that Dr. Deborah Honeycutt and Scott are in the same congressional district because I think she could add a Black woman’s calmness to the House Republican conference and heaven knows they need it.  If given the opportunity to support less enraged Republicans, our community should take a good look. 

I had to get around to Chairman Charlie Rangel.  He was the epitome smoothness when I was a staffer.  We said he sounds like a Black Ralph Karmden from the Honeymooners.  “Norton….Norton…pal of mine.”  Today, we wonder if Rangel has any pals on Hill.  People who read his book “And I Haven’t Had A Bad Day Since” or who saw him promoting it on Cspan know he survived some of the bloodiest fighting in Korea and was hero for leading other troops out of a Chinese encirclement in freezing weather.  He should cut a deal with the House to make this situation go away and then he should gracefully retire to the Dominican Republic.  (I kicked it in Sosua, D.R. and had a fine time…muy bueno.)

Rep. Rangel should take one for the team because his minor infractions could tip the balance in November.  He was a mentor to my southwest Georgia congressman and other members of the CBC.  Let me say this in no uncertain terms: if Sanford Bishop doesn’t win in November, the CBC and the White House will gut farm programs like a fish.  Rep. Mike Espy of Mississippi and later Bishop championed these programs inside the CBC and over time members learned that farms and agricultural operations are vital to rural America’s local tax base—farms fund schools.  While the Tea Party Movement would love that seat, south Georgians should think hard before bouncing a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. 

I think Bishop’s opponent knows that redistricting is around the corner and a strong showing in 2010 might convince his former colleagues in the statehouse to put his county in a more consevative district.  Of course, he wants to win now but the power and knowledge of SDB is important in this struggling region.  When or if the Democrats hold the House, SDB could be an appropriations subcommittee chairman—we called them cardinals.

At church yesterday, I was thinking about Abraham, Isaac and sacrifice—you know, the Ram in the brush story.  Like in a lifeboat at sea, the collective must decide who should be sacrificed so most can survive.  I am a moderate who will admit that Isakson is the Republican in the Georgia delegation with the best relationship in the Black community and Bishop is similar in our party.  Bishop has caught heat from city liberals and CBC members for supporting issues of importance to rural America.  If someone must take one for the team, lean into the pitch or be the Ram in the brush, it should be the Democrat who is the least Democrat.  That would be Rep. Jim Marshall of Macon.  This White House and the DNC should protect loyal members like David Scott, Sanford Bishop and John Barrow first. 

In 1993, a snowstorm caused the House of Representatives to have a half day and I went to the Union Station to see Schindler’s List.  My goodness, I could tell by the support from family members that a few people in the crowd were actual Holocaust survivors.  While that was one of the roughest movies of my life, one somewhat comic scene relates to this blog post.  A ruthless German officer had prisoners lined up and he shoots a man while trying to discover who stole a chicken.  A teenager step forward and reveals that he knows who the food taker is.  The teen points down at the dead man and the German believes him. 

The boy was wise enough to think that this poor fellow is already gone; let him be a sacrifice so that no one else dies over a chicken.  The Democrats aren’t crafty enough to think that if a member of the Georgia delegation must be sacrificed, it should be the one who is political gone already. 

Let me tell you what might happen: the GOP could be within a few seats of controlling the House and offer Marshall a chairmanship to switch parties.  Of course, he will take it and Democrats will come across as schmucks.  By the way: the second coolest Republican in Georgia behind Isakson is Jim Marshall’s opponent.  Is Michael Steele reading this?  Bro, this is the seat to get.  Say you want them all.  Right, and people in hell want ice water.

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You are a political junkie if you know the name Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky.  The mother of Chelsea Clinton’s boyfriend, MMM made the deciding vote in the House for Bill Clinton’s Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993.  That five year budget plan cut taxes for fifteen million low-income families, made tax cuts available to 90% of small businesses, raised taxes on the wealthiest 1.2% of taxpayers and mandated balanced budgets. 

 

As Senator Joe Liberman mentioned on stage at the 2008 RNC Convention, President Clinton balanced the budget with his plan and the American economy grew stronger.  On the day of that historic budget vote, the crafty Republicans waved goodbye to MMM as she walked in the chamber to vote—like the Lynyrd Skynyrd lyric said “shaking like a left on a tree.”  Legend has it that two other Democrats were holding  MMM up.  34 Democratic incumbents were defeated in the “Republican Revolution” in 1994 in part for making that vote.

 

This walk down memory lane supports the concept that sometimes the community as a whole is better served by the sacrifice of one.  In one of those Star Trek movies, Spock went out like a solider—took one for the team- just like Congresswoman Margolies-Mezvinsky.  It was 1982, Sarah Palin and I were finishing high school on opposite sides of the country and my sister was finishing Georgia Tech.  I saw that movie while visiting her; walking across I-75, stopped at the Varsity for some greasy food and burped my way to the Columbia Theater—Star Trek: the Warth of Khan in doby sound. (Some movies need to be seen on the big screen.)

 

Remember, Spock and Jim said, “It is logical, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few…or the one.   I have been and always shall be your friend. Live long and prosper.” 

Of course, we learn in Star Trek III that Spock planted his Kattra (living spirit) in McCoy.  Movies have always been tools to me that shape or parallel stuff happening in life. Petite MMM went out like Spock saving the Enterprise; she helped the enterprise known as the American economy by doing what she felt was right. 

 

Senator Sam Nunn did not vote for that budget plan and Vice President Gore broke the tie in the Senate.  Nunn could do that because he is “Sam Nunn”—the staff joke on the Hill was Nunn did not want to be VP because it would be a demotion.  Nunn’s role in national defense gave him icon status—presidents came to see him.  Since this rant has developed a movie theme, Nunn and the Democrats made me think about  Colonel Jessep (Jack Nicholson’s character) in A Few Good Men:

  Col. Jessep: Son, we live in a world that has walls and those walls need to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lieutenant Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and curse the Marines; you have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives and that my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use then as the backbone of a life trying to defend something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said “thank you,” and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest that you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

 

 

You Can’t Handle the Truth…there it is; naïve people wonder why some people boldly stand up while others stand idly by.  I am puzzled by the local, state and national Democratic Party officials’ quietness on Rep. Jim Marshall party attitude.  As I have written before, Marshall would have my respect if he endorsed Obama or McCain but this no comment stuff does not fly when members of Congress have faced political peril to fight for what they believed.  Rep. Bishop and Rep. Barrows courageously put their political futures on the line by supporting Obama while many members of the Congressional Black Caucus did the same by supporting Senator Clinton. 

 

Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky is not a footnote in congressional history because she can hold her head up high. The Dem Team needs White male southern support and Jim Marshall is AWOL.

 

You Can’t Handle the Truth…Why did it take me so long to figure out that Marshall obviously has a pass from Speaker Pelosi—keeping the House is more important than getting the White House. 

 

You Can’t Handle the Truth…Marshall also has a pass from the African American leadership in Macon—Obama got sold down the river for earmarks and pork.  I might not be the brightest person and clearly I can write well but even I know that shortly after the election Democrats are going to plan how to marginalize Marshall and that will justify him moving to the GOP.  Yes, he would have just used Dem money to win an election, did not support Obama/Biden and might join the Republicans. 

 

Last movie: ice-cold Michael Corleone talking to his brother Fredo about the family and loyalty.  “Don’t ever take sides with anyone against the family again….ever.”  “I know it was you Fredo…you broke my heart.”  Michael Corleone should be head of the DNC but we really should think about Frank Sinatra, who is singing in the following Godfather video.  Sinatra is rumored to have secured the election of Kennedy by making “certain” calls to certain people who were “connected” to labor unions in Illinois and West Virginia.  He watched the back of MLK, Sammy Davis, Sugar Ray Robinson, and Joe Louis; Sinatra was all about loyalty and that was a close presidential election.

 

 

I told my friends that Cuban boy Elian Gonzalez would cost the Democrats the election and I was right.  I have a feeling that one person (I am not saying who) could cost the Democrats Georgia and therefore the Presidency is year. 

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