October 17, 2012
Suzan DelBene, Congressional Referee
When Suzan DelBene ran for Congress in 2010, I was charmed by the contrast between one of
her TV ads
and her platform. In the ad, she promised to cut her own pay until the federal budget was
balanced; in the platform she listed a series of new expenditures and new tax breaks, none of
which would help, directly, to balance the budget.
This year, she is running for the open seat in my 1st district, and has a strange TV ad
(which you can see here).
It doesn't have the same contrast with her
platform; instead it is odd
enough to deserve some comments, all by itself.
Here's a transcript, with my comments in italics:
Suzan DelBene: I was a high school football referee. It was perfect training
Now you know where the NFL got those substitute referees. Football fans
will want to know whether Congress plays by NFL or NCAA rules, and whether she has
brushed up on the differences between those rules and the high school rules she
All right, she is, I suppose, both joking and trying to claim that she'll act like a referee in
Congress. But that's not what congressmen (and women) are supposed to do; they
are supposed to be players (or player-coaches, if they are in the leadership), representing
their district or their state. (There are people you could call referees in
Congress. For example, the
Senate and the
each have a parliamentarian.)
There's too much extreme partisan gridlock. We're the ones losing out.
Does she know that the United States Constitution was designed to make gridlock
more likely, that
designed it that way in order to limit the powers of government? And you don't have
to be a Republican to think that more gridlock would have been good for the nation,
in the first two years of Obama's presidency.
I'll bring my career in business focused on the bottom line to work across party lines
and get results.
Rebuild our economy. Restore our middle class. And make sure millionaires
pay their fair share.
So much for the poor, the working class, and the well off. The 1st district is
relatively prosperous, but we do have poor people, and many working class people.
And DelBene should know that when the well off who raise food or build things are doing well,
the rest of us almost always benefit.
DelBene is a millionaire. Has she been paying her "fair share"? As
far as I know, she hasn't released her income taxes, so I can't tell.
And I'll always protect women's health care.
Men and children will have to take care of themselves.
(Oh, we know what she means; she is pro-abortion, and she wants someone else
to pay for her birth control pills, and if she wants it, her sterilization. But that isn't what she
said. Nor is it accurate to call those things "health care".)
I'm Suzan DelBene and I approved this message.
Maybe you are, but given the incoherence of the argument you just made, I'd like to
see some ID.
Voiceover: Suzan DelBene, results not rhetoric.
Unlike this commercial.
Her issues list
reminds me of a little kid's Christmas list. There are many things she wants, but not
much understanding of what those things might cost. She may not believe in Santa
Claus, but she seems to think that the government is a reasonable substitute for him.
This year, as far as I know, she is not promising to cut her own pay until the federal
budget is balanced.
Cross posted at
Jim Miller on Politics.
Posted by Jim Miller at October 17, 2012
01:16 PM | Email This
Jim writes: "she wants someone else to pay for her birth control pills, and if she wants it, her sterilization"
But that's not what anyone is asking for. What a lot of women want is to make sure that their health insurance -- the insurance for which they pay premiums -- to include birth control. That doesn't seem unreasonable to me.
It certainly doesn't seem like "asking someone else" to pay for it, except insofar as insurance as a whole is designed to aggregate premium payments from a large number of people to pay for medical services provided to that entire population. (Yes, medical insurance is by its very nature a form of socialism.)
If you think it is unreasonable, please explain why a man who pays premiums for his health insurance can have that insurance provide Viagra (which it's hard to argue is medically necessary) and pay for a vasectomy, while a woman who pays the same (or in some cases higher) premiums for the same policy should not expect that policy to cover birth control or sterilization. Why are the rules different for coverage provided to women vs. men?
I should think that every person who would like to see fewer abortions in this country (and I know of no one who doesn't fit that description, whether they call themselves pro-choice or pro-life) would be all for easy access to birth control as a way to prevent unwanted pregnancies. But that's a different windmill.
2. @Tilts - Should health insurance pay for condoms?
3. Tilts@1, the typical Republican/libertarian reponse to your question is that coverage for both Viagra and birth control should be left to the free market. (Also that Viagra is technically a treatment for a disease whereas birth control is not.) Which sounds nice in theory. But the reality is that the free market doesn't decide which sex can become pregnant, so public policy requiring contraceptive coverage can help to reduce the unwanted consequences (ONLY when they are unwanted!) of this difference.
"...Also that Viagra is technically a treatment for a disease whereas birth control is not...."
What disease? Male Ego? Yes, I know it has to do with blood flow, but not having s*x is the least of the issues. People don't have to have s*x to survive. Viagra doesn't help constricted flow elsewhere. Two low-dose aspirin is a lot cheaper solution, plus other blood thinners/flow enabling medication.
The first district has the forced dues from the Boeing trade unions -- all to the Demos. Thats how the moron, Inslee, got elected.
The Demo candidate need not be consistent or intelligent.
Was Del Bene really a high school referee ? Her credibility is in question. I would not be surprised if further investigation revealed that to be false.
Perfectly plausible that she is a liberal progressive with an addiction to big government and a hypocrite - she's not paying her fair share as if that matters.
Romney's proposed reduction of deductions for the top tax bracket will produce a fair amount more revenue. Watch the Democrats vote against it because they are hypocrites..
How does Romney justify his "new" stance on taxes (top 5% will pay same amount), with his previous statements in the primary, specifically, about making permanent Bush Tax Cuts?
IMHO, He changed his tune last night. He is moderate Mich now. I sure his primary opponents are kicking themselves over his latest version of tax proposal. At least Santorum was consistent. Where is the right holding Mitt's feet to the ground on what he promised this last spring?
BTW, I think his new position sells better and his proposal to limit deductions (and possible other credits and exemptions) for the top 5% may make his math add up (finally).
8. DelBene, by her own words, should have been sending extra $$ to the United States Treasury, if she believes she doesn't pay enough in taxes. PHONEY-ness on display.
I wouldn't vote for this woman--all she'll do is raise taxes. We've had enough of that already from Obama, with his massive tax increase for Obamacare. That's too much already.
My insurance policy doesn't cover Viagra or a vasectomy - and I like it that way, it costs me less money as a result. Not all policies do. Insurance needs MORE flexibility in what you can choose, not less. Every mandate from the Government to force coverage of one more thing simply ups the cost for all.
10. Dan@9 hear hear!
Moderate @2: Apples and oranges. Condoms are available over the counter, so there's no reason insurance should cover them any more than it covers aspirin or mouthwash. Birth control pills and devices are available only with a doctor's visit and a prescription, and at least in the case of birth control pills may be prescribed for medical reasons other than prevention of pregnancy.
Dan @9: I'd love to see people have more choices about their insurance coverage, but the reality is that in the US almost everyone gets their insurance through their employer, and is therefore limited to exactly the plans their employer chooses to offer. I work for one of the largest companies in the United States and we have exactly ONE insurance carrier available to us. We have a variety of plans available but they differ only in premiums and copays, not in what services and medications are actually covered.
While it's technically possible to forego your employer's benefits package and buy insurance on your own, without the leverage of a large employer-based purchasing group consumers generally find that the premiums are high and the coverage more limited than an employer-offered plan. People with pre-existing conditions are often priced out of the market (at least until/unless the ACA goes fully into effect) and/or subject to severe limitations on coverage and/or recision (again, at least until the ACA goes fully into effect).
Until we break the link between insurance and employment, which doesn't seem likely to happen any time soon (neither Republicans nor Democrats have any realistic proposal for doing this), we have the system we have. And in that system, I think it's reasonable to regulate comparable / equitable coverage across genders.
Tilt - As far as I am concerned, DelBene should be free to buy almost any kind of insurance she wants to -- with her own money. And I agree with those who argue that we should get rid of some of the barriers to interstate sales of insurance, so that she would have even more choices.
But that isn't what is being debated. What we are arguing over -- and DelBene is trying to hide -- is whether others, particularly the Catholic Church, should be forced to pay for what they believe to be a sin.
I am not a Catholic, have never been a Catholic, and disagree with their dogma on most of these issues.
Nonetheless, I think a tolerant society should allow Catholic organizations to choose whether their insurance policies include birth control, sterilization, and abortion.
(I think there is a weaker -- but still convincing -- case for putting few, if any, coverage restrictions on private group insurance. If Microsoft wants to include seances in the package they offer their employees, I will think that's silly, but see no reason the government should forbid it. If they want to change their benefit packages to pure health savings accounts to save money, then that should be, mostly, a matter between the company and their employees.)
In World War II, we were able to accommodate the religious views of men who belonged to peace churches, allowing them to serve unarmed, or even to do alternate service. (Incidentally, many of them served as unarmed stretcher bearers, showing their courage, if nothing else.)
I don't share their pacifist beliefs, but I think we were right to find practical ways to tolerate them, even during the greatest war, ever.
I don't see any reason why we can't show similar religious tolerance now, and I think we ought to think hard before we impose more insurance mandates on private companies and institutions.
In short, I oppose DelBene on this cluster of issues because I value religious tolerance and individual freedom.
Meantime have you folks seen the great new bumper sticker for "women for ROMNEY?" Cool!
Should really help Koster!
So rather than fight the continual slide towards a WORSE system (which, you acknowledge, is happening), you'll accept the ever-increasing restriction we see.
Private insurance doesn't have to be expensive; it can be quite affordable IF YOU USE IT as insurance! You don't use your car insurance for oil changes, you don't use your house insurance for mowing the lawn. Don't get a policy that has an ultra-low deductible.
As far as "equitable", I assume you also demand, then, that condoms and vasectomies be covered by insurance? That it must be the law that they offer such things as regular medical expenses? I mean, fair IS fair, right?
15. @11 - If condoms are apples and oranges to The Pill (or IUDs, etc.), Viagra is apples and telephones. Viagra has nothing to do with birth control; it is more akin to a thyroid medicine or any other drug that relieves the symptoms of a diseased organ. Why bring it into the debate?
16. would be all for easy access to birth control as a way to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
Everyone already has this, they're called condoms. They are available everywhere and are free for many people.
Until we break the link between insurance and employment
There's no reason at all to do this. Insurance benefits provide a way for employers to differentiate and attract better employees. Want gold plated benefit coverage that includes the Pill? Lots of employers provide it, and do so at a higher cost because they believe it's worth it. Others can't afford it or choose not to. No one is forcing anyone to work for an employer who doesn't. Let the free market decide what to provide and people will act accordingly.
It is not religious intolerance to require a business to act like every other business. No one is requiring a Catholic to use birth control. But just as a Christian Scientist cannot object to their business offering insurance due to their religious beliefs, or a Scientologist cannot require someone to have their thetans checked as medical care, every business must offer the same basic benefits, including women's health care and contraception. I think even you would agree the last thing anyone wants is an employers personal beliefs dictating the medical care of their employees.
Again, no one is forcing anyone to use that care. If you have chiropractic care as part of your medical policy, no one is forcing you to go to a chiropractor. There is no religious intolerance, just a requirement that everyone plays on the same field.
18. By the by, since Jim is accusing Ms. DelBene of saying things she did not actually say, how long until pudge drops by and rants at him for lying?
Bruce...as a Seattle progressive....take Viagra to get blood flow to his brain. :-)
Sorry that was just to easy a joke not to comment.
20. It's an easy choice for me. Conservative's want less goverment in order to maintain their personal freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution. Liberal's want more government in order to guarantee them comfort, even at the loss of their personal freedoms. Once you have enough people that care more about their comfort than their personal freedom's, the great experiment of this Democratic republic is over. The founding father's are no doubt rolling in their graves as they watch us piss away all of their blood, sweat and tears shed to establish it. And for what? A volunteer enslavement. Pathetic.
Rick@20, I guess you're saying that even if most people want a secure water supply, secure highways, secure healthcare, etc., they shouldn't be allowed to organize those things as a society because the Constitution guarantees the personal freedom to not have those things.
Good luck with that.
22. By the by, since Jim is accusing Ms. DelBene of saying things she did not actually say, how long until pudge drops by and rants at him for lying?
Mr. Legal Guy, if you're going to accuse pudge of making allegations of lying which are actually supported by facts, I'm going to demand you provide evidence he has ever done so. (And please do remember, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.")
Good luck with that.
Clean water is theft! (And rule's concerning use of apostrophe's are violation's of our sacred liberty's.)
23. We're being overwhelmed with spam, so I'm closing the post.