Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Maffei vs. Walsh: Common Sense vs. Bankrupt Thinking

Maffei vs Walsh II - 1, originally uploaded by Wazdat!.

The more James Walsh tries to tell me that he's not Bush's man, the more I see Dubya standing right behind him! His performance in this week's debate will certainly not persuade any undecided to his cause.

For starters, Maffei and Walsh's manners were as different as night and day. Dan Maffei was forthcoming and very polite to Walsh, who was both petulant and defensive.

When Maffei gave his opening statement, he gave it directly to the people. He went through the litany of Bush horrors in a way that showed he knew the pain of the people.

Walsh, on the other hand, pushed the Panic Button, and retreated behind his pork and earmarks. He's a lousy rainmaker if he must exaggerate every small drop in the bucket.

Regarding Iraq, Bush has very little that's original days to say these days, and Walsh had even less. When confronted with the downwardly spiraling situation in Iraq, his only aces were that we were training an Iraqi army, and that there was a "government of unity" there to take over. As if.

Maffei saw the real situation: That we are in over our heads. The "unity government," is united in name only, and you can't create democracy at the barrel of a gun. We need a phased withdrawal, and for once let the generals take the point!

All Walsh could respond with was an accusation that Maffei was "shifting positions!" basing his allegation on quoting Maffei out of context from an article by Tom Curry on

Here is what Walsh said:

My opponent's position keeps shifting on this. When Tom Curry was here from MSNBC magazine, my opponent told him that he would support a bill that would cut off all funds except for immediate withdrawal of our troops. That's basically walking away from lraq.

And here's the paragraph

in question. You be the judge:

Unlike many Democratic candidates this year Maffei is not guarded about saying he'd support the resolution introduced by Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., and other anti-war Democrats that would cut off funding for the Iraq deployment - with an exception for funds needed for "the safe and orderly withdrawal" of U.S. troops. "I would support that resolution," he said flatly.

"with an exception for funds needed for 'the safe and orderly withdrawal of U.S. troops.' " Sounds exactly like ''phased withdrawal" to me!

Maffei showed how canny he was by not letting Walsh's statement go unchallenged:

You know, Congressman Walsh keeps saying that I shift positions on Iraq. I guess he just isn't listening, or just doesn't understand my position. We need to change the course. We need to bring our troops home. We need to leave the details to the generals. That's my position, it always has been.

On stem cell research, Walsh proved he too wouldn't shift his position. He stuck to Bush's perpetually backwards logic that a blastocyst has as many rights as a fully developed human being. (Or is it that a human being has about as many rights as a blastocyst? "War on Terror" you know!)

Back and forth went the exchange. Walsh became overly sensitive to the point where he referred to Maffei in a George Allen saying "Maccacca"- like manner as ''this fella." Maffei on the other always referred to Walsh as "Congressman."

In the end, it was a battle between a man who behaved as if he had new ideas and one bankrupt of any visions at all. Walsh kept falling back on obvious tactics. Like a mini-Karl Rove, he painted with a broad brush and gave out smear after smear. One obvious, and ridiculous one was a replay of his newest hare-brained commercial - where he reveals that as a Congressman he has a voting record, and Maffei doesn't! Really! Mr. Walsh should know that we own pumpkin patches here in CNY. We don't live under them. And after this straw man, Walsh had the temerity to say that Maffei's surrogates are "Washington Liberals," and that as an aide, Maffei never went public with his ideas! And how many Washington chatterbox aides can we count on one hand? Any of those pages Walsh's?

Aides have the responsibility of serving their Representative, and helping to represent the positions of that Representative's constituents.

Maffei, who never badgered Walsh or called his friends,"Washington Conservatives," was more than generous in his treatment of Walsh even under yesterday's circumstances.

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