Is Marsha Blackburn a female Donald Trump?

By | August 20, 2018 7:55 am

Democratic Dialog – By Debra Wines

Donald Trump has very loyal and staunch supporters. We’ve seen this from the moment he announced he was going to run for the president of the United States. Polls seem to be coming out every week that indicate approximately 50 percent of Republicans are standing firm in their support of him and his administration. Republican senators and Republican congressmen who are up for re-election seem to be a little less enthusiastic; certainly not all of them and ones that want his support appear to be bending over backwards to make sure their constituents know they fall in line with Donald Trump’s policies and vision for America. I understand the people in the same party as any president feel they need to follow his/her lead and “sell” the president’s policies to the people who elected them to office.

Marsha Blackburn, the GOP candidate to replace Senator Bob Corker, is definitely one of those Republican candidates who has fallen in line with Donald Trump, no matter what he says or does. She is a good Republican.   U.S. Rep. Blackburn stated in one of her campaign ads the reason she is running for the Senate is because our current Senate is highly dysfunctional, even though they hold the majority. If she wins a Senate seat, she will change all that. She’s a little shy on the details of that announcement, but that isn’t anything unusual for some candidates of both political parties. I understand that because what can be done in the Senate and the House of Representatives will greatly depend on who has the majority and how many elected legislators are willing to work across the party lines for the betterment of their constituents and the country.

It seems U.S. Rep. Blackburn is having trouble gaining support from some members of her own party, in Tennessee. Senator Bob Corker, sometimes a critic of Donald Trump and sometimes mildly supporting some of Trump’s policies, is not exactly a BIG fan of Marsha Blackburn as his replacement in the Senate. Senator Corker has said repeatedly that he thinks former Gov. Phil Bredesen would be a better choice for senator, even though he has not come out and formally endorsed Mr. Bredesen. His reasoning seems to center on Marsha’s inability to work well or at all with Democrats, whereas Phil Bredesen has shown he is more than willing to push for bipartisanship cooperation on issues that will be good for Tennesseans and Americans.

In my opinion, U.S. Rep. Blackburn seems to have a problem relating to a majority of her constituents. This became very apparent last year during the discussion of proposed changes in the Affordable Care Act. She refused to hold open town hall meetings with the everyday people in her district. She wasn’t the only one, but this does indicate an unwillingness to listen to and hear the concerns of the people she took an oath to represent. She has voted against many issues that affect women’s rights, civil rights, environmental protections, net neutrality, improved VA benefits, and regulations that protect consumers and student from predatory lenders. On top of those issues, she has backed Donald Trump with his policies on climate change, disregarding previously negotiated deals with other countries without any “back-up” plan; dismantling of a healthcare system that needed improvement; a zero-tolerance immigration program without any idea of the consequences; and accepting Russia as our new best friend.

I do find it rather comical that U.S. Rep. Blackburn wants to “straighten up” the Republican-led Senate that can’t get anything done when the House of Representatives, which also has a Republican majority, has voted to repeal, modify, or weaken the Affordable Care Act approximately 70 times since its inception as a law, on March 23, 2010. They have succeeded in making small changes and doing some damage to the ACA. Yet, in over eight years, they have not been able to successfully destroy it. In my opinion, Marsha might want to re-think calling the Senate dysfunctional and unable to accomplish anything substantial.

Marsha Blackburn is a strong supporter of Donald Trump’s claim that the Mueller investigation is an outrageously expensive “witch hunt.” Her supporters were offended and demanded an apology from Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Memphis) for what they called a “violent remark” he made last month at the Broadway Baptist Church, in Memphis. Mr. Cohen said: “The big orange president…He’s going to come down here, and he is going to endorse Marsha Blackburn, because Marsha Blackburn, if he says, ‘Jump off the Harahan Bridge,’ she’ll jump off the Harahan Bridge. I wish he’d say that.” Yes, that was an inappropriate and rather stupid remark to make. I won’t argue if it was actually a “violent remark” or not, but Mr. Cohen should not have been the comment.

This leads us to the hypocrisy that seems to run rampant in politics. But, in the last couple of years, it seems the Republican Party has taken the normal, everyday political hypocrisy to a higher level. One of the first ads promoting Ms. Blackburn’s campaign for the Senate got a great deal of attention when Twitter blocked her ad because her comment about stopping Planned Parenthood from selling baby body parts was deemed as an “inflammatory statement that is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction.” It didn’t matter to Marsha Blackburn that she led a year-long $1.59 million congressional “witch hunt” into a discredited anti-abortion propaganda campaign that falsely accused Planned Parenthood profited from legal donations of fetal tissue (baby body parts). U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn and her “Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, caused life-saving fetal tissue research to be undermined and endangered the privacy and safety of researchers, Planned Parenthood employees, and other reproductive health-care providers. Blackburn’s association with the Center for Medical Program (CMP), which was responsible for the propaganda campaign, also encouraged violence against abortion providers, while she quoted Planned Parenthood shooter Robert Lewis Dear, Jr. who inspired and promoted increasing the violence against all abortion providers. In 2015, the U.S. House Oversight Committee and 13 states that launched investigations into Planned Parenthood declared the organization was innocent, and they found no proof of them selling fetal tissue or baby body parts. David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt had edited videos to make it appear as if Planned Parenthood was illegally selling fetal tissue. They were charged with 15 felonies, in California, over the videos. Even though 14 of the 15 felony charges have been dropped through various legal actions, as of April 2018, the legal haggling is not over yet.

Marsha’s flair for pushing hot button issues and ignoring facts doesn’t seem to matter to her or her supporters, much the same as with Donald Trump. Skating around the truth seems to be a specialized talent for some politicians and approved behavior, as long as they are the ones that are doing it. Calling a “foul” on their opponents if there is even a hint of doing or saying something that offends them in some way seems to be their standard operating procedure. Marsha is very good at it, and she is also highly skilled when it comes to directly answering questions about her involvement in promoting policies and bills that hurt Tennesseans and Americans.

I also find U.S. Rep. Blackburn’s record on supporting women’s rights rather dismal. She has proudly stated she does not support equal pay for equal work for woman because, according to her, women don’t care about getting paid less than men. I wonder if she’d have been so eager to run for public office if she was getting paid a third less than her fellow male legislators. Marsha has voted against the bills that would protect women against violence. I believe she doesn’t think it is necessary. She obviously hasn’t talked to women who have been victims of domestic violence, rape, sexual abuse or other forms of violence who have found little or no help from the justice system. Marsha is proud of her pro-life and anti-abortion stance, yet she has voted to cut funding for sex education, contraceptives, funding for programs that would help mothers and their children, and educational funding for children with special needs.

I suppose those who love and support Donald Trump also love and support Marsha Blackburn and will vote for her as our next senator. I just hope those of you who are on the fence will remember some of the other things that Marsha Blackburn has done that have caused Tennesseans and Americans more harm than help in their daily lives. Check out her voting on what led to the opioid crisis; the tax cuts for the rich that have increased our national debt; net neutrality and her reason that Tennessee’s rural hospitals are closing is because they don’t have access to the internet and not anything to do not expanding Medicaid. Question what her definition of dysfunctional is.

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