Marsha Blackburn is playing fast and loose with facts
By Sparta Live | October 1, 2018 9:39 am
Democratic Dialog – By Debra Wines
Marsha Blackburn is a Republican’s Republican. She unquestionably is a hardcore Trump supporter. No one can doubt that for a single moment. Her interviews, her stump speeches, campaign ads, and her latest debate performance reinforces her commitment to back everything Donald Trump says or does, without question or concern for the majority of Tennesseans. One of her old stand-by lines is that if she is elected to the Senate, she will bring “Tennessee values” to Washington D.C. I have a couple questions I’d like to ask Marsha, “Congressman Blackburn, you have been in Washington for 16 years. What did you do with your ‘Tennessee values’ when you were in the House of Representatives? What values did you bring to Washington when you were in Congress?”
During last week’s debate, Congressman Blackburn claimed Senator Chuck Schumer was funding former Gov. Phil Bredesen’s campaign. She mentioned Senator Schumer’s name at least a dozen times in an attempt to tie former Bredesen to the New York senator as tightly as she could. The reality is that last November, Senator Schumer, along with several other Democrats, had a meeting with Bredesen and encouraged him to run for Senator Corker’s Senate seat. I am sure members of the Republican leadership met with and encouraged Marsha Blackburn to run for Senator Corker’s seat, too. There is nothing unusual or unlawful about this. Congressman Blackburn’s insinuation that Senator Schumer is the major financial mover and shaker behind Bredesen’s campaign is bogus. There are four Senators who have donated money to Phil Bredesen’s campaign: Corey Booker (D-NJ) $5,000; Chuck Schumer (D-NY) $10,000; Kamala Harris (D-CA) $10,000; and Dick Durbin (D-IL) $5,000. This information came from the GOP in a press release. Not to be naïve, but I really don’t think a total of $30,000 from these four Democratic senators is enough to “buy” Phil Bredesen’s unwavering support if he wins a seat in the Senate.
To some Tennessee Democrats, Phil Bredesen is a bit too moderate. Yet, before we condemn him for that, we do need to look at what he accomplished for the state when he was the governor. Did he please everyone with his decisions? Of course not. He was elected at a time when Tennessee and the entire country were in serious financial trouble. When he was done, after eight years in office, was Tennessee in better shape? Yes, it was, but again, not everyone was happy, and that is how politics and governments work. Politicians are constantly faced with difficult decisions. Good ones will examine the pros and cons regarding how it will impact the majority of their constituents and hopefully ignore any financial gain they can achieve for themselves when they make those decisions.
Congressman Blackburn has shown the people of Tennessee, over and over again, that the needs of the majority have absolutely no influence on her. During the discussions last year regarding the future of the Affordable Care Act, she repeatedly refused to hold open forum town hall meetings with constituents. The few meetings she did actually hold were purposely limited to the people who supported her views. She refused to have any open discussions that included people who wanted to ask her about their future health care, if the ACA was completely repealed. Marsha Blackburn was on record supporting Donald Trump’s desire to repeal the ACA. Donald Trump campaigned on the promise that he would get rid of the ACA and replace it with something better, cheaper, and cover more people. The Republicans, after voting to repeal the ACA more than 60 times, didn’t have any plan for a replacement. They had no idea how to fulfill Donald Trump’s promises and neither did Mr. Trump, as we all remember his comment to the press, “Who knew health care was so complicated?”
Congressman Blackburn has unquestioningly supported everything Donald Trump has done. She pushed, promoted, and praised his “tax cuts” plan. It didn’t bother her at all that the majority of the tax cuts benefited large corporations and 2 percent of the American population. It doesn’t concern her that the majority of Tennesseans have experienced very little, if any, real benefit from those tax cuts. It doesn’t seem to bother her the tax cuts are increasing our deficit by at least $1.5 trillion. Congressman Blackburn supports the new trade tariffs Donald Trump has put into effect and the ones he has proposed. When a company as big as Walmart claims these tariffs will affect their bottom line and force them to raise prices on their goods, you know Walmart isn’t really going to be hurt, but at least they make it sound as if they are concerned about their customers. This is more than I can say for any of our current legislators. Consumers, especially those of us who live in White County, are going feel the pain of those higher prices. If we’re lucky, we might be able to travel to larger cities where there are more choices for shopping. But let’s face it, practically everything we buy is either made entirely in China or assembled in China.
Walmart isn’t the only corporation or business that will be feeling the impact of Donald Trump’s tariff policies and his overwhelming desire to destroy every trade agreement with other countries that were negotiated well before President Obama was even in office. Mr. Trump’s slash-and-burn attitude to every national and international agreement or policy is dangerous for America and the world, especially when he offers no coherent alternative plan. His ignorance of trade deals that were a lifeline for farmers was made blatantly clear when his solution was to give farmers a kind of “bail-out,” which, in reality, will not help farmers in the long run. Marsha Blackburn was supportive of Trump’s idea. Yet, she tells Tennessee’s farmers only she has the ability to help them. If I were a farmer, I would ask her, specifically, what she plans to do. Bredesen is talking and listening to farmers. He is doing the same thing with everyone he meets, all over the state. He is listening to the forgotten majority of Tennesseans and coming up with plans to address our concerns and work for us, once he is elected.
During the debate, Marsha Blackburn made several comments about our military, which I found to be repulsive. She claimed President Obama sent our troops into Afghanistan and Iraq with faulty equipment. I guess she forgot that President Bush and his administration were the ones who did that. She claimed that she has repeatedly voted to support our troops and our veterans. I guess she also forgot that she voted against pay raises for our military and against increased benefits for our veterans. Congressman Blackburn is more than willing to give the Pentagon more money than they requested for several years, because it feeds those private industries that have very lucrative contracts with the military. It doesn’t really bother her that a vast majority of military families are on welfare and SNAP programs because the military spouses are not making enough to support their families. She is all for making drastic cuts to those programs, too, to help make up for the increased deficit those wonderful tax cuts are causing. These cuts are harmful to the military families, in Tennessee, but that doesn’t seem to bother her. Only when she’s running for office does she even mention our military personnel. Congressman Blackburn seems to think that if she tells the public how much she loves and admires our fighting men and women, we will automatically believe she is a true American patriot. Her voting record tells a very different story.
Congressman Blackburn has made it abundantly clear that she does not care about the average woman, in Tennessee or in the country. She has publicly stated that she believes women don’t want equal pay for equal work. She has voted “no” on the Violence Against Women Act whenever it is has come up for a vote. She has made it her mission to destroy Planned Parenthood with her repeated lies. She claims she is “pro-life,” but what she really means is she is anti-abortion for every female, it doesn’t matter what the circumstance may be. She is more inline with “pro-birth,” because, again, she has voted to take away any safety nets for children and their families. Marsha Blackburn is for restricting birth control for women and real sex education. Congressman Blackburn’s unwavering support of Brett Kavanaugh, amid accusations of sexual misconduct, sexual abuse, and possible rape, tells anyone who is paying attention that women are not worth the time or effort to have their allegations investigated and/or to be heard. In fact, her attitude toward the millions of women who have come forward on social media platforms, with their experiences, are, in her mind, not reliable and not worth being heard. Marsha Blackburn is not a friend to or of women. She’s a member of the “old boys’ club,” and she will sell out any human being and any principle to maintain that status.
Let’s not forget Congressman Blackburn’s involvement in our current opioid crisis. At the debate the other night, she did her level best to backtrack, skip over, and then claim she had no responsibility for what happened. Then she quickly said how we need more mental health resources but never addressed how that would happen and how it would be paid for, but she’d support it. Once again, Marsha Blackburn showed us she prescribes to Donald Trump’s “rant about a problem, but don’t offer any realistic solutions” way of campaigning.
Marsha was so proud of the A-plus rating given to her by the NRA. All I could think of was that she sounded exactly like Donald Trump when he gives himself A-pluses for what a good job he thinks he is doing for America. Congressman Blackburn blasted Bredesen for have a D rating from the NRA, while she accused him of wanting to get rid of the Second Amendment. Bredesen did reiterate he was not proposing to eliminate the Second Amendment. He does think we should have better background checks; have a nationwide registry that is accessible to all law enforcement; closure of the loopholes available at gun shows and private sales; and outlawing certain military style weapons and the large clips that hold hundreds of rounds of ammunition for the general public. Why do Republicans constantly accuse all Democrats of trying to eliminate the Second Amendment? Most of the Democrats I know own guns, and the majority of them feel we should have better common sense and more consistent laws concerning gun ownership and usage.
I am sure I am not alone in my desire to have our candidates and legislators tell us the truth and to quit lying, using “alternative facts” and ignoring the reality of what we are currently facing as a country.