Saturday, August 16, 2008
Forward Into the Past
New Hampshire’s own US Senator, John E. Sununu has been to Conway twice in recent weeks. He is running for re-election this year, running against the same candidate he opposed in the questionable 2002 election, former governor Jeanne Shaheen. That was the election where the NH GOP jammed phones in Manchester – so that Democrats weren’t able to receive calls asking for rides to the polls in the biggest city in the state.
Sununu spoke to folks at the opening of the Carroll County Republicans office in Conway, attempting to make the case that the GOP ticket headed up by Senator John McCain is a strong ticket. He also tried to make the case that the Republicans are right on energy; that they understand the need for a balanced approach to our nation’s energy needs. No word on whether he was able to say that without blushing.
It’s hard to know where Senator Sununu has been for the last 8 years, but one thing is certain – apparently he hasn’t been paying attention to his own party’s energy policies. There has been absolutely no move to diversify our energy portfolio, quite the contrary. The lions share of tax breaks have gone to big oil and big nuke (often one in the same). Money for renewable energy has been cut at every opportunity. The GOP hasn’t even been able to show leadership on the most basic energy saver of all – conservation. Instead, CAFÉ standards have not been raised, and tax rebates for gas guzzling vehicles continued unabated. It’s not as if the oil crisis was unexpected. We all new it was coming. The GOP had 8 years to do something, anything – and all they did was shovel money at Big Oil. Now that prices have skyrocketed, the GOP mantra is drill, drill, drill – even though Big Oil holds 68 million acres in leases they aren’t using. If there isn’t any oil in that acreage, let the leases go. The GOP answer to our energy needs is STILL oil, oil, oil, with tax breaks for nukes, too. Uranium is a finite resource, and one that requires a great deal of energy, and water to mine, and leaves behind dangerous waste. On top of that the nuclear industry is heavily subsidized by taxpayers and ratepayers. I see no reason why we should have to pay, and pay, and pay for a dirty, and dangerous form of energy.
Senator Sununu also said (unblushingly) that the way to create jobs is by keeping taxes low. The Bush tax cuts lowered taxes on the wealthiest one percent. Has that translated into jobs? Not in northern NH. Not anywhere else, either. Unemployment is spiking up all around the nation. It’s the same foolish rhetoric Reagan spouted – and it didn’t work for him either. I’m sure I’m not alone in remembering what the Reagan years were like in this part of the state. Our Senator spoke of helping small businesses afford health insurance. The free market, the altar at which Sununu worships, has done nothing to lower the cost of health insurance, or make it affordable for many working people. Sununu said that helping small business is the Republican way. The Republican way isn’t working out so well for the uninsured. This is the same Sununu who told NH business leaders back in December 2006 that they should stop complaining about the cost of health insurance, since there was nothing that could be done about it. At the Conway Rotary, Sununu said that he’d support tax credits for individuals to buy insurance. Folks that are already dealing with the increasing cost of gas, oil, and food – not to mention college tuitions, will undoubtedly have all kinds of money left over to buy expensive health insurance.
The GOP ticket is headed by a 72 year-old man who doesn’t know how to get on the internet without help. He is a man of the past. Sununu isn’t offering anything new, or innovative. The Republican Party is offering a rehashed version of the kinds of policies that got us into the mess we’re in. Shame on anyone who thinks we should march forward into the past.
h/t to stopsununu.com for the picture
Posted by susanthe at 6:19 PM