My friend posted:
I listened to some of that "fairly balanced after the elections" NPR yesterday, and they were interviewing MY US house REP Bobby Bright in a coffee shop in Troy, Alabama. Bobby is a rookie fresh blue dog dem after years of repubulican representation in this district.... Well, one of the guys in the coffee shop told Bobby he had a friend in Canada that is waiting months for prostate treatment??? Bobby said they are working VERY hard in a bipartison way with all parties and peoples to get this right... I hope he is telling us the truth, because I do understand something must be done, and soon, but not too soon, and it must be done right..... I am going to talk to Bobby as soon as I track him down... he seems to be very balanced. Until I talk to Bobby, no more political talk. I am going to put my trust in the system just one more time... yes sir, going right to the heart of America now... a blue dog democrat."
And he included the following excerpt from the Bright's Wikipedia biography: "2009 Representative Career: 'Bright is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition. Soon after being sworn in, Bright introduced a bill to extend tax deductions for small businesses. He was the first member of the Democratic freshman class of 2009 to sponsor a bill. Bright twice voted no on President Obama's stimulus plan, officially known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, one of only 7 Democrats voting against the final version'. "
My reply to him was:
Well, I read the full text of the Wiki article on Bobby Bright that you quoted from above, and the information in it alone makes me reasonably sure that if he were President right now, he'd be making even deeper compromises with the Neocons than Obama is making -- in other words, leading the country down the path to total economic collapse even faster. What this country needs most at the moment is a push to the left to balance out the push to the right it's been receiving for almost thirty years. However, If you do track him down, here are a few questions I'd like to see you ask him:
1. Do you believe that one of first steps towards prison reform in this country is the legalization and taxing of marijuana, followed by the immediate pardon of everyone now incarcerated primarily for using or selling that drug?
2. Do you believe that Medicare should be extended to all citizens who ask for it and financed by a flat-rate tax on ALL individual income, not just wages, but profits, dividends, and interest as well?
3. Do you believe that the securities and real estate markets should be regulated in ways that encourage long-term investment and discourage speculation?
4. Do you believe that slumlords and sweatshop proprietors should be punished as severely as drunken drivers are if their negligence kills people?
IMO, if he refuses to answer these questions, he's not enough of a true "centrist populist" to ever be considered for "national office", but if he does answer, his explanations of why he says yes or no should give us a very good idea where he REALLY stands politically.