Have you ever been asked to taste something that is different than your normal menu du jour? Typically, this happens with things that might be considered gamey, wild, or offensive. They have a certain allure, the challenge of the hunt, the novelty of being edgy and different but when you ask…”What does it taste like?” the answer is…”Tastes like chicken.”
The food item might have a different name, a different species, an entirely different origin…but when you peel back the skin or pluck the feathers and the heat gets to it….it is very similar to something very familiar.
We are currently enduring the presidency of a man with great oratorical skills, who can take a message and spin it well. He is able to affect dialects of various regions without giving away that it isn’t really his at all. He talks a good game. His rhetoric and running “against” rather than “for” was enough to get him elected POTUS.
Most of us know of his record. Not much to it, lots of “present” votes and little else. Well, then there is that ugly little matter back in Illinois when he voted for late term abortions. But…he managed to spin that right out of the public eye. How did he do it? He deflected, deferred, marginalized, and with his exceptional rhetorical continues to blame others for all that is wrong and he alone can, and will, make it right.
Lately, I’ve had this nagging notion of déjà vu. What was it? It was like I was seeing something so familiar but…different. Then, watching the video of JD Hayworth at the LD21 meeting…it hit me!
JD Hayworth is the latest version of “tastes like chicken”!
Can JD talk a good game? YES HE CAN!
Heck, he talked about games for years before running for office.
Can JD captivate an audience? YES HE CAN!
He was paid for his ability to maintain ratings while a sportscaster. What great training and experience that must have been. Then all those years on drive time radio, where he controlled the mike, the dialogue, and the subject…who could ask for a better venue?
Can JD market himself to appeal to the consumer? YES HE CAN!
He has been working on it ever since he was booted from office in a district with an 18% Republican advantage. He had to; his job was to create an image that would appeal to the market his boss served. If along the way he made a great living and elevated his chances of returning to DC… just a perk.
Can JD spin a news cycle with the best of them? OH, YES HE CAN!
He has marginalized his own record by pointing out the flaws in others and done so with such grace as to make it appear like business as usual.
The guy is good. He has made a living out of it.
But, what did he do while in office. What reasonable expectation can the voter have that he will be more than a great voice with exceptional speaking skills?
Well, let’s look at that….. Congressman Dick Armey, who was House Majority Leader for 8 years of JDs time on The Hill had this to say recently:
….J.D. had a fairly short, undistinguished congressional career with virtually no initiative on his part.”
No initiative? That’s not good. But, that’s not all….
As I recall, J.D. was on the Ways and Means Committee and I didn’t really see him make any distinguished effort, for example, like people like (Arizona GOP Reps.) Jeff Flake and John Shadegg in terms of creative ideas and legislative initiative,” Armey said. “Certainly nothing on the cost-control front. But John McCain was the first guy to understand the need to get earmarks under control. He took a real leadership role, as did Jeff Flake.”
So, what about his record? JD Hayworth is deeply tied, unfortunately, to the two things that have caused the prairie fire of anti-Washington and anti-GOP sentiment….corruption and spending.
I will be the first to say unequivocally… JD Hayworth was exonerated of any wrong doing. However, there is no denying Hayworth was involved with former “super-lobbyist” Jack Abramoff and the largest recipient of campaign money from the now-convicted Abramoff.
No “illegal” activity. But what about judgment and desire to win at all costs?
On to spending…..boy, this could fill a page! So, how about the highlights?
The 2002 Highway Bill…the pork-laden bill that gave us the Highway to Nowhere and filled the pockets of lots of folks with money taken directly from ours.
The unfunded Medicare bill, $7 trillion in debt bequeathed to our children. Yep, he voted for it.
He supported the 527 campaign loophole bill that created more problems than McCain-Feingold.
And while you are on the bi-partisanship never got us anywhere kick…how about his support of the Dem sponsored, job killing, small business impeding Sarbanes-Oxley Act?
Yeah….definitely, taste like chicken!