We always enjoy uncovering career politicians who have a reputation of bashing proven reformers. After their alleged “service” is over, sometimes they become Washington insiders to extend the accompanying perks.
This is the case with former House of Representatives member, Mel Levine (D) of California who served from 1983-1993. The only reason he’s out of there is because he tried giving himself a promotion by running for the Senate in 1992 – only to be defeated by Barbara Boxer.
Hailed as a “longtime political insider” by the LA Times in 1992, Levine sat for years in the state legislature for California before getting elected to the House in 1982. They also refer to him as “widely regarded over the years as a liberal” who “spent a political lifetime on the inside of power politics” and “racked up the second worst attendance record” of 1992 out of all other members of Congress.
Couple that with how the state of California has eroded, our nation’s debt growing, and our political fabric continuing its decay, I think we may have found part of the fungus which contributes to the scum floating around in the pond known today as Washington D.C.
So, it’s no wonder to me why people like this would come out of the woodwork in the 2012 election cycle to write opinion pieces for publications like The Hill and take their opportunity to bash the current Republican ticket and proven reformers like Sarah Palin. They have favors to pay back and careers of their back-scratching buddies to protect yet forget we have records and history to check.
Mr. Levine writes:
I disagree with Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) on many policy issues, but I greatly respect him as a politician and a war hero. That is what made the 2008 presidential election so interesting at first: a respected senior senator versus a fresh-faced freshman senator who eloquently spoke of change and hope. And yet, with Senator McCain’s pick of Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate, he lost scores of votes – and perhaps the election – as the result of a desperate attempt to shore up his conservative credentials.
Finally, we have an explanation for the Chia Obama. Apparently Mr. Levine is willing to believe Obama’s election was all about a “fresh-faced” novelty resembling the Justin Bieber craze. If it weren’t for Palin, McCain would have had more votes and might have won! It seems the left floats back and forth on this depending on what it is they seek to do in the moment: protect Obama or bash Sarah Palin.
What next? Will Levine explain away Geraldine Ferraro getting 34M votes in the 1984 election as opposed to Palin who got 60M in 2008?
I hate to dismay a 69-year old man struggling to find relevance in 2012, but Palin ran her state in two years and effectively left it in better shape than how she found it, as opposed to longtime “politicians” who drag us down. Unlike our current president, she knew how to balance and cut a budget. She also knew how to put money away for the state, take on special interests, and fight for strong ethics reform. The “fresh faced” Nobel Peace Prize recipient gave some speeches, added five trillion dollars to our long-term debt in record time, and has made life much worse for every single demographic of voters in this country.
But instead of realizing simple mathematics and observing what life is really like outside of his haven of insider politics, Mr. Levine continues:
To the average independent voter trying to decide between Senator McCain and Senator Obama, Governor Palin made the choice clearer.
Again, what does this say to Obama’s ability to get elected on his own merits? Further, the “average independent voter” must have realized they made a massive mistake since polls released in September of 2011 reflected Palin to be more favorable than Obama among independent voters. Where she had trouble was with Democrats and traditional Republicans who still believe we need more lifers in Washington like Mel Levine despite the fact those same folks have us sitting as 16T in debt.
Governor Palin brought a complete lack of knowledge on foreign affairs, an overzealous allegiance to conservative social stances on issues such as abortion and same-sex rights, and a willingness to say whatever, whenever, to rile up the base, no matter how extreme or dangerous those words could have been.
Here, the “longtime political insider” rides a completely false narrative in more than one regard.
First, knowing Obama’s record in the Senate of voting “present” more than a hundred times (no doubt a kindred spirit to someone who had the second worst attendance record of all members of Congress in a single year) under his belt, what specific knowledge on foreign affairs did Obama display for Mr. Levine? Further, Stacy Drake and Whitney Pitcher already dispelled this myth with easy-verifiable facts:
- Governor Palin shared strategic command over the 49th Missile Defense Battalion of the Alaska National Guard:
Alaska is the first line of defense in our missile interceptor defense system. The 49th Missile Defense Battalion of the Alaska National Guard is the unit that protects the entire nation from ballistic missile attacks. It’s on permanent active duty, unlike other Guard units.
As governor of Alaska, Palin is briefed on highly classified military issues, homeland security, and counterterrorism.
She’s also the commander in chief of the Alaska State Defense Force (ASDF), a federally recognized militia incorporated into Homeland Security’s counterterrorism plans.
Palin is privy to military and intelligence secrets that are vital to the entire country’s defense. Given Alaska’s proximity to Russia, she may have security clearances we don’t even know about.
- She made official visits troops in Kuwait, Germany and Kosovo.
- Military personnel stationed in Alaska and serving in any National Guard or Reserve unit received free hunting, fishing and trapping licenses
Further, he exposes his own extreme position on abortion by demonizing the Governor’s (in fact, all liberals do this). Governor Palin was able to execute her duties as “Governor” without outlawing abortion. You’d think a “longtime political insider” would know that a President cannot outlaw abortion either. Further, she’s always acknowledged the difference of opinion on this and other topics that are heated. Unlike the left, she isn’t intolerant to hearing a position of difference even though her position on life remains a value she holds dear personally, no matter how much it seems to irritate the left.
Also, Palin was very fair with “gay rights.” Of course, I am sure Mr. Levine is talking about gay marriage which is very different than “gay rights.” Perhaps he doesn’t know Palin vetoed a bill crafted by the state legislature which sought to overturn a Supreme Court decision which had granted benefits to same-sex partners of state employees. Because of that veto, the benefits went forward and after the issue was put to a vote, the people voted the same way. This is what we call “progress” on an issue, Mr. Levine.
“Progress” is not saying you’re against gay marriage and then suddenly switch your position in its favor months before an election when you need to shore up every voter you can when you’ve virtually wrecked the rest of the country.
Whether it’s Obama’s convenient flip-flop of words on one topic or Palin’s factual record of accomplishment on all topics, Mr. Levine seems loose on facts and rich in rhetoric – as remains the case with most Democrats.
He [Ryan] also shares Governor Palin’s intolerance for equal rights for all, voting against the repeal of the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and against the Matthew Shepard and James Bryd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
For all the talk on DADT, Mr. Levine fails to mention that it was signed into law by Bill Clinton in his first full year of his Presidency in 1993 before the Republicans came to Congress in 1994. And just how does useless “hate crimes” legislation provide “equal rights” for all? If you’re attacked or hurt in anyway, should it matter why? I am pretty sure that despite the victim, the perpetrators must have hate running through their veins to commit such an act. Why not support the death penalty and/or support legislation that deals with all crime delivering greater consequences across the board? How about stronger second amendment rights? Why the need for specificity in the case of a murder or attack?
Why do liberals always want to minimize and herd the good and productive Americans without regard or respect to their individuality, yet they reserve difference and authenticity for criminals and garbage?
A McCain-Palin ticket was a surprising but sad attempt by a respected politician. A Romney-Ryan ticket, on the other hand, shows just how far Governor Romney is willing to go to appeal to the Republican Party’s base. Before, I was dismayed by Governor Romney’s flip flopping. But this pick makes clear how remarkably radical a Romney Administration would be.
Sure, Mr. Levine. First, save your definition of what a “respected politician” is. I’m not particularly interested in who you’re willing to talk up given your record. And if it’s flip-flopping and radicalism which dismays you, please join us in voting Obama out of office in November in lieu of using glossed-over versions of the truth to scratch yet another back.
In other words, be more productive as an American than you were a public servant.