Friday, January 29, 2016

So if I can do it, why can't the TV talking heads?

Ask an honest question and get a straight answer, that is.  

It seems it isn't a good time to be a politician.  Thanks to 24-hour news, twitter, You Tube and the like, it's hard to say one thing to one crowd, and something different to another as was common in the "old days".

The current big political stink is Donald Trump refusing to participate in the last Republican debate.  He said they (FOX News) are being unfair to him.  I agree that most modern day "journalists" seem to be adept at asking "gotcha" questions, hoping to embarrass the candidates and enhance their own reputation.  Rarely do modern journalists press for a straight answer.  To see how IMO it should be done, see this, minutes 4-6.  (Thanks for the link Simon Butler.)

A short story:

Years ago Texas State Senator John Corona was the speaker at our homebuilders monthly luncheon.  He was introduced and gave his normal address, then invited questions.  

I stood up and asked him, "Sir, the Legislature recently passed SB 1234 (?).  Are you aware that that bill (relating to housing) does X, Y, and Z?  Did you vote for or against that bill?"

Sen. Corona replied something to the effect, "Thank you for that question.  I always enjoy coming to these luncheons where I can get close to my constituients and find out what you are thinking.  This feedback is what makes our system work.  Thank you.  Next question."

I remained standing and said, "Sir, you didn't answer my question.  Did you vote for or against this bill?  Were you aware of its implications?"

He again sidestepped my question.  "The only way we have to learn what is important to our constituients is to visit with you and learn what's on your mind.  These exchanges are what make Ameirca great.  Thank you."

I was still standing.  "Sir, now that you know the implications, would you be willing to work with us in the next legislative session to amend this bill?"

He said, "Thank you so much for inviting me, but I have another commitment I need to get to.  Thank you again..." and he grabbed up his papers and walked (briskly) toward the door.  Unfortunately for him I had a better angle on the door and caught up with him before he escaped.

I asked, "Sir would you be willing to work with us on this issue?"

He replied, "I have to go now, but if you'll give me your card I'll have my staff contact you."  I gave my business card to him, and not surprisingly never received a call from either him or his staff.

In retrospect I don't think he remembered the details of SB 1234 at all, which is understandable considering the volume of bills that come to a vote in the final few days of a session.  If he had just said so I would have sat down. 

For some reason politicians are unwilling to admit they are human and can't remember everything, and I think it's unfair of us to expect them to.  And I also think it is unfair of us to criticize them for changing their mind.  To me it's an admirable sign of critical thinking to admit that when new information is made available, it is acceptable to amend an opinion.

As mentioned, I never received a call from Sen. Corona, but I did continue to receive mailings from him asking for my vote AND MY MONEY.  (He received neither.)  Several election cycles later he was defeated in his primary.  I guess I wasn't the only one he dodged.  Karma.  ;)



  1. Years back some numbnuts reporter jumped out of the bushes and asked a candidate (I think it was George W.) Who is the President of Abba Dabba? THe candidate was flustered and mumbled something stupid. I thought, "Damn Dude, just say you don't know, but that if you were going to meet him on official business you would find out all you needed to know including who wiped his ass when he was a baby."

    Honesty in our politicians would be very refreshing! BTW, I disagree with SB 1234 and many of it's implications and will look into rectifying the discrepancies in the bills perceived assimilation of various entities.

    1. And Dubya didn't know the President of Abba Dabba?'s Fred Flintstone. DUH! :)

      And you'd make a lousy politician. Like me, you'd give straight answers and eventually piss everyone off. It's a lot more fun just being a critic. ;)

  2. I was watching a little of the debate last night and it appeared that changing one's mind was the worst thing a politician could ever do! What's wrong with saying, "This problem has gotten worse over the years, and as I've learned more about it, I've changed the way I would approach the issue"?

    Or just "Yes, I changed my mind."

    I don't know.

    1. Absolutely. If available information changes, why can't minds change? And if minds can't change, what's the purpose of debating an issue?

  3. The interchange (12 times) between the interlocuter and the guest in your video reminds me of Chris Christie last night, who steadfastly and repeatedly did not answer questions put to him. They are a motley crew, those Republicans.

  4. Boo hoo for the politicians. Maybe they should borrow from athletes like Marshawn Lynch and Rasheed Wallace and just say the same thing over and over again no matter what the question is.

  5. I hate it when politicians refuse to answer simple questions. Rubio falls into this category. Ask him about the weather and he'll rant about Obama.

  6. OK, so it's not "Lowandslow for President!" - it'll be "Lowandslow for Chief Interviewer!"

    Don't disappoint us now!

    1. It's a whole lot more fun to be the griller than the grillee. Don't worry, I'll make you proud. 😏