Tuesday, June 28, 2022

The Truth Clinic: Senator Hutchison Exploiting 20/20 Hindsight

By James Breedlove
NDG Special Contributor

Recent polls show that almost 66 percent of Americans disapprove of the way Congress is performing its legislative duties. When asked to rate the honesty and ethical standards of people working in 23 different fields Members of Congress ranked 19th; just slightly above car salesmen, insurance salesmen, and HMO managers. On the question of trust; Members of Congress barely beat out Lawyers and Stockbrokers with a ranking of 17 out of 22 professions listed.

If anyone doubts the credibility of these low poll rankings for Members of Congress the latest political ramblings of Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison regarding what she did or did not know about Weapons of Mass Destruction or Bank Bailouts validates the rankings.

While the spotlight currently falls on Senator Hutchison it is only because she is the latest in a long line of “know nothing” congress persons using the hindsight excuse to justify bad decisions.

Senator Hutchison has plenty of hindsight company. ABC surveyed most of the Senators who voted yes in the 77-23 vote authorizing the president to use force in Iraq. If the Senators knew then what they know now, at least 57 Senators said they would vote against going to war. For an issue as important as going to war the switch from 77-23 in favor to 57-43 against is a significant change. Those switching included Democrats, Republicans and Independents.

There are approximately 24,000 congressional staffers in various categories to assist Members of Congress in their legislative and constituent obligations.

Members of the House of Representatives may hire up to 18 permanent employees for their congressional and district offices. Senators, with an average complement of 34, do not have a limit on the amount staff they can hire. The operational budget for Congress is around $4.4 Billion dollars. That should be buying a lot of brain power to keep abreast of current legislation.

How is it that our Members of Congress seem to know so little about the programs they vote on and fund with billions of taxpayer dollars?

With the kind of staff at your disposal and the sources of information available you should have known then what you know today. It is your job to know what you are voting on especially when your decision sends America’s finest young men and women to war or adds billions to the nation’s debt. And you could have known that the Secretary of Defense and the White House were not telling the truth and surely you could have put spending safeguards in the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

You, Senator Hutchinson should have known because you are a prominent member of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.

But, allowing for human error because of the emotional pressure that was being placed on legislatures to do something about both Iraq and the economic meltdown the fact remains that no corrective action was taken after the truth became known.

Senator Hutchinson Voted NO on redeploying troops out of Iraq by July 2007 and by March 2008. She Voted NO on investigating questionable contract awards in Iraq & Afghanistan and Voted YES on additional war funding bills. TARP had a phased spending cycle. Nothing was done to counteract the mismanagement of bailout funds by the financial institutions.

In August, Hutchison officially announced her candidacy for Governor of Texas, to run against incumbent Republican Rick Perry.

The sad part of her candidacy is she is rolling out the well used misused mantra of “if I had known then what I know now” and applying it to her vote in support of the TARP Bailout. I suppose the polls have proven that the “know nothing” refrain is either good politics or it permits the user to distance herself from what is now an unpopular issue.

It wouldn’t be so bad to have the senior Senator from Texas to admit that she made a mistake in voting for the Troubled Asset Relief Program that provided $700 billion in bailout funds for the nation’s financial industry. What is bad is the manner in which she made the decision to vote yes.

Hutchison said during a recent television interview, “Governor Perry was the first one out of the chute to send a letter to every senator saying vote for it, vote for it because we are going to look at a financial meltdown, and that’s what 70 senators did. Of course it was a mistake, knowing what we know now, but at the time, he said, ‘Vote for it.’ We did, Sen. [John] Cornyn and myself. We had to do something.”

Here is a senior Senator saying that the dictates of Governor Perry took precedence on a bill that she did not understand how it would be implemented.

Senator Hutchison’s own words indict her and most of the herd that make up the Senate. She is a party follower and not a leader; she is a political opportunist first and the well being of her constituents is secondary.

During the current multitude of crises confronting the states and nation we desperately need thoughtful and visionary leaders who take the time to do their homework before making critical decisions not 20/20 hindsight excuse makers.

James W. Breedlove
Comments or opinions may be sent to the writer at: wwwtruthclinic.com

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