“Meet The Press Debate” offers surprises and silliness…
Here are answers to questions I received after the torture of watching Senate candidates Michael Bennet and Ken Buck on “Meet The Press.”
Q: Will Buck’s comments on homosexuality hurt him politically?
A: Most Gay Rights groups were not backing Buck anyway but his remarks demonstrated a lack of knowledge of the scientific basis for homosexuality. Buck indicated one could stop being homosexual simply by choosing a partner of the opposite sex. Most people know that is false. Buck awkwardly indicated heredity is a factor with a bizarre reference to alcoholism as an example of genetic disposition. Buck’s confusion and his failure to apologize for his uninformed answer will hurt him more than the issue itself. If the race is decided by just 1 or 2 points, this could be the difference. Buck would have been smarter to answer “I don’t know” if that truly were the case.
Q: Was Bennet defensive when his own quote stating there was nothing to show for the $13 trillion spent by the Federal Government was mentioned?
A: Bennet probably regrets making the statement which indicated $13 trillion was wasted. This number actually is the National Debt and was accumulated over decades. Certainly some government expenditures were good while others were bad. Mixing the National Debt and the Recovery Act (which was only the equivalent of 6% of the National Debt) was even more confusing. Bennet meant not enough was spent on infrastructure. Most Americans do not believe the Economy would be worse today if the Recovery Act and the Troubled Asset Recovery program had not been funded. Democrats have failed to make a convincing argument these funds were well-spent.
Q: Is Bennet trapped by a Health Care bill which he supported but simultaneously described in derogatory terms?
A: Bennet’s vote will be characterized as the vote which got Health Care approved. Of course, that could be said about each Senator who voted for the legislation because it passed by only one vote. Bennet’s rational “half a loaf is better than none” argument is not satisfying many voters. His problem is the Obama Administration failed to make the case to the American people explaining why the legislation was good. By not timely highlighting key principles in the legislation with which most Americans agree (e.g., insuring more citizens, eliminating denial of coverage for medical reasons, emphasizing prevention, lifting lifetime caps, etc.), the Democrats left themselves open to attacks for the legislation’s failures (e.g., insufficient medical cost controls, no caps on health insurance premium increases, forced policy-buying, etc.).
Q: Whose arguments about the Bush Tax Cuts make sense?
A: The Tax Extension arguments are mutually disingenuous. Washington has to stop its massive deficit spending but neither party is willing to ask for major sacrifices by voters. The reality is the Bush Tax Cuts did not significantly stimulate the Economy and, instead, contributed to the today’s economic mess — including massive Deficits. To extend the Tax Cuts and believe, after almost a decade of failure, the Economy suddenly will perk up is wishful thinking. The Republicans are pretending cuts in taxes will quickly “grow” the Economy. It is likely they are wrong. Democrats are pretending taxing the country’s top 2% will make a substantial difference but the reality is this represents $70 billion annually in taxes while adding $400 billion each year to the Deficit. The bottomline is (a) the USA cannot sustain spending at the current rate but this means seriously cutting programs and (b) economic growth occurs when there is an increase in demand for goods and services — which is not happening irrespective of marginal tax rates and policies.
Q: Where is the race today?
A: The race is a statistical dead-heat. Buck hurt himself with his comments about homosexuality and is being successfully attacked for his decision to not prosecute a rape case. What is surprising is his failure to explain how many times he did successfully prosecute such cases. He is missing the big picture and could lose substantial support. Bennet is hurt by his link to the Recovery Act and the Health Care bill. So whichever issues are most important to unaffiliated voters could determine the outcome of this race. People already are voting because mail ballots were received beginning October 14th and walk-in voting now is available. The key will be who can do the best job of turning out his supporters. In 2008, Colorado Democrats did a far superior job than Republicans and won races across the State. In 2010, Republicans have an edge in enthusiasm but may have it dampened by the bizarre gubernatorial race and Buck’s missteps. Whoever does a substantially superior Get-Out-The-Vote effort will win.
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Aaron Harber hosts “The Aaron Harber Show” seen on Channel 3 KCDO-TV (K3 Colorado) on Sundays at 8:00 pm and at http://www.HarberTV.com. He also hosts “Colorado Election 2010 TM” seen Sundays at 8:30 pm on Channel 3 and on Mondays at 8:00 pm on COMCAST Entertainment Television and is viewable 24/7 at http://www.Colorado2010.com. Send e-mail to Aaron@HarberTV.com. (C) Copyright 2010 by USA Talk Network, Inc. and Aaron Harber All rights reserved.