Sunday, June 11, 2006

Not So Fast, Mr. "Big Guy"

Those darn babies. Some political insiders have christened Taylor's baby ads as among the best political ads ever done. Financed by his sweetheart of a deal million dollar loan, they did the job as far as moving the polls in May. And, after all, what's not to like? Well, according to the editorial board of the Augusta Chronicle, the answer is, "plenty." Today, in a staff editorial titled, No Thanks, Big Guy , the paper does a good job of putting into words what I've been feeling all along. I don't want a governor who acts like a parent and treats citizens like dependent infants. Instead, I want a governor who will partner with all citizens and other elected officials, of both parties, to move this state forward.

Here's a portion of the article. It is definitely worthwhile read.
"The ad couldn't be more condescending or insulting to the Peach State citizenry. The clear implication is ordinary folks are little guys who can't take care of themselves, but that the Big Guy can. So vote for the Big Guy, and all your worries will go away."

This message is very different than Cathy Cox's message of making government work for everyone and bringing to the table everyone with a good idea for Georgia. I do not want to be bound to a governor who will take care of me, I want the freedom to participate in a government that allows equal access to the halls of power. I want a governor who does not have to check her donor list before she makes decisions or before she answers a call. I want government that is inclusive, not exclusive, and that's why I'm supporting Cathy Cox.

With the baby ads, Taylor paints a visual picture of himself towering over everyone else, a benevolent dictator who knows what we need and will provide it so long as we are loyal to him. Yuck. This is the same old brand of "I'll take care of you if you take care of me" politics that has kept our state from moving forward, and I want no part of it. It reminds me of the mill villages I grew up around in North Carolina where folks lived in the mill-owned houses, shopped at the mill-owned store, and were taken "care of" day to day but were hardly ever able to save any money or become independent. And they certainly were not part of decision-making. That was left to the backroom deals, and only the Big Guys had access. As you can imagine, most of the decisions benefitted not the little guys like you and me, but the "Big Guys" or "Fat Cats" as my father called them. Even the decisions that somehow helped the regular guys and gals seemed to also have a huge upside for those with the power and the money that gave the access to the process. That's not what I want for Georgia's future.


LonelyDem said...

and the rocking chair commercials do what - make us believe that Cathy Cox will protect Georgia my rocking away the evil spirits.

What about the robot-clone like people in her latest commercials - I get the image that she wants us all to follow in step behind her and not question her flip-flopping ways.

Taylor Troll said...

The Augusta Chronicle is a right wing paper, especially the editorial staff. No wonder they don't like Taylor's ads.

The message in Taylor's ads is that the government can help people who help themselves. If you bust your ass and make $40,000 a year and are a single mother or family of four, why shouldn't your kids have just as easy access to health insurance as someone who sits around and collects $400,000 of dividends a year?

Finally, Cathy Cox is the one who said in her ads "It's the governments job" to educate our children. Last time I checked it was at least as much the responsibility of the parent.

Button Gwinnett said...

I started to jump on Taylor for promising something that he can't deliver. But I do like it when our candidates dream big. So I won't.

But what I will say is that there are 2 big problems. First, while there might be more people open to this "big government" idea in the Dem primary, it won't go over well with independents and moderates in the fall. That's something that neither Dem candidate can lose sight of. Because the primary is only the beginning. Possibly, the greater challenge will be to appeal to those just outside of our base. It's the only way we can win in Nov. I think more Georgians are going to see this as the Augusta paper sees it. So this will probably end up being something used against him should he win the primary.

The second big problem that I see is that it just isn't realistic in Georgia. Even if he becomes our governor, he's still got to deal with a majority Republican state legislature. And we're already hearing from some Dems and Pubs alike that this isn't going to fly. Plus, at the state chamber meeting in January, Taylor talked about this plan and it wasn't well received. The fear amongst politicians and business leaders alike is that including people who can already afford health care in this plan would bankrupt the whole system.

I'm not against universal health care. But I don't believe that we'll ever see it in this state or even this country unless its achieved in a piecemeal fashion. There are just too many people without health care right now for us to sink ourselves with something that just won't happen.

That's one reason why I like Cathy's plan. It's practical and achievable. And small business owners will love it. Maybe more important to getting a Dem into office, I think moderates and independents will love it too.

After all, I think for now, the most important thing is to help those right now who can't help themselves. Then, if successful, move on to another step.

But I won't take a swipe at Mark for trying to hit one out of the ball park. Dreaming big is one thing that I love about Cathy - like with farm-grow fuels. But the difference is, Cathy's ideas and plans are more realistic than this one.

GetReal said...

I can't believe the Cox campaign is pointing to the Augusta Chronicle editorial page's criticism of Taylor's proposals. Those guys make Jim Wooten look centrist (and that's not hyperbole).

Does this mean Cathy agrees with their position about the various proposals Taylor has made? Would that explain why she sponsored a bill to force every local government (including school systems) to fly the old Georgia flag with the Confederate battle emblem?

Amy Morton said...

As far as I know, the Cox Campaign isn't pointing to anything. At least I haven't heard or read that they are. The Augusta paper did not reference anything from them on this.

I hate to disappoint, but I am just a private citizen with an opinion. I do not work for the Cox Campaign and, of course, I do not now or ever speak for that Campaign, or for the candidate. These are my opinions, and mine only, but an opinion I feel pretty strongly about in this instance. I really don't like the paternalistic feel of these commercials, despite what the politcal experts say about the effectiveness. The message I get does not reflect the kind of government I want. The Augusta paper may be conservative, but that does not mean that they're always wrong. In this instance, the editorial board did a good job of capturing what I was already feeling.

Some like the commercials, some don't. Not a problem. In fact, I think that one of the purposes of a blogs is to provide a forum for discussion for us 'regular' people. We can agree; we can disagree, maybe someone makes us think. It's the modern public square.

And, TT, I agree with your second paragraph, but just watching the baby commericials, that's not the message I get.

angrydem said...

There is a common theme among the Taylor ads and proposals, UNIVERSALITY. Taylor keeps on proposing ideas that could benefit any and every georgian, like say, the HOPE Scholarship, and Social Security. It is not so much about Big Government, but offering something that all Georgians can benefit from.

Look at the PeachKids proposal. It will offer healthcare for any child in the state. Now, not a great plan with awesome benefits I am sure, but one that will allow children to go to the doctor when they are sick. That is awesome. First, children are the cheapest group of people to insure and preventing illness when they are young will help prevent illness when they grow up. Second, if you already have insurance with your company it is doubtful that any parent would go with the state plan as their private provider will offer better benefits. Third, I think i read this, Taylor's plan would not allow people who have insurance already to switch to the plan for over a year. Not too many parents would allow thier kid to go without health insurance for a year if they don't have to.

On removing the tax on Over the Counter Drugs. This will be great for all georgians as well. How many prescription drugs are now available over the counter, but cost more OTC than they did at the pharmacy. I know that the last time i went to get a yeast infection drug from my Gyno he did not write me a script but told me to go get an OTC version. You know why? cause the freaking insurance companies are pushing for this. its cheaper for them. helping me out with some of the cost sure makes me happy.

And the idea of helping Georgians get cheaper prescription drugs is a huge deal. If the state can buy them in bulk cheaper than I could, and passes that savings onto me, then what is the problem. That just makes sense.

To me, these proposals benefit all georgians, and will appeal to anyone who is trying to stretch a buck, not just democrats. I do not see them as big government, but exactly what Government should help citizens do, take care of themselves. None of these proposals are a handout, they just make life just a little easier. Parents that can afford it, will have to pay for thier children to be on PeachCare (just not as much as private insurance), you will still have to pay for those OTC drugs and prescription drugs.

And Button, talking about things that just won't happen...
There are just too many people without health care right now for us to sink ourselves with something that just won't happen.
Well, I just do not like that argument. People said HOPE would not happen, people said the flag change would not happen, etc. If we limited ourselves to the things that were sure to happen, then we would never accomplish anything great. I personally believe in the greatness of the citizens of this state and country, not in their limitations. Just food for thought.

Button Gwinnett said...

Well BW, that's almost word for word what the Taylor response was to criticism from both sides of the aisle to his plan. I'd just like to see all Georgians with access to health care and very soon. And it's not going to happen with tremendous bipartisan support. Does "cry me a river" ring any bells?

Republicans are already painting this as "big government" whatever my take, your take, or anyone else's take is. Does that give you a feeling of encouragement that this would ever happen? It doesn't for me.

The difference between this issue and HOPE and the flag change is that there were Dems AND Pubs supporting each of those issues. Common sense says that anything "universal" to a Republican and many independents is abhorent. They won't go for it. And without them, there will be no success in healthcare legislation.

We have to face the fact that we're stuck with a Republican dominated legislature. So it really all comes to down numbers. If we support plans that have no chance, then nothing will get done. And then what was it all for? People without access to health care don't care about D's and R's. They're looking for results.

angrydem said...

Well, Button, a couple of things... First, I do not think that Cathy would get any more support for any initiative than Taylor. Just look to Cathy's good friend Pointevint, chair of the state GOP. They have been friends for years, and rumor has it that it was he who asked cathy to join the GOP. Well, it seems that Poitevint and the GOP have been throwing fire at Cathy over her flip flopping on the gay marriage stuff. We all have friends on the other side of the aisle, but i do not think that translates into bipartisan support in the legislature of one candidate or the other. Sure Taylor has said some stupid stuff, but I think that he has just a good of a chance to make alliances as anyone else.

Second, Taylor was still able to push and pass legislation as part of his agenda as Lt. Governor since the republican takeover. HEROES for an example.

I agree with you that universality makes republicans cringe, but when it comes to children, I think they might have a change of heart. They are always for tax breaks (OTC Drugs), and lowering prescription drug costs, who could be against that. It will not cost the state anything, and will give people more disposable income to spend - something that repubs are always in support of.

Also, while we have a republican legislaure, and will have one for some time to come, that does not mean that either candidate will not be able to pass the legislation that they want. Bill Clinton had a republican congress and still was able to pass a good portion of his agenda. And I know it is not the same thing, but a democratic governor has a much larger bully pulpit to get thier agenda passed than either our senate or house minority leaders do. Remember, the Governor has much more control of the media than any single Republican member of the house or senate, or even all of them combined.

If either Cox or Taylor beat Perdue, I bet you they will be able to do a lot of good things. Not everything they want, but a great deal of it.