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Travis Rowley: And So it Begins

Saturday, August 11, 2012


“If you can’t beat your opponent’s ideas, then you distort those ideas. Maybe you just make some up. If you don’t have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run away from. You make big elections about small things.” – Barack Obama, 2008

Democrats sure have made a living projecting their own strategies and misdeeds onto Republicans. Several months ago I just happened to forecast the likelihood that Republicans would have to “cut through a glut of nonsense” this election season, pointing particularly to the probability that Democrats would be informing senior citizens that, if Republicans gain control of Washington, the GOP plan is to strip them of their Social Security and Medicare benefits.

Not that this was a difficult prediction to make. The idea that the GOP would risk payouts to senior citizens by “privatizing” Social Security was observed by PolitiFact as “the most frequently used weapon in the Democratic arsenal” during the 2010 midterm elections. “We have to do everything we can to protect Social Security,” Cicilline was telling Rhode Island’s seniors.

Precisely. Which is exactly why Democrats must be clipped of their governmental power. This is a party that has become notorious for ignoring Republican warnings over the depletion of public pension funds – playing politics with state bankruptcy until the day of fiscal reckoning arrives.

Need I bring up Central Falls?

My expectations were also based on the fact that Rhode Island is the place where Democrats can least afford to withhold these lies. The Ocean State has one of the highest percentages of residents over the age of 65. Around 140,000 Rhode Island seniors receive Social Security benefits.

That’s a lot of people to frighten into pulling the Democratic lever.

Cicilline’s Ethics

Sure enough, WPRI’s Ted Nesi reported this week that Congressman David Cicilline has been handing out a one-page flier to senior citizens “that could mislead them about his Republican opponent Brendan Doherty’s position on Social Security.”

Cicilline’s campaign document reads, “Doherty wants to raise the eligibility age for Social Security benefits for anyone born after 1960…with no regard for the challenges it would cause for people working in physically demanding occupations.”

But Doherty has repeatedly spoken in favor of the Simpson-Bowles deficit-reduction plan, which includes a “hardship exemption” that would allow certain retirees to collect social security payments at younger ages.

By reading Nesi’s report, it’s clear that Cicilline’s ethics have rubbed off on his spokeswoman, Nicole Kayner. According to Nesi, Kayner reminded everyone that “the senior handout doesn’t explicitly say Doherty is opposed to a Social Security hardship exemption” (my emphasis).

Due to Kayner’s shrewd lawyering, Doherty campaign manager Ian Prior was compelled to remind Rhode Islanders what honesty sounds like: “The clear and obvious implication that the Cicilline campaign is trying to make is that, in advocating the continued gradual rise in the Social Security retirement age, Brendan has no concern for people with hardships.”

Meanwhile, Nesi’s report notes that Social Security “is projected to exhaust its trust fund by 2033 and at that point would need to cut benefits by about 25% without additional revenue from sources other than the payroll tax.”

The day of reckoning is on its way. And Democrats – once again – are going to make sure it’s as painful as possible.

Democratic Ethics

The only downside to Congressman Cicilline having been exposed as a low-life fraud is that it entirely gets lost on people that the entire Democratic Party is comprised of such dirtbags. Cicilline is hardly the only Democrat who employs this deception. This is “the most frequently used weapon in the Democratic arsenal.”

We’re talking about a political party that lies for sport.

Rep. Jon Brien (D - Woonsocket) informed Rhode Islanders last year that the National Democratic Congressional Committee had been desperately contacting Rhode Island Democrats, pressuring them to reject the anticipated Voter ID bill – despite the fact that elected Democrats were now testifying to witnessing voter fraud themselves. According to Brien, the NDCC didn’t want to “pass this legislation because you will mess up [the Democratic] paradigm. The paradigm is…the Republicans, those nasty people, are trying to bring us all the way back to the Jim Crow laws.”

In other words, Republicans are racist.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is no exception to the Democrats’ treachery. Indeed, last April it was Whitehouse who appeared on Channel 12 Newsmakers, alluding to the possibility of being “throw[n] off Social Security” and “cut[ting] Medicare benefits for seniors.”

Whitehouse’s Republican opponent, Barry Hinckley, was warning as early as last year that Whitehouse was not going to be able to defeat him if this election came down to a battle of ideas; Whitehouse was going to have to attack him personally.

Just as foreseen, the Whitehouse campaign has recently challenged not Hinckley’s ideas, but his credibility as a candidate. Whitehouse has decided to focus on the fact that Hinckley has only recently moved back to Rhode Island, and suggested that – despite dumping in $150,000 of his own money into his campaign account – Hinckley is running for US Senate merely to build up his stature in the business community.

As you’re likely struck by what a great political action-thriller this could all amount to someday, you’ve probably almost forgotten that Whitehouse is a member of a legislative body that has actually failed to produce a budget during Barack Obama’s entire presidency; that Whitehouse has presided over an almost $8 trillion increase to the national debt since he took office himself; that Whitehouse has built up a multi-million dollar campaign chest by the graces of big-government special interests; and that Whitehouse voted against regulations on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but voted for the Wall Street bailouts.

For all the Democrats out there, these are called “issues.”

Travis Rowley (TravisRowley.com) is chairman of the RI Young Republicans and author of The RI Republican: An Indictment of the Rhode Island Left.


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