A DeMarco supporter wrote me the below email last night:
Date: Thu, May 22, 2014 at 11:16 PM
Subject: Dear Shattuck,
To: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
I'm emailing you in regards to your attack letter to DeMarco, in which you called him fatuous. I would like to return the favor in saying that your campaign and your ideas are fatuous and DeMarco actually has a plan to lower spending and balance the budget. At debates, you constantly grind into people's heads that we need to fix this dysfunctional congress, but you have no legitimate plan to do so; and when your asked what your standpoint is on something, you refuse to answer. Those issues are the issues that matter to the taxpayers, and when you refuse to answer them, you refuse to inform the people, which will never get you elected. We ALL want to fix Congress. But saying it isn't a very strong message.
I have said that Congress is kaput. I have said there is not government of the people, by the people, and for the people in Washington DC. I have said that my diagnosis is that Congress, of its own accord, cannot and will not take adequate action to fix these things, and only the American people, acting in temporary unison, can force Congress to change things or otherwise force change. I have said this is a longshot, and that it could very well be crazy to think it will ever happen. Given the direness of the situation, I have said we have no choice but to be crazy and to try.
If what I have said is true, and that Congress is kaput and has stopped functioning, it does not do much good to talk about plans to lower spending and balance the budget. In fact, it is delusional to be doing such talking. Kabuki theater I am calling it.
As I said on Matt Murphy on Monday (a link to the podcast can be found here), a roadblock to Congress becoming functional is that a chief tool of the political class in Washington DC is to keep the electorate divided and polarized, and to put out non-stop extreme rhetoric on the two sides. Once steps are taken to begin to fix Congress, the idea is that will start to quell, more reasonable dialogue will ensue, and compromises will begun to be reached. Exactly what will unfold in the course of that is far too early to say. Any "plans" right now are fatuous.
I have invited the DeMarco supporter who wrote the above email to reply to my reply and to solicit Representative DeMarco to give an adequate addressing of these matter to the voters. In my opinion, all that Representative DeMarco has served up to the voters thus far is either "political hokum" or "fatuous stupidity." I stand by that until I hear more from his supporter or him.
If Representative DeMarco needs some guidance about fashioning a reply, I refer him to Framing the question.
DeMarco supporter emailed me back this:
So you have made clear that if you are elected, you will do absolutely nothing to balance our budget, decrease spending, repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, or ANYTHING that will stimulate the progress of our country? I understand that Congress needs to be fixed, but don't you think you can balance fixing Congress and assisting this district?
Also, if you are elected, how exactly would you "fix" Congress?
Thank you for writing again, ____.
I am saying Congress is kaput, and Congress is not able to do anything to balance the budget, decrease spending, repeal and replace The Affordable Care Act, or anything that will stimulate the progress of our country.
If elected, I would contribute and do what I can, but I expect not to be able to make one whit of difference. I further expect that to be the case with any of the candidates, if they are elected. I have tried to engage the other six candidates in discussion about this, but they have refused for three months.
I have said that Congress cannot be looked to to fix itself, and only the American people can force change.
My plan is to use the 2014 elections as a linchpin for doing this. See National battle plan (2014).
Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig has launched a citizens' super PAC to try to win enough House seats in 2016 and have a Congress that will fix itself. See this recent Atlantic article.
Does this answer your questions?
DeMarco supporter then emailed me this
I understand that Congress is in a kaput, but in the miraculous event that you contribute in getting them working again, what issues would you fight on Capitol Hill. That's what everyone wants to know.
I replied with this:
Let me try putting it back to you this way, _____t.
While I say Congress is kaput, take a look at this link, which is many pages listing Bachus' votes on House legislation set out in reverse chronological order.
Whoever is elected will be confronted with a comparable long list of items of legislation to vote on. One could speculate what might get voted on during the next two years and how one would vote as a candidate. I am not prepared to begin to speculate that.
Alternatively, you could ask each candidate, "how would you have voted on each of these items of legislation listed?" Or maybe you would want to pick certain items of legislation for each candidate to say how he would have voted.
I am not much motivated to go through the list and say how I would have voted.
Bachus shows up as a co-sponsor on a number of the bills, so I guess you would say Bachus "fought" on those. You could ask each candidate, "what legislation would you co-sponsor if elected?" My answer is I don't at this time have any ideas for legislation I would co-sponsor.
Perhaps Representative Bachus can give you better answers to the above questions or hypothetical questions.
The names of the legislation that Bachus voted on shown on the list in the link given above got my curiosity going, and I read the below highlights of some of them set out below:.