Wednesday, May 23, 2007

House GOP: "My Position Is [Insert Position Provided by Leadership]"

Did you know that every so often, Salem public access TV airs video reports from willing legislators? Well, neither did I--but whaddya know, there they are. Either Senators aren't aware either, or they are camera-shy, since only two of them recorded a spot for this go-round. Twenty-eight of the 60 Representatives did one, which is better but still less than half.

I don't particularly care who does and who doesn't, although especially in areas without strong media coverage (which I'm tempted to say is the whole state though I'll hold my tongue) they could be fairly valuable news updates--but if you're going to make a video for your constituents, number one make it decent to watch and number two make it your own. Be yourself, and talk to your voters about what's important to you. If you have a message that your caucus really wants to drive home go ahead and deliver that message, but at least explain why you feel it's important.

I say this because certain members of our House GOP seem a little cramped when it comes to telling us what's on their mind. Check out each of the three reports, below. Each one runs about 2 minutes, and you really need to watch the first one all the way through to see what's going on in the other two. First, Jerry Krummel:
Now Kim Thatcher:
And finally, partner in wingnuttia Linda Flores:
I must admit upfront that one flaw the Reps are probably not responsible for is the video quality; while they were not exactly HDTV before, I've exacerbated things a bit by uploading them at a fairly low bandwidth. So I apologize for the quality, but even if they were done in Cinemascope you'd still have to admit that these productions make South Park look like a Fellini joint.

Despite being good for a laugh, the off-camera stares, darting eyes and obvious cue-card reading are really not the point. If you watched enough of all three, the point becomes obvious: they're all reading the same script! Flores at least gets through it OK, while Krummel mangles his version and Thatcher provides lots of cheery inflection that--if you didn't now know better--might persuade you that it was coming from her brain. But 99.9% of what they say is EXACTLY the same for all three.

This isn't a major surprise; many GOP campaigns last cycle were run by people from the same consultancy outfit (the now-fired Chuck Adams and Co.), and they had a tendency to make their candidates say the same things on the stump, and give them astroturfed policy ideas which they were supposed to claim as their own (such as the warmed over "65% for schools" ploy). But it's uncanny how a caucus likely opposed to human cloning wants to turn its members into 29 differently-dressed versions of the same reactionary legislator. They must go through a shitload of batteries in Wayne Scott's office, trying to make sure everyone's bullshit processors don't fail at the wrong moment. Maybe that's why Wayne's people refuse to entertain us when we show up at his office--we keep getting there when they're rebooting the team.

I'm a Mac...
...and I'm a PC. (And I'm a PC too! And me! Also me! And me too!)

At least this way, if you have a question about how your Republican legislator feels about a given issue, you only have to make one call. The Oregon House--your one-stop shop for Republican opinion...literally!