Thursday, June 09, 2005
Empty Suit Thursday: Smilin' Norm Coleman does the CAFTA shuffle
This week's Sen. Smilin' Norm Coleman (R-MN) update focuses on hypocrisy. Of course, in a way, they all do:
- Smilin' Norm finally found a spending package he didn't like: $2 billion for injured veterans. See, once they leave the front lines, the soldiers are no longer "in harms way". If they're not in harms way, it's hard to use them as political props. So it doesn't matter if visits to the Saint Cloud VA Medical Center are increasing at twice the rate of funding or that the divorce rate for officers is 200% higher today than in 2002. American vets should stand in line like everyone else who can't afford to hire Jack Abramoff.
- Traditionally, Republican senators from Democratic states are centrists rather than ideologues. Smilin' Norm knows this, so he is gilding himself in the trappings of centrism. Minnesota's Empty Suit in the Senate is a member of the Republican Main Street Partnership. Trouble is, the RMSP stands for fiscal conservatism and expanded stem cell research. Smilin' Norm is a tax cut and spend Republican who opposes expanded stem cell research. In reality, Smilin' Norm votes with Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum nearly 100% of the time. If he's a centrist, Joe Lieberman is Eugene Debs. Bonus item: Smilin' Norm has donated $5,000 to Pat DeWine, who is seeking the Republican nomination in Ohio's second congressional district. DeWine is (gasp!) a trial lawyer opposed to stem cell research. Why would a member of the RMSP give $5,000 to the Republican candidate opposed to stem cell research?
- Smilin' Norm is straddling CAFTA like he's auditioning for the next Carl's Jr. ad. He's a self-proclaimed pro-trade guy. Here's where it starts to get dizzying. Coleman is a member of the CAFTA Action Caucus, which opposes CAFTA. But, Smilin' Norm supports CAFTA and mocked anti-CAFTA protesters outside his office. Despite saying "I want to see CAFTA passed", Coleman's office reports that Coleman "has not taken a position" on CAFTA. In May, Coleman stayed consistently noncommittal, except that he specifically wasn't concerned about sugar imports. Instead, Coleman was worried that the trade pact would set a dangerous precedent. Now, Coleman is worried about sugar imports, which makes him just as myopic as the CAFTA protesters he mocked in April. When it comes to CAFTA, Coleman has been on more sides than a plate of hash browns at Shoney's.
Tagged: Norm Coleman