Tuesday, August 16, 2005

My big fat disguise

I am able to blend in quite nicely among Republicans. I show up at an event that they are hosting and they embrace me with open arms. I guess that is because so few people show up at these events without being paid, as in the case of Rep. Mark Green's appearance in Wood County on Monday (most of the people there were part of Green's entourage). But aside from Republicans being desperate for followers in Wood County, I blend in because I am a bit fat. Fat is the Republican uniform. I guess it is because it is a visual representation of all the pork they pack into their bills. Such is the case with the 2002 Farm Bill that. While it introduced the MILC (Milk Income Loss Contract) provision, it also sought to decrease competition. But you can read that for yourself at http://www.eenews.net/sr_farmbill.htm
Now, you may have received a recent action alert that talked about how Rep. Green has changed his stance on MILC. Green claims that this is "liberal propaganda," and that he still supports the provision. I may have believed his chest-pounding message had he been able to stop blinking. You see, I teach a course in communication and I know a thing or two about body language. When someone cannot look you in the eye without constantly blinking, that is a sure sign that they are lying. Also, the overt gesture of placing one's hand over their heart when answering a question as mundane and unemotional as "why have you changed your position on the Milk Income Loss Contract?" signals that the politician protest too much.
When Green said that Rep. Dave Obey and Sen. Russ Feingold had initially voted against the bill, I thought there must have been a reason and the pork is the answer. Funny how such free-market martyrs, as the Republicans portray themselves to be, continue to do everything in their power to discourage competition. Oh well.
While speaking to Green, I also questioned him about what he would do with the UW system. He quickly replied "I would save it," and recounted his own college days. While I cannot deny that tuition has increased under Governor Doyle, I also cannot deny that Doyle has shrunk the deficit considerably. When I asked, "well, what would you cut to balance the budget," Green slipped up and said "nothing needs to be cut." He later commented that he would cut state funding for people in rehabilitation programs to attend college and that all non-teaching jobs in the UW system need to face the chopping block. This would mean cutting the very jobs that support students and enrich campus life. I felt like asking him if his comments would mean that he would be vetoing bills proposed by Republicans in the State Assembly and Senate, but I didn't have the heart to debate a man who appeared to have a sudden case of dry eye. I do hope that he gets over his blinking problem. It must come and go, since he hardly batted an eye when chit-chatting with well-wishers.