Monday, October 23, 2006
Crossing out Cubin
It appears the good folks of Montana might finally be coming to their senses about Conrad Burns. The latest surveys show that challenger John Tester with his flat-top haircut is leading Burns in this last month of campaigning. My question is, will the voters of Wyoming have the same epiphany in time to show Barbara Cubin the door as she seeks her seventh term for Wyoming's only seat in the United States House of Representatives? Can you believe it—her seventh term? If this isn't an illustration of voter apathy, I don't know what is.
Admittedly, I'm not much of a Babs fan—person or politician. I've always been ready to vote for the other candidate as long as they've had a heart beat. When I day dream of Barbara Cubin, I don't find words like "stateswoman" or "competent" coming to mind—rather phrases such as "prom-queen-gone-bad" and "ding-a-ling" rise to the top. So, forgive me, it's only my twisted look at a bad politician. But even when I dig a little deeper and attempt to look at her as a public servant—sans her June Cleaver personality—she still registers in the department of unqualified.
Where does Barbara Cubin stand on anything except in the shadow of George Bush and his stay-the-course-no-matter-what administration? Ask the average Wyoming voter what they know about Barbara Cubin and what she stands for and they'll probably just shrug their shoulders.
From most voters' vantage point her campaigning is all about smearing the competition. In examining the junk mail she has generated in the past month, one is hard pressed to determine who they are suppose to vote for if not the person her campaign is trying to demonize. Cubin is the little girl in the school yard who taddletales on her classmates even if they are doing nothing wrong. To put it bluntly, Barbara Cubin's legislative message is as empty as the high deserts she represents.
Cubin is hardly a mover and shaker in the nation's capital, and considering she's our only representative, that can't be good. To no one's surprise, Cubin's voting record is extremely conservative when she actually shows up to vote: the American Conservative Union gave her 2005 voting record a rating of 96 points out of 100. Yikes! Well, I suppose if over-the-top conservative is your cup of tea, she's your woman.
I've read that she isn't a big fan of gun control—in fact the NRA loves Babs. She's lucky the rural voters of Eastern Pennsylvania can't weigh in on her candidacy. But whether one agrees with her on this issue or not, there are other issues out there that she has been relatively quiet about. When questioning Cubin, one might as well ask George or Dick directly as her Borg-like response is sadly in lock-step with theirs. How does a nation consider itself strong when it has such paltry representation as Cubin's in Washington?
Listen carefully when she isn't reciting the party line, and you'll discover that she really doesn't have much to say. Recently she was questioned about House Leader Dennis Hastert and his job performance in light of the Foley scandal, she could only muster up something about him doing a good job. Yet another blown opportunity by Ms. Cubin to demonstrate some form of substance in her character.
I understand that almost anyone can make themselves look good the first time around and win an election, I just don't understand how she has managed to get re-elected again and again and again. Has this state no shame, no other choices? Surely we could find (at least) ten more qualified people (Republican or Democrat) right here in my hometown of Powell that could run circles around her if given the chance to represent the Cowboy State in Washington.
Does anyone require more examples/proof of her legislative ineptness? Here's a few more to mull around for now—if need be, you might want to revisit them just before you head out to vote.
In speaking about voters recently, Cubin boasted, "People always know where I stand. They may not like what I have to say, but they know I'm telling the truth." Whatever Babs! Once gain, another shining example of not saying much. Where does she get her canned-Pollyanna-clipart quotes? She speaks as if voters are a bunch of children or idiots and she is the teacher/genius. We'd all be better off if Cubin was selling shoes or make-up at a mall-based J.C. Penney's rather than weighing in with her inert viewpoints regarding the country's heavy legislative matters.
Then there was her famous remark from the floor of the House of Representatives when they were talking about guns—classic Babs in action: "My sons are 25 and 30. They are blond-haired and blue-eyed. One amendment today said we could not sell guns to anybody under drug treatment. So does that mean if you go into a black community, you cannot sell a gun to any black person?" It appears she mixed up her House of Representatives business with the KKK meeting she attended earlier.
Another time Cubin shocked a gathering of GOP donors during a speech on energy policy by interjecting, "I know what Victoria's Secret is. She's a slut." I'm unsure what the connection is between energy policies and Victoria's Secret, but… of all the things to say! Wow, can't we can find someone with a bit more integrity?
Barbara Cubin claims that she is all about the people of Wyoming, but according to the Center for Public Integrity, Cubin's largest campaign contributors include the tobacco industry, livestock companies, and extractive industries (including oil, gas, and mining companies). Surprised… anyone?
There are countless other reasons to not vote for Barbara Cubin, many are probably more justified than what I've cited here. Nevertheless, I would challenge voters to do a little research on her candidacy before giving her the unconscious nod in 2006.
Sadly for people like myself, in the latest poll Cubin miraculously (in my mind) leads the nearest challenger Gary Trauner with 44 percent of the votes compared to his 37 percent. Admittedly, I don't know much about Trauner, but it's hardly a big leap of faith to let him have a go at it. After all, if he turns out to be a dud, what's the worse thing that could happen—we could bring Babs back for another shot? Naaaah, he couldn't be that bad.
Some believe that the re-election of Democratic Governor Dave Freudenthal will work to Cubin's favor because Wyoming voters (mostly Republican) don't want to cast too many votes to the Democratic party (how deep). God forbid, someone outside of Wyoming might make a "Freudianthal slip" and call us Democrats!