So this is what Rep. Lee Terry was cooking up in our nation's capital when the pretty lady lobbyist got him "so drunk."
Latch on to that excuse, Congressman. The New York Post -- no friend to your political opposition -- will vouch for you.
The other explanation for this one is that Terry is a contemptible liar -- even by Republican-politician standards -- and has no honor at all. When one speaks of "no honor at all," it's usually referencing something like blatantly slandering the opposition in November's U.S. House race in Nebraska's 2nd District.
IN A FLIER aimed at pro-life Democrats, Terry alleges that state Sen. Tom White "supports taxpayer abortion on demand." In the strange, strange world of Lee Terry, this is what constitutes supporting using "your tax dollars to pay for abortions on demand":
White on Monday described the health care reform package approved by the House as "far from perfect, but better than continuing with the status quo."
That, he said, matches the assessment of Omaha investment icon Warren Buffett as well as his own experiences as a cancer survivor and small business owner.
"Now it's time for Congress to turn to fixing the economy, getting our fiscal house in order, and restoring the economic and job growth the country so desperately needs," White said.
I SUPPOSE there's room for Terry to go even lower in this election battle, but I don't know whether he could stay out of jail in the process.
The "abortion on demand" slur about health-care reform goes back to the epic battle over the legislation passed in March. And, frankly, the only people who buy it are GOP pols (for obvious, and cynical, reasons), their wholly-owned subsidiaries within the politicized "pro-life" movement and the nation's Catholic bishops.
To get there, the bishops and the "pro-life" groups had to make some pretty paranoid and wild assumptions about what the legislation would do. That ground has been well covered, including on this blog.
In brief, academics who specialize in health-care law have said the Republican pols, the professional pro-lifers and the bishops are nuts if they think what Terry and his ilk slur as "ObamaCare" provides taxpayer subsidies for "abortion on demand."
To be even briefer, what we have in this electoral silly season are lies, damned lies, and whatever Lee Terry is mailing out to pro-life Democrats. Actually, we knew it was coming. It was on the Politics Daily website just the other day:
With a state unemployment rate in August of 4.6 percent (the third lowest in the nation, thanks to a booming agricultural economy) and Omaha itself at just 4.9 percent, the 2nd District has been spared much of the I'll-never-work-again despair that shapes politics in most of America.AND I GUESS we all knew Terry would go as low as he did in slurring White as a radical pro-abort. All we had to do was remember what the Republicans threw at Jim Esch in the fall of '08.
As Lee Terry knows all too well, he represents the most hotly contested individual congressional district in the 2008 presidential election. Because Nebraska awards an electoral vote to the winner of each congressional district, the Obama campaign mounted a successful crusade to pluck off a surprise pickup in a state that has been stoutly Republican in presidential politics since 1964. Terry, whose victory margin was held to 52 percent amid the Obama upset, acknowledged with blunt honesty that the Democrats "had one heck of a ground game that got people registered and practically eliminated the Republican advantage in the district."
Comparatively inexpensive ad rates (about $75,000 a week for 1,000 gross rating points) allow White (who had $532,000 cash on hand at the June) to be competitive with the incumbent (who had $787,000 in the bank) on Omaha television. Both candidates, who went on the air late last month, have each committed to buying at least $400,000 in additional TV time before November. Terry plans to press his financial advantage through radio advertising and sending out about 300,000 mailings. For example, even though both candidates are anti-abortion in this roughly 40-percent Catholic district, the Terry campaign is readying a special direct-mail piece aimed at pro-life Democrats.
Two elements make the TV narrative here in the Omaha area slightly different than the cookie-cutter national norms. Because of the comparatively low local unemployment rate, the economic crisis that both candidates decry is the national debt rather than lost jobs. A Terry spot slammed his opponent for supporting the economic stimulus and the overall goals of the Obama health-care bill and claimed, as a result, that the difference between the two candidates was "2 trillion dollars" and that White intended to pay for it "with higher taxes and more debt." White's first ad began with the candidate starring directly into the camera and declaring, "When you look at the debt that both parties in Washington keep piling on our kids, it's just wrong."
White never identifies himself as a Democrat. Instead, in his ads he is vaguely identified as "a different kind of leader for Nebraska" and "Nebraska independence for Congress." Asked about a lack of a party label in his ads, White said candidly, "This is not a year where that's effective. Nor is it ever. You have to understand in my whole career, I have never run as a Democrat. The legislature is entirely non-partisan."
A national Republican strategist calls the 2008 bank bailout vote "the one symbol of anti-incumbency that has a chance of working against incumbent Republicans." Small wonder that Tom White has gone after his rival for his vote in favor of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in an ad that claims "Washington politicians like Lee Terry . . . voted for wasteful spending like the Wall Street bailout." Asked about the TARP vote, Terry said, "I really thought it would cost me the  election."
White certainly figured Terry's GOP slime machine was warming up. Just after the Terry mailer hit this pro-life Catholic Democrat's mailbox this afternoon, this robocall from White hit my answering machine:
I SECOND that emotion.
And I grieve for the truth, murdered yet again by a "pro-life" politician who will do -- and say -- any damnable thing to keep sucking at the taxpayer teat on Capitol Hill.