It is what it says it is.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

To answer a pertinent question in the comments

Yep, it's not all plaudits and laurels here at OH13... nope, we get our critics here too... apparently, we've run afoul of a Sawyer supporter, Ohi3, who writes the following:

You guys write some real crap on this website. What do you have against Tom Sawyer, anyway? He's the only candidate you viciously attack and give no benefit of the doubt. He's explained and apologized for his NAFTA vote over and over again, but all the anti-NAFTA demogogues out there that want to demonize Sawyer also supported both Gore and Kerry when they ran for President, and, you and they forget that both Gore and Kerry also both supported NAFTA, and their President [Clinton} at the time. Get a clue.
Well, since you asked... lessee...
1. We do not attack just Sawyer... look through the archives, we've criticized every major candidate at one time or another. While we are concerned that our pro-Dennerll bias may be showing, we try to hide it.

2. As for why Sawyer gets hit a bit here... you see, the NAFTA vote, and what it represented and represents is not some nebulous policy dispute to me. It's personal, damn personal. I grew up in a family where my dad worked in manufacturing. I say worked, because his lost his job when his company moved operations to Mexico. We very quickly went from being comfortable, if by no means wealthy, to having to scratch and claw to survive. Have you ever had to worry, Ohi3, about whether you were going to have a roof over your head? I have, and my folks have.

If a real case could be made that it was ignorance that led to the vote, I might be able to more readily forgive. But people knew. Remember the "giant sucking sound?" The people who supported this knew full well that NAFTA would cost Americans jobs... particularly jobs in the Northeast and the Industrial Midwest. While the South might gain, this part of the country would most certainly not.

Sherrod Brown released these stats this week, with almost 50k jobs lost in Ohio because of NAFTA.

So yeah, he made a mistake... he wants us to forgive. Well, my parents wanted things too. NAFTA made sure they couldn't get what they wanted out of life... remind me why I should give Sawyer what he wants?

Now, to be fair, I will try not to be the lone voice against Sawyer, although, go to any union event where Sawyer attends, you will hear similar invective and arguments. The fact that other voices in the blogosphere may not find it as important of an issue is fine; that's why we all have our own blogs. But remember, each of us have had our own experiences which taint our view. And frankly, the suffering NAFTA caused me and my family leaves me ill-equipped to put it aside as a "single vote."

But hey, that's up to the voters... they'll decide what's up May 2.



Blogger Ohio 13 said...

And as for supporting Kerry, Gore, et al... they were running against Repugs. If Sawyer wins the primary... we'll support him then too. But this is the DEMOCRATIC primary, and to many of us, myself included, fair trade (as opposed to free trade) is a core DEMOCRATIC value. The same way some Dem voters look at Choice, or Gun Control, or protecting Social Security, I look at fair trade. Bash away.

OH 13

10:40 AM

Blogger OHi3 said...

Thank you for addressing my concerns head-on. This is the first time you have done so.

1) For you and your readers: I want you to know that I am a [perpetual] student of political history. In no way would I ever denigrate what unions have done for working people. If anyone reading this has any doubts of the legacy of unions and hasn't seen the documentary "Matewan," I would try and get it for them. In campaigns over the past twenty years, I have worked with tough union leaders who I have seen frustrated to the point of tears with their own rank and file for not understanding what the union apparatus has made possible. Both of my grandfathers were coal miners; I find their concerns heartbreaking.
2) I grew up the oldest of eight children and starting helping pay for the roof over our head at the age of twelve. My father never belonged to a union and remained fiercely independent, to the detriment of himself and his entire family, till his dying day. Our family was torn apart when I went to college. I was the first child on either side of the family to do so. He was certain I was brainwashed by all the feminists and ultra-left wing activists, the day I jumped up and down at my college acceptance. You stated you know the meaning of hardship and marginalization; so do I.

Now, to address my concerns about your anti-Tom Sawyer bias: I am personally sick to death about hearing what has "happened" in the past. GM is on the verge of bankruptcy, and this country still doesn't seem to get the fact that we need national health care. You talk about that sucking sound south, but American automakers discovered years ago that they could remain profitable in Canada because the government pays for health care there.
I happen to now live in an area of Ohio where manufacturing jobs are actually on the rise, but employers can't find enough trained people to work for them. Unfortunately, in the 13th district where I still own both a house and a business, certain manufacturing jobs just aren't coming back. We need to start planning for the future and figure out to bring new industries, and companies and jobs to Ohio.
This is not going to be accomplished by demagoguing the NAFTA issue. We need to figure out what our communities' assets are and begin building on those to re-build our local economies. A Congressman can help facilitate the process and bring resources to bear; (s)he cannot decide what those solutions should be. NAFTA was a mistake; I remember when the present 13th District Congressman voted against it, and I thought he was wrong. Despite the impressive display of all the former Presidents that President Clinton was able to assemble on the White House lawn, they were all wrong, I was wrong, Tom Sawyer says he was wrong.
The reason I am a strong supporter of Tom Sawyer is that I believe he possesses a unique ability to bring community stakeholders together to solve problems, and, indeed, find new economies in a complicated, technical, and ever-rapidly-changing world. He has a proven record of being able to bring back resources to the district, and he still has long-standing relationships with other members of Congress that will help continue to make it so.

11:10 AM

Blogger Ohio 13 said...

I'm not familiar with the documentary Matewan... only the John Sayles movie, which is brilliant.

Frankly, any attacks I am making on Sawyer are not unlike those that are already circulating... I don't create the storyline when I discuss it.

And again, this blog has attacked the field's other members too... and we've also held back when we've felt appropriate. We have heard stories, rumors, and even facts on members of the field which we don't feel comfortable rnning with.

As far as the crack that this is the first time I have responded head on, well, if I respond to every attack levelled against the work of this blog, I'd not have time to watch College hoops this month, and that's just not gonna happen.

11:36 AM

Blogger OHi3 said...

You seen to not be interested in constructive dialogue, if you honestly believe I am making "cracks" at you. I think it will be obvious with whatever readers you may still have that I have tried to be completely honest and open with you, and, obviously, you can't handle it.

There seems to BE this martydom complex going on among D's generally, however, lately..... The only "bashing" going on this blog is from you. I have no intention to bash, nor will I do so.

And, by the way, I don't know which play book you have been referring to , but fair trade does not qualify as a "core value."

11:50 AM


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