Monday, February 2, 2009

The Daschle Appointment and "Limousine Liberals"

Republicans are fond of referring to liberals who lead a comfortable life while claiming they understand the plight of the poor as "limousine liberals."

I have a friend who says that when you first come to Washington you see it as this ugly political swamp but after you are here awhile it begins to seem like this wonderful hot tub. He says that's when it's time to get out of town and go back home.

President Obama's nominee for Health and Human Services Secretary is having to answer some uncomfortable questions about paying $128,000 in back taxes mainly for the use of a limo and driver over three years. First, please understand that Senators understand the rules on gifts--many do a pretty good job of taking advantage of things right up to the line. Daschle may have been out of the Senate a few years but his story that he thought he was getting a limo and driver as "a generous gift from a friend" doesn't pass the laugh test.

More troubling for me is what appears to be this sense of entitlement in that Daschle thought he needed a limo. Cabs are everywhere in this town and the Metro is great.

Is this the view of the world that he brings to wanting to reshape our health care system? It just plays into that Republican label, "limousine liberal."

President Obama came to office telling us he wanted to change things in Washington. First we had Geitner telling us he forgot to pay his Social Security and Medicare taxes for a number of years in a row. Now, we find Daschle couldn't do without a Caddy and driver and on top of that he just thought it was a "generous gift" he didn't have to report.

I have been supportive of President Obama's pick of Daschle for Secretary of HHS. He will probably be approved if for no other reason then he has some close friends in the Senate.

But I think he needs to seriously consider spending some quality time with some real people back home in South Dakota. This place just looks too much like a hot tub to him!

Update: Daschel Withdrawal Sets Back Health Care Reform


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