To my friends at the Tea parties: Dr. R. Blake Curd is using you. He does not truly believe in your cause. He is using your rallies and slogans to win votes and power and protect his medical profits.
My support for this hypothesis: Dr. R. Blake Curd's vacuous and contradictory responses in yesterday's online chat with Kevin Woster at Mount Blogmore. Examples:
- Dr. R. Blake Curd says "We don't believe government is the answer to our problems." Yet when I pointed to several examples of government solving our problems (federal grants for broadband mapping and development, rural hospitals, and research at SDSU) and asked which he'd cut, he replied with careful vagueries on par with the finest Herseth rhetoric about helping South Dakota "effectively compete for federal programs." The only specific he gave was to say federally funded broadband access is a good thing.
- Dr. R. Blake Curd said the stimulus isn't working, but he blatantly dodged saying what cuts he would have made in the state budget (or will propose in the coming legislative session) to avoid using federal stimulus dollars.
It also seemed to take R. Blake Curd a long time to come up with these answers. Perhaps that was just a function of the "Cover It Live" interface Mount Blogmore uses for these live chats... in which case I'd say upgrade to some software that feels a bit more live. Pending that excuse, to viewers, it felt like Dr. R. Blake Curd was spending an awful lot of time checking his talking points and cutting and pasting the proper stock slogans from his prepared notes.
If I were a teabagger (and debate over that term is over, thanks to Gordon Howie), I could have dashed off answers more faithful to the cause in no time:
- Federal grants? Send them back. Shrinking government starts at home. If we want to pay down the debt and spare our grandkids' financial future, we have to make the sacrifice. Sure, broadband is great, but we just don't have the money. I'd defund every one of those programs and force Washington and the whole country to live within its means.
- Stimulus? Send it back. Dependence on Washington is bad. The cuts we'd have to make will be painful, but only because we've become addicted to federal money. It's like kicking drugs: withdrawal hurts, but addiction kills. Yes, Kevin, I'd cut education, the arts, Birth to 3, the works, because smaller government and independence from Uncle Sam really are my core values.
Those are the logical conclusions I draw from the rhetoric I hear from my teabagger friends. But no serious politician is willing to campaign on those conclusions. I could respect a teabagger who would. But Dr. R. Blake Curd is a teabagger in name only. His record proves he doesn't really believe in smaller government. He is a fake, just another politician, carefully choosing his words to get elected.