The other night I had the opportunity to see my first general election ad broadcast in the 3rd Congressional District. The ad was put out by Democrat Denny Heck. Notwithstanding the odd timing of the ad (the last week in August), I was struck by the complete lack of any true understanding of the problems confronting the people of the 3rd Congressional District.
Heck's ad (available here) was striking in its tone deafness. I was stunned that his first ad for the general election, the one that will presumably introduce him to voters, focused on Wall Street reform! Wall Street reform! Seriously, is there anyone in the country, outside of the progressive enclaves of Berkley, CA, or downtown Seattle, discussing Wall Street reform around the kitchen table? I highly doubt that. Especially when we are living in a country that has nearly 10% unemployment, and a district where unemployment is 12%. We are living in a country that has $14 trillion in debt. A country that, in 10 years, will spend more on debt service than China does on its defense budget. And, Denny Heck is focused on Wall Street reform
Of course, the ad had the usual, tired Democrat talking points about "outsourcing American jobs", and "getting off our addiction to foreign oil" through green energy, but the main point, and the reason Denny is running (according to the ad) is because of those fat cat bankers on Wall Street. First question: How did Denny Heck make his millions? You guessed it, Wall Street. He, along with our junior Senator Maria Cantwell, was an early investor in RealNetworks. When RealNetworks went public, with the help of Investment Bankers ON WALL STREET, and had its initial public offering, Denny Heck was an overnight millionaire. Not bad for a guy who seems to despise those "fat cat bankers".
Second question: Why does he want to take the opportunity for wealth away from the rest of America? Heck is like so many Democrats who, once they've achieved success, want to limit the opportunity for success for the rest of us. Wealth is built three ways in this country: own dirt (real estate), own a business, or inherit the money. Heck and the rest of his ilk have already destroyed the real estate market, it seems like only Democrats inherit great wealth (or marry into it), and now they want to limit our ability to own businesses through ownership of stock. He got his, so he'll take his ball and go home.
In addition, Heck supports reinstating Glass-Steagall which might sound good on the surface, but could be disastrous for the economy (we'll leave this discussion for another day). Heck and his team have no idea how to speak to the fed up, angry, concerned voters of the 3rd Congressional District, so they resort to worn out arguments and tired talking points.
Now don't get me wrong. Reforms of "Wall Street" are needed. For instance, I support increased regulation of derivatives, CDOs, and some of the more exotic investment products. I don't, however, support the pseudo reforms in the biill that Obama signed in to law. That bill does nothing to address the underlying problems in our financial services sector, and does absolutely nothing to address the issues that caused the financial crisis in the first place.
But, none of this matters to Obama, Pelosi, and Heck. Their focus is to create divisions among Americans, based on class warfare, and try to shame people into supporting their misguided and dangerous policies. Although I don't put much stock in polls conducted in August, it is worth noting that Heck was down 14 points in the Survey USA poll commissioned after the primary election. He's going to have to get a real clue regarding the concerns of the people of the 3rd Congressional District, or that August poll will be his high water mark.