Dan Maffei is the Representative to the US House of Representatives from the 24th District in New York State which means that, among thousands of others, he represents me. He seems like a perfectly nice person and he has a master’s degree and a doctorate from prestigious universities (his doctorate is from Harvard). He comes off as a little mopey and slow-witted, perhaps because he is somewhat shy in a world of schmoozers.
He won his first term in 2008 and the local papers criticized him mightily and frequently for voting with the Democrats every time. Of course, he was, and is, a Democrat, but the editors and those locals who write letters to the editor implied he was a rubber stamp party patsy with no mind of his own. In 2010 Dan Maffei lost his seat in the House and Anne Marie Buerkle was elected, someone we hardly knew, who turned out to be a Tea Partier Republican who made no pretense of fair governance. She had her own axe to grind and she toed the Republican Party line. Maffei looked almost like his own man compared to the two year digression and waste of time that was Anne Marie Buerkle.
When Mr. Maffei ran again in 2012 against Anne Marie Buerkle, I wasn’t excited but I was very relieved to help elect a Democrat again. I even went to the airport and waited in a long line to attend the photo op and speech when Bill Clinton flew into Syracuse to endorse Dan Maffei (see my blog post, Oh, Oh I’m Becoming a Groupie from Oct. 20, 2012).
I understand that Mr. Maffei did not want to give the local paper, or those who wrote all those letters to the editor, a chance to say that he was just a Democratic clone or zombie with no mind of his own, but he should have used that expensively educated brain of his to realize that voting with Republicans during the government shutdown to end Obamacare forever, and his second vote with Republicans to change Obamacare so drastically that it would actually no longer be Obamacare, were not the two times he should have decided to strike out on his own and show that he could vote against his party.
Dan Maffei has had two chances to show us that he understands what the people in his constituency want and need. He has no talent for this in spite of the time he served with Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Who will we elect if we don’t want Dan Maffei, and given that we certainly don’t want Anne Marie Buerkle? Who can we get who will be a brilliant Democrat and a quietly dynamic representative to the House in 2014? Would Sam Roberts be a good choice, or perhaps Dave Valesky (is he from this district)? Surely we can find someone who doesn’t just behave like, pardon the expression, a tool.
This is the view from the cheap seats.
Apparently I have become a political “groupie”. Yesterday I drove into a parking lot swimming in water after ruining a small patch of grass (already ruined by many others) at an airport hanger complex in my home town in order to see Bill Clinton and Dan Maffei and various local luminaries. We all stood in a really long line for a really long time while we waited to sign in to this “on the fly” speech and photo op as Bill Clinton tries to help Dan Maffei get elected. I am planning to vote for Dan Maffei. His opponent Ann Marie Buerkle is an extreme Republican who never could represent me because all she can seem to do is try to try to convince me that the Republicans are right.
Dan Maffei is not Bill Clinton. He seems a little bit shy, but he will still represent the people of the 24th district better than Ann Marie Buerkle has done. Mrs. Buerkle never mentioned while she was running in 2010 that she was virulently anti-abortion and that her main agenda would consist of trying to defund Planned Parenthood and overturn Roe v. Wade. She could never have won in this district if she had shared that information when she was running for office here. She did tell us that she would try to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and people were feeling pretty emotional about the health care reform, so this did help her get elected at that time. She is also a deficit hawk, which doesn’t bother me, but she also believes that the 47% of people who rely on government programs are being turned into permanent dependents who are acting as a permanent drag on the American economy. She believes we can solve the deficit by cutting loose the 47%. She is not for me and her politics does not truly represent the politics of the 24th district. That the long version of why I will vote for Dan Maffei.
As to the groupie part, it is Bill Clinton that I am a groupie for because I like the way he has conducted himself since he stopped being president. By the way I am also a groupie for Hillary because she fought her demons and has conquered the whole world. I don’t think there is one corner of the world that she has not visited. She must feel so empowered by all the things she has learned in the last four years and she has done a great job as Secretary of State. As to President Clinton, the first thing I liked is that he set up his office in Harlem and the second thing I like is his Global Initiative. I like that he was not ready to rest on his laurels and that he has found a valuable way to extend his power and use it for good. They are my superheroes and I enjoy seeing what they are up to.
So I was willing to stand on a cold, and very hard, concrete floor for two hours most of which just involved waiting for President Clinton to arrive. I was willing to look out over the rows of local politicians sitting in their chairs in the front of the podium, behind the people herding fence, with cramps in my toes from that old cold concrete floor until finally my own personal member of the Justice League showed up and we were able to get down to business while Bill Clinton led us in a session of cheering for Dan Maffei.
He explained what we all believed about how the Republicans have acted for at least the past four years and even though he was “preaching to the choir” we did not have any trouble hootin’ and hollerin’ because, even in an airplane hangar in a little, nearly broke New York city, he uses the same kind of energy that makes him so popular when we see him speak on TV. It may be the last opportunity I have to see Bill Clinton in person and believe me, I saw very little of him because I am quite short. But occasionally the crowd parted and I was able to see both Bill Clinton and Dan Maffei. I am including this horrible photo that I took, which looks like both of these men are standing on stage with their ghosts, because it proves that I was there, in the same room with one of my heroes. As to Dan Maffei; I don’t care if he achieves heroic status as long as he is a good honest representative who really tries to represent everyone in the district as best he can. I hope he gets this second chance to prove that he is up to the job. We have had some great representatives. Ann Marie Buerkle, I am sorry to say, is not one of them.