Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Maxine Waters Gets Honest

I worked in Washington, DC many years ago; first as an aide to now retired US Sen. Gordon Humphrey (R-NH) and later as a policy analyst to DC think tanks and as a political consultant. What is hard to find among the politicians I dealt with and what seems harder to find today are those who are noted for being candid. With that, I stand impressed with the unusual amount of honesty displayed by Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California.

Waters is a liberal. Maybe the most liberal in Congress. Most Democrats have read the party's official playbook and know that it simply isn't safe to describe one as a liberal. Barack Obama has the most liberal voting record in the Senate, according to the National Journal, but won't let that word leave his mouth regarding anyone, let alone his own record. You simply don't do it. Maxine Waters did though. She recently told oil executives what "this liberal" intended to do to them. Those words alone caught me by surprise, but she didn't stop there. Oh no, not there.

She went on the say that she had every intention to work towards the government socializing the oil industry. That's correct. Socialize. She paused when she said it (see video, above). "Did I go too far?" her face seemed to be asking. She tried to change the spin a little, by saying "taking over" the industry, but the word was out there and her correction was almost more ominous than her initial statement. Her colleagues sitting by her were honestly shocked by her words as well.

But Waters isn't like most politicians. She described the riots in South Central L.A. following the Rodney King verdict as a "rebellion" that was justified. She was ranked among the 13 most "corrupt" Members of Congress (out of 535 in the House and Senate combined) by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. She has represented California 35 for almost 20 years, but it is still one of the poorest areas in the state with a median income that is approximately half of the rest of the state. In spite of all these things, Waters gets reelected by over 80 percent every election cycle. I guess with that type of good fortune, in spite of remarkably poor performance, you can call yourself a socialist -- er, liberal -- without much cause of concern.

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Kevin Price is Host of the Houston Business Show (M-F at 11 AM on CNN 650) and Publisher of the Houston Business Review. Hear the show live and online at HoustonBusinessShow.com. Visit the archive of past shows here.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maxine Waters doesn't even deserve the attention. You shouldn't give it to her.

4:23 PM  

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