Cross-posted at Eclectablog.com.
Rob Steele, a wealthy cardiologist, is running against the "Dean of the House", Congressman John Dingell. His campaign is your typical ultra-right conservative blah-blah: cutspendingcuttaxesdemocratsareresponsibleforthedeficit...etc., etc.
But, I have to say, Rob Steele takes the whole "vote for me, not the 'career' politician" thing to a new level. Last night on Sean Hannity's Great American Panel, he accused John Dingell of having been in Congress since he was 12 and asked people to vote for him because he "went to [his] first county convention two weeks ago."
God forbid Michigan put its leadership in the hands of wealthy disgruntled citizens with no experience in public policy, running a huge government or of ... well ... leading.
Video with transcript after the jump.
I'm having trouble embedding the YouTube video so here's the direct video link.
Rob Steele: Congressman Dingell, he's served honorably. He's been there since, he's been in Washington, D.C. since he was seven years old when his dad was elected in 1932 and then he took over for his dad in 1955. So he's been there since seven, graduated from the Page High School, so he's actually been in the House of Representatives since he was twelve.
Sean Hannity: And Michigan lost about half its population, has double-digit unemployment and has been, if you want a poster child for the bad liberal redistributive policies and high taxes, go to Michigan, Detroit in particular.
Steele: What they're lookin' for is someone like me, someone who has not been a career politician. I mean I went to my first county convention ever two weeks ago. I mean I've not been involved in politics and that's what I hear out on the trail.
Hannity: You're a cardiologist?
Steele: A cardiologist -- heart doctor.
I don't know about you but I had NO idea that John Dingell had been in Congress since he was twelve. I knew that nobody currently serving has been there as long as him but isn't it some kind of record or something that he became a Congressman at the age of 12? You know, I used to hang out with my grandfather, a carpenter, when I was a kid. Do I get to call myself a carpenter now? Is that part of my "career".
Let's face it, Rob Steele (WHO?) is a physician that has made a ton of money off the status quo with regard to our health system. It should come as no surprise that a conservative like him would like to keep things just the way they are. His only leadership experience, according to his website, is that he is on the board of a group that he himself founded. Well, that and he used to be on the board of his kids' swim club. Until he recently resigned, according to his website.
He starts out by saying that John Dingell has served 'honorably' then goes on to deride him and blame him for Michigan's economic woes. He accuses him of "not reading the bill" when, as John Dingell famously said in his health insurance reform townhall meeting last year, he WROTE most of it! And, despite his appearance of honoring Congressman Dingell, Steele also has an amateur-looking website called Ditch Dingell. Way to honor the Dean of House, there, doctor.
He also claims to be ahead in the polls 46 to 41%!
He doesn't, of course, give any reference to which pollsters have him with a 5% edge over a legendary incumbent like Congressman Dingell. That's probably because the poll was run by Public Opinion Strategies (POS), a self-described "Republican polling firm" and paid for by him. Furthermore, the poll actually shows him trailing the Congressman. The ironically-named POS was responsible for the "Harry and Louise" ad in the early 90's.
Also, too, note that the Cook Partisan Voting Index (PVI) for MI-15 is D +11.
Steele's issues page is full of the same kinds of fluff you'd expect from a far-right conservative with absolutely no political leadership experience of any kind.
Spending is out of control. We cannot afford it today, and our children and grandchildren certainly cannot afford it tomorrow..
How will he rein in this tragic spending? No clue.
The tax system must be flatter and fairer for the taxpayer, and not allow the special interests and lobbyists to each have their own line in the tax code…
We don’t have too few taxes; we have too much spending.
Lobbyists each have their own line in the tax code? Who knew? How will he tackle the tax code to make it flatter and fairer? No clue.
Consumer choice and responsibility, price transparency, equal tax treatment of the employed and self employed, in combination with Health Savings Accounts, are more cost effective for the patient and providers. Many of these principles have kept the health care costs in my own business flat for the last 5 years.
Medicare is already broken, with high levels of fraud, claim denial, and decreasing provider base. The taxpayers cannot afford another massive, inefficient, government-run program.
Yeah, Medicare is full of fraud, alright. But, of course, when the Democrats try to cut out fraud, Republicans like Steele scream "HE'S SLASHING MEDICARE!!! How will Steele fix healthcare? No clue (it can't just be Health Savings Accounts, right?)
Members of Congress must live under the laws they pass. They have exempted themselves from Social Security, Medicare, and the proposed government run health care program. The government does not abide by the laws any normal business must, including accounting practices and employment rules of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Medicare and Social Security are run identically to the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme – the one that put him in jail for the rest of his life. Federal employees should not have salary or benefits any better than the average private employee.
Here Steele appears to be condemning ALL of Congress, including his fellow GOPosaurs. Will he immediately introduce legislation to remove them from Social Security, Medicare, and "government run health care" (which, by the way, is a lie)? I wonder if he realizes that Congress is the main customer of "government run health care"? And calling Social Security a "Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme"? Is this the same Social Security system that Republicans are so famous for screaming "Hands off Social Security!!!" about?
What's Dr. Steele's plan to fix these Ponzi schemes? No clue.
And that's it. Those are the four things on his Issues webpage. Pure fluff and no substance.
Dr. Rob Steele benefits handsomely from the health care status quo. He wants to eliminate Social Security, he's anti-choice, and has zero-zip-nada experience in political leadership of any kind whatsoever. And he's running for Congress in southeastern Michigan against one of the true legends in governmental leadership.
Wait. Dr. Steele who?
I'm just sayin'...
Dingell photo by Anne C. Savage.