By Thomas Crawford of Portland, Oregon. Thomas is a full time student and part-time politics junkie at the University of Puget Sound, where he studies U.S. Politics and Creative Writing. Previously, he contributed "House Democrats Win Big in Independent Party Primary".
It seems that the Oregon House Republicans have returned to the days of the smoke-filled back rooms, where men of power gathered to discuss the course of the country’s leadership in days gone by.
I’m betting that there was significantly more glitter this time around.
In case you missed it, seven Oregon House Republicans recently went to a topless bar while on what amounts to a leadership retreat in Palm Springs .
Many op/eds have been written decrying their behavior, and offering analysis of what it all means. Carla Hanson authored a piece on this blog that argued that this highlighted an Oregon Republican problem with women, and she's not wrong: Republican lawmakers and women have a serious disconnect, but there's more to it than the fact that "GOP female representation is pathetically meager."
Republican lawmakers were staying in a $1 million mansion, lounging on luxury golf courses, and paying to watch strippers in Palm Springs while Oregon homeowners are fighting foreclosures and a rate of 8.4% unemployment. The big disconnect Republicans have is with the middle class, regardless of gender.
These are the same Republicans who have pushed for big tax giveaways for the rich and out of state corporations while cutting schools and other state services.
These are our supposed leaders, who we elect to defend our interests. I sincerely doubt “2-for-1 lap dances” made it on to either party’s platform, so it’s curious that the Republicans would choose to take their leadership retreat in such an opulent setting. Since I highly doubt this trip was intended to be a motivational experience, I would instead call this an abject failure on the part of an Oregon Republican leaders to keep focused on the issues that matter.
We should look at this as a prime example of exactly how out of touch Republicans are with the needs of Oregonians, as well as a barometer for how hard they are working to help their state. Education is underfunded, working wages don’t go as far as they once did, and this boy’s club is off swilling champagne surrounded by topless women. As an Oregon voter, regardless of political affiliation, it’s time for Oregonians to reassess whether or not these members of the House of Representatives actually represent our interests.
Aug. 23, 2012 | |