Two years ago, American voters, seduced by the swan song of “Change”, installed Barack Obama as President. Less than a year later, it was seeing what “Change” was all about that motivated State Senator Mick Mulvaney to challenge incumbent Congressman John Spratt, when he attended a tightly-controlled public hearing held by Spratt over Obama’s health care legislation.
While Spratt has taken this kind of controlling approach towards his constituents, he failed to exercise control where it has mattered most: over the national budget, of which he oversees as Chair of the House Budget Committee. This was demonstrated by his failure to enact a budget this year, as well as failing to exert any degree of restraint over a budget process run amok.
But it’s par the course for Spratt, who has long played one tune back home and another in Washington: claiming to be a middle-of-the-road politico back home, while working hand-in-hand with a Democratic leadership which has rewarded him with his current Chairmanship. To try to divert attention from his record, he has engaged in a misleading negative campaign against Mulvaney, which has received considerable scrunity by the Blogland in recent weeks.
Mulvaney has promised two things that stand out to the Blogland: First, there will be no disconnect between what he says back home and what he does in Congress, and Second, there will be respect for the constituents of the Fifth District. No more muzzled meetings or voting against their interests and concerns.
Mulvaney has pointed out that he wanted to be the kind of fiscal watchdog that Spratt once was, reminding voters that the Budget Chair who helped push through the most debt-laden federal budgets in history once fought for balanced budgets. That would be refreshing change of pace for Fifth District residents.
Based upon his negative campaigning which seeks to divert voter from his record, as well as abandonment of his once-prided fiscal watchdog role, Spratt has failed to lead. Given the dire fiscal situation, this failure to lead has results in dire consequences. Since Spratt has failed, voters should give Mick Mulvaney a chance to prove himself in Washington.