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Fri May 19, 2017, 09:50 PM

Senator Bennet town hall in Boulder. Tough crowd.

Of our two senators, I definitely like Michael Bennet much better than Cory the Grinning Asshat. Bennet is a reliable moderate left Dem who tries hard to walk the line between Colorado Oil/Gas/Mining/Ranching and the other 80% of us. He's no Joe Manchin, and usually manages to get on the right side of issues eventually. I do my best to praise him when he does something in our best interests, and I understand his positions when I disagree because he's good at presenting his argument, but...

The more I write, the more I feel like I'm damning him with faint praise. I will continue to vote for him in every general election where he is on the Democratic ballot because he's not stupid and he's not cruel. I'm not sure I'd back a primary challenger, because we do have to deal with the 20% of the state who think the Birchers are namby-pamby softies. Bennet is good on education and generally good on healthcare (though he's got flaws in his understanding of the maths). But he's not... courageous and he is evasive. The Boulder TH was packed, and people were (mostly) asking good questions. (Except for the one libertarian guy who had very, very bad numbers on nuclear power subsidies and the asshole who wants to be paid to fat shame everyone who isn't a vegan-marathoner. But Boulder.) And yet, I felt like Bennet was trying to run out the clock with non-answers.

One of the last questions today was on fracking and the Martinez decision, and essentially is a local control issue. Bennet made it about the Keystone XL, and that was a bad call, all around, because the Boulder crowd is not a crowd with whom talking up the XL is going to work, and fracking/Martinez is not an issue that has federal control at the federal legislative level. The better answer a better wonk would have made would be something like, "I agree that towns, counties and states should and do have the right to determine their own regulations on mining and gas. And there's not a lot I can do on the local level -- I'm just a citizen, too. You don't want the Senate deciding this, because then you're going to get Senator Coal and Senator Exxon writing the legislation. This is a state and county issue, and you have to fight it here, on the ground."

He definitely dished some inside baseball (Everybody hates Ted Cruz - even his own committees complain about him; he snarked HARD on Betsy Devos) but I wish he'd been more honest and less bipartisan today. I even agree with him, to an extent, on natural gas -- it's the transition fuel between coal and renewables. It's not ideal, the CO2 and methane are doing real damage, it's not the fuel we should depend upon for our long-term future, but it's the transitional one that fuels the grid until we've got wind and solar fully operational and battery arrays to cover the gaps. But just because I'm not entirely opposed to natural gas doesn't mean cities and counties don't get to say, "No, not here," and that the current rules about subdivision rights are functional. Which still doesn't make it a federal legislative issue.

I have never before left a TH feeling this frustrated with a legislator, even when I lived in the Springs and had to deal with Klingenschmitt and Betty Byers. At least they were blatant in their disdain for me and all those like me.

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Reply Senator Bennet town hall in Boulder. Tough crowd. (Original post)
politicat May 2017 OP
Laffy Kat May 2017 #1

Response to politicat (Original post)

Fri May 19, 2017, 11:52 PM

1. I had to hold my nose when I voted for him.

He's a snake, I know he is. Don't trust him as far as I could throw him.

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