Senator Dick Durbin has been talking a lot about change these days. As an early Obama supporter, he picked up the Obama campaign “change” mantra and started chanting it with the vigor of a zombie movie extra. It seems more than a little disconcerting that few Obama supporters can enlighten us on what any of those changes might actually be. Could they mean change like an elimination of the social security cap? Or the refusal to renew the Bush tax cuts? Or an ill conceived universal healthcare plan? When voters, temporarily afflicted with Obama Adoration Syndrome finally embrace the destructive realities of the Obama change mantra, change will not be nearly so endearing.
I will admit, however, that I uncharacteristically agree with Senator Durbin on the need for the people of Illinois to have a chance for change. The voters of Illinois deserve far more than a career politician like Durbin, one who is woefully disconnected from the average voter and is guilty of some of the most outrageous and horrific smearing of our troops and our nation.
In 2005, Durbin said this about our troops on the floor of the Senate, “If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime — Pol Pot or others — that had no concern for human beings. Sadly, that is not the case. This was the action of Americans in the treatment of their prisoners.”
Though he attempted a weak explanation for his heinous remarks, he clearly can not divest himself of his underlying contempt for our men and women in uniform. Despite the clear indications of the success of the surge, Durbin spoke to the Center for National Policy in September of 2007 saying, "The reality is: Despite heroic efforts by US troops, the Bush surge is not working."
Thankfully, the people of Illinois can embrace meaningful change in the form of a change in leadership. Dr. Steve Sauerberg is challenging Senator Durbin this November.
"Dick Durbin should be ashamed of himself for putting politics ahead of our troops and their families. Imagine how the families of our soldiers must have felt when a U.S. Senator all but declared defeat as their loved ones stood in harms way. We know the surge is working and Durbin’s instant declaration of it as a failure speaks volumes to his flawed judgment and commitment to victory,” Dr. Sauerberg told me from his medical office last week.
Dr. Sauerberg is connected to the people in his state and sees the voters in Illinois as fellow citizens, citizens who continue to sit across from him in his medical office while he campaigns to defeat Durbin. His patients tell him of their worries, concerns and aspirations and his conversations with them provided a valuable connection to the daily life in his state.
“Many of my patients come to the office feeling overwhelmed. Issues today are often complex and confusing. They are frustrated with trying to understand a ridiculously complex tax code, a series of convoluted approaches to healthcare reform, a war in which there are so many nuanced issues. And now, along comes a dramatic increase in gas prices. It can simply be overwhelming,” Dr. Sauerberg remarked.
“The people of Illinois have lost faith in the career politicians, they have lost faith in our leadership in Washington, and most disturbingly they have lost faith in our political and legislative process in general. People all across our great state believe that Washington is broken, and they are right. It is time to hold the career politicians like Dick Durbin accountable for the mess in Washington.”
Dr. Sauerberg offers stark contrast to Senator Durbin on a variety of issues and actually provides concrete examples of change not merely the empty platitudes and vague innuendos of the Durbin campaign.
“Unlike Dick Durbin I have a plan to end our energy crisis. We can start by reducing federal gas taxes to provide immediate relief at the pump, and consider taking the cap off of the strategic oil reserve. Longer term we must expand our use of nuclear energy and expand domestic production and refinement of oil. Congress should act now to lift the ban on off-shore drilling and to begin drilling in the Alaskan tundra.”
“As a family doctor I know what works in our healthcare system and I know what doesn’t. Instead of pushing for socialized medicine, I have offered a free-market based plan that will empower individuals, increase competition in the insurance market, eliminate frivolous lawsuits, and end fraud and waste in the Medicare and Medicaid system.”
When Dick Durbin marches through the state of Illinois this election season beating the drums of change, one can only hope that he gets exactly what he is asking for….a change in his career.