DAVID ROSMAN: Republican front-runners in August primary lack specifics

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CDT; updated 1:29 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I’m sorry. I was thinking about doing it, but now it is too late. I did not switch party affiliation soon enough to run for the U.S. Senate under the Republican ticket.

See, if I was running in the August primary, my GOP friends would have a reason to vote.

This hotly contested race seems to have nothing to do with the management of this nation or the abilities of the candidates who seek a seat under the White Dome and Lady Liberty. The mudslinging and muckraking have gotten way out of control. There are only three issues that the candidates have put forward.

Who is more conservative? Or who drinks more out of the teapot?

Who is more honest and ethical? Or paraphrasing Mark Twain: Suppose you were a cretin. And suppose you were running on the Missouri Republican ticket for U.S. Senator. But I repeat myself.

And who has the best plan for the 113th Congress? Or does anyone know what’s going on?

There are two more, though they seem a bit limited. Who is the better Christian and who loves the NRA?

Visiting the campaign websites of Sarah Steelman, Todd Akin and John Brunner does not open the vaults of future legislation. In fact, Akin’s first slide on his site is not about the issues. "Mud Central" is about responding to the attack ads.

Two of the three complain about government intrusion into our public education system with no solutions. Akin says nothing new, Steelman is asking for ideas and Brunner says nothing at all.

None give specifics concerning legislation that will create jobs. Steelman claims Missouri unemployment is 9.1 percent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Missouri unemployment has fallen to 7.1 percent for the first half of 2012.

Brunner leans on his experience in the workplace. Unfortunately, private business is a dictatorship, not a democracy, and your experience with building consensus is minimal. At least Akin knows the system.

After that, they seem to agree on national security, gun rights, taxes and those emotional and religious-based issues that intrude on our private lives. What is wrong with this picture?

As senator, I can promise nothing. I can only do my very best to bring the Republican Party back to its political roots, Abraham Lincoln’s and Teddy Roosevelt’s progressive and liberal stance.

I will bring intelligence and modernization back to the Senate floor. I will not play follow the leader and will cross the aisle to negotiate instead of screaming "no." I will bring back the “Grand” in the GOP. I will be your other choice.

My stance on the issues? You only need to read my columns.

One more thing, please just spell my name right. One "s" in Rosman.

As for the rest of the primary candidates:

Vicky Hartzler is the choice for Congress for Republicans. She has gone to the dark side of the tea kettle, which will make it easier for Democrat Teresa Hensley to win in November.

Judy Baker is the only person qualified for the office of lieutenant governor from either party. She knows about our citizens’ welfare better than anyone I know and will represent us well.

There is no one running on the GOP side that I would trust in this office. With all the mudslinging going on amongst them, I wonder if they can see through their rose-colored glasses. And Mr. Kinder, the office is not to advance your personal political pursuit.

Let’s keep Jay Nixon as governor, though his name brings me back to the Watergate years. He is the "in the best interest for Missouri" guy.

The GOP candidates do not seem to know what is going on in Missouri, including front-runner Dave Spence. I especially love his "Common Sense" page with the first two bullet points referring to federal issues, not state. And it is not "Obamacare," it is the Affordable Care Act. Sheesh.

Under the Gray Dome, let’s keep Chris Kelly and Steve Webber, and bring Ken Jacobs back from his hiatus.

I really would love to see our state Senate race come down to Mary Still vs. Kurt Schaefer.

It will all be over a week from next Tuesday. Love, laugh and vote. And to our Muslim neighbors, Ramadan Mubarak.

David Rosman is an editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in communications, ethics, business and politics. Questions? Contact Opinion editor Elizabeth Conner.

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Michael Williams July 25, 2012 | 8:20 a.m.

I agree with keeping Jay Nixon and Chris Kelly.

But leave Ken Jacobs in the mud pit....seldom have I witnessed a politician more humanly disagreeable.

(Report Comment)
Mike Martin July 25, 2012 | 10:50 a.m.

It's Jacob, dammit. JACOB. No "s."

Given that the primary offender here is a man who has set himself forth as a beacon of accuracy and precision in world of rumor-mongering bloggers, I'm reminded of these lessons on the English language from Truman Capote:

(And for once, can I read a Rosman column that doesn't take a gratuitous swipe at Christians?)

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro July 25, 2012 | 11:42 a.m.

("After that, they seem to agree on national security, gun rights, taxes and those emotional and religious based issues that intrude on our private lives.
What is wrong with this picture?")
That you chose to use the word "issues" instead of "values" and that religion does not intrude on our private lives.
However, progressive liberal theologians most certainly intrude on private lives, with their imposition of political correctness as it suits them.
Religion does however foster spirituality, a moral compass and the sense of a higher power.
Something Rosman fails to achieve in this column.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 25, 2012 | 11:58 a.m.

Looks like I misspelled "Jacob", also, the same as Rossman.

Kinda funny given, "One more thing, please just spell my name right. One "s" in Rosman."

But, please, no more Ken Jacob.

(Report Comment)
Mike Martin July 25, 2012 | 1:16 p.m.

Despite the misspelling, @Michael Williams' point about Senator Jacob (now running for House) is well taken. I quoted you on Facebook with a story about his performance at last night's debate.

If he stays true to how he presented himself last night -- passionate, committed, yet reasonably humble -- he's got the mojo back that brought him into elected office multiple times over the years.

If not, I don't think he will win.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 25, 2012 | 1:28 p.m.

Wasn't there some sort of fuss-up about Ken Jacob's water bill and a "Do you know who I am" comment?

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 25, 2012 | 1:42 p.m.

In my book, the three most petulant and rude politicians we've sent to Jeff City were Ken Jacobs, Tim Harlan, and Chuck Graham.

And given the recent inflammatory and personal "lost" paragraph removed from Rosman's last article in this newspaper, he might just fit into that group.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 25, 2012 | 1:53 p.m.

Jacobs and oops.

That dang "s" just seems to tag along with that last "b". My left ring finger and I need to have a talk. I once tried that with my middle finger with predictable results, so I'm not hopeful.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 25, 2012 | 3:30 p.m.

It was either Jacob or Graham (I believe Graham) who told an attentive group of MU alumni that if then Southwest Missouri State University were allowed to take the name "Missouri State University" the next thing would be that the good folks in Springfield would be lobbying in the legislature to take over the campus then called UMR.

We were somewhat impressed that this individual even knew about our campus. :)

We've been quaking in our boots ever since. The suspense is simply overwhelming! Will MSU take us over tomorrow? Probably not, because it's way too hot right now for takeovers. :)

"Clowns to the right of me, jokers to the left,
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you." [from the song]

(Report Comment)
John Schultz July 25, 2012 | 3:34 p.m.

Michael, not sure if it was a DYKWIAM moment with his water bill, but he sure was ticked that his service was turned off after being behind months on it and filed a bill to require massive over-notification to a delinquent customer if my memory is correct.

My favorite Ken Jacob moment was at a candidate forum I was in back in 2002 I think. This was at the NAACP forum held in Columbia, and a candidate for state rep who could not be present had a black legislator (I think, memory is dim) from the St. Louis area attend to speak for him. The moderator let him answer a couple of the questions posed, then would not let him speak any longer since he was not the candidate. At that point, Ken Jacob, who wasn't even running in that election, proceeded to speak for at least 30 seconds, perhaps longer. He was not called on to ask a question to the assembled candidates, but felt it was a good time to speak his mind - I think about the candidate who was not present, but that was 10 years ago and I can't recall the exact sentiments. Let's just say that beholden behavior didn't endear him to me or my ballot.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz July 25, 2012 | 3:37 p.m.

Ellis' comment reminds me of a second Ken Jacob moment. While attending the Missouri Scholars Academy in '86, he spoke to the assembled students and the takeaway I had there was "I'm the guy who passed Bright Flight, you'll thank me later!" (words not exact, of course).

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith July 25, 2012 | 9:58 p.m.

Whether or not Steelman should be our next U. S. Senator, she had an excellent record as a state senator several years ago and proved she could work with members of both political parties. She was in the state senate while Kenny Boy was in the process of embarrassing both himself and University of Missouri System in Jefferson City. Each of them represented a district containing a UM System campus. What a contrast! Beauty (Steelman is a fairly attractive-looking woman) and the Beast.

(Report Comment)
J Karl Miller July 26, 2012 | 7:42 p.m.

LOL David--Knowing that you are an ultra partisan Democrat, I am neither surprised nor concerned that you sing the praises of your party's candidates over the evil monsters of the Right Wing Conspiracy who dare oppose them in the pending General Election. I would expect no less and I commend you for your loyalty.

But Ken Jacob???? None of my Democrat friends have anything positive to say of him--most conclude that they would like to purchase him for what he thinks he's worth and sell him forwhat he is really worth.

(Report Comment)
David Rosman July 29, 2012 | 8:17 p.m.

I just love it when my readers find their own avenue to discuss. Ken Jacob has not received this much free PR since... his last election cycle.

As for Mr. Martin's "And for once, can I read a Rosman column that doesn't take a gratuitous swipe at Christians?" No. Not as long as our candidates use religion as a criterium for eligibility for elected or public office. Yes, I know it is not a violation of Article VI, clause 3 of the Constitution to do so, but those of religion have no advantage over those who are non-theists especially when it comes to public and private morality.

In this case, Mr. Martin, it was not "a gratuitous swipe at Christians," but a statement of fact. Another fact; I have supported Jews, Christians and Muslims in this very column when I felt that they were being unfairly targeted based on religious beliefs.


(Report Comment)
Mike Martin July 29, 2012 | 9:37 p.m.

The idea that Religious = Christian = Conservative is lazy stereotyping.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams July 29, 2012 | 10:25 p.m.

"Another fact; I have supported Jews, Christians and Muslims in this very column when I felt that they were being unfairly targeted based on religious beliefs."

Me: And I have several black friends.

And it sounds as silly when I use it to laud myself as when you do.

You are, however, correct when you say, "those of religion have no advantage over those who are non-theists especially when it comes to public and private morality."

The issue might be a mite different when it comes to the chosen ethics. One group isn't supposed to change them willy-nilly; the other is quite free to do so.

And when humans decided to live in close proximity, one had a distinct societal advantage over the other.

(Report Comment)

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