Saturday, November 10, 2007

Cubin decides not to run again

News started circulating yesterday afternoon that Wyoming's lone U.S. Rep., Republican Barbara Cubin, has decided not to run again. She's in the middle of her seventh term and the end can't come too soon. She's been facing many medical problems of her own and her husband's, and has missed half the votes held this session in Congress. Here's an excerpt from a story about Cubin in today's Casper Star-Tribune:

"If it's true that Cubin has decided not to run, then it poses interesting dynamics for the future, because the Republican Party has quite a few people on the bench right now," said Liz Brimmer, former chief of staff to the late U.S. Sen. Craig Thomas and owner of a Jackson communications and statewide public relations firm.

Brimmer said that if Cubin has decided to retire, people in the state should respect that her health challenges are difficult for all families and for any woman working. "Sometimes when people are public servants, that measure of empathy isn't always our first reaction," Brimmer said. "I think in this case we should have a lot of empathy."

I wonder how many times Cubin voted against family-friendly legislation to assist with family medical leave, daycare, minimum wage, health care for needy children, etc. She is adamantly against any kind of universal health care plan, although she benefits from the best plan taxpayer money can buy in the U.S. Congress. Since Republicans nearly always vote against such legislation, since they say it will swell the federal budget, I'm sure that most of her votes were family-unfriendly. She was all for dropping cluster bombs on Iraqi villages. And she never met a Big Oil bill that she didn't like. Petro-dollars are her lifeblood.

Empathy exists on the personal and national and global scale. Ms. Cubin never exhibited the trait in her public life so it's hard to muster any for her now.

I hope that she's replaced in 2008 with a Democrat, Gary Trauner. If Colin Simpson does run on the Repub side and is elected, let's hope he can avoid Cubin's doctrinaire right-wing politics and be a more thoughtful and free-thinking Rep, something on the order of his father, former Sen. Al Simpson.

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