Is Mark Pryor serious about wanting to cut federal spending? (Part 2)


About two months ago Mark Pryor asked for specific ideas concerning where to cut federal spending. I have provided several dozen to him. However, my question now is DOES MARK PRYOR REALLY WANT TO PUT FORTH THESE SPENDING IDEAS I HAVE PRESENTED TO HIM? Recently he was asked about the exploding federal deficit and Paul Greenberg wrote about his response.

Paul Greenberg takes on Mark Pryor in June 7, 2011 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette:

What, political games?

Our senator is shocked—shocked!
   MARK PRYOR came home last week to tour a school in Little Rock. It is good for U.S. senators to get out of Washington now and then. Maybe as often as possible. The country can breathe easier when Congress isn’t in session. Besides, leaving the nation’s capital can be good for the digestion, congestion, comprehension and general well-being. Also, getting your picture taken with kids at a local school isn’t bad politics. And never let it be said that Mark Pryor isn’t good at politicking.
   He’s very good.
   While he was touring Mabelvale Elementary, shaking hands with the little ’uns, and praising tutors at the school, some smarty-pants media type asked him about the federal debt ceiling and whether Congress should raise it. Good question.    “This is one of the problems we face as a nation,” the senator told reporters. “In Washington, people just can’t agree on a bipartisan basis. We need to build consensus in Washington. It’s good for the country and for its future to do that.”
   Yes, yes, there are too many narrowminded partisans in Washington playing political games. It’s not good for the country. A very reasonable point. Very responsible. Very statesman. Very Mark Pryor—a platitude a minute.
   Except . . . .
   Where was this Mark Pryor years back when a man named Miguel Estrada was nominated to the federal bench?
   YES, AGAIN with Miguel Estrada. Any time Mark Pryor starts bemoaning partisanship in Washington, D.C., any time Mark Pryor starts complaining about Congressional Bickering, any time Mark Pryor starts trying to portray his saintly self as above the political fray, think . . . Miguel Estrada. We do.
   Miguel Estrada was a rising star back in 2001-2003. The president at the time, George W. Bush, nominated him for a seat on the federal bench, specifically the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit. Unfortunately for Counselor Estrada, he was too . . . well, he was “too” a lot of things.
   He was too conservative. He was too Republican. He was too intelligent. He was too young—which may have meant having a conservative, intelligent Republican on the federal bench for years. Maybe even on the Supreme Court of the United States. What a frightening prospect.
   Also, and this may have been Counselor Estrada’s biggest drawback, he was just too darned Hispanic.
   Yes, too Hispanic. Back during the foofaraw over his nomination, internal memos to the Senate’s minority whip at the time, Dick Durbin, advised that the usual liberal lobbies wanted Miguel Estrada kept as far away from the federal judiciary as possible because quote, “he is Latino,” unquote.
   That is, Mr./Senor/Counselor Estrada could have made an attractive candidate for the Supreme Court one day. And those Democratic interest groups shuddered. Because everybody knows that the only party that cares about Latinos or would appoint Hispanic Americans to important offices is the one and only Democratic Party. And it better stay that way. If word got out that a Republican president was actually an equal-opportunity appointer, the Dems’ lock on the Hispanic vote might be challenged. All those Cubans in Florida were bad enough, and now comes this Miguel Estrada. It was obvious his nomination had to be torpedoed.
   Mark Pryor and his happily former colleague Blanche Lincoln—Arkansas’ senators at the time—gladly cooperated. When it came to sandbagging this dangerous Republican/Hispanic nominee, they did more than their dirty share. So did various other Democratic senators. They bottled up the Estrada nomination month after month after month . . . until a digusted Miguel Estrada finally withdrew his name from consideration. He knew full well that the Congressional Bickering and all these partisan fun-and-games would never let him get a fair hearing—not from Mark Pryor, Blanche Lincoln and scheming company.
   But now Mark Pryor is the senior senator from Arkansas. And adopts a very elevated tone. These days, he puts his palm to his chest and talks about all the low partisan politics in Washington. You ought to know, Mr. Pryor.
   Take a memo, Mr. and Mrs. Arkansas, or anybody with an elemental sense of justice, fair play and the American way:
   Every time Mark Pryor bemoans political games in Congress, just remember the name Miguel Estrada.
   Every. Single. Time.
   That’s spelled M-I-G-U-E-L E-S-TR-A-D-A.
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