Kuster's partisanship: Just own it, Annie
Annie Kuster, New Hampshire's 2nd District representative in Congress, talks a great deal about the need for bipartisanship. And in case you missed that, she is happy to remind you.
"From my first days in office, I have consistently called on both parties to work together..." she said in a statement on Wednesday. No doubt, she has done that. In her election night victory speech last November, she said, "we're ready to put politics aside and do what's right for the middle class and small businesses" and that voters "are looking for leaders who can bring people together to get things done."
When a politician proclaims that she is one to "put politics aside," you can bet that politics is likely to follow.
Last week, Kuster voted against Rep. Paul Ryan's proposed budget. This was no surprise. Ryan was Mitt Romney's vice presidential nominee. Though his proposal did balance the budget, it did not raise taxes to get there. Instead it took such necessary steps as restructuring entitlement programs to make them, and the U.S. government, solvent.
Kuster, naturally, said Ryan's budget "would end Medicare as we know it, undermine critical investments in the middle class, and threaten our economic recovery." That's just the kind of boilerplate partisan rhetoric she lobbed at Charlie Bass during last year's campaign.
During the campaign, Kuster accused Bass of being a partisan Republican rather than the moderate he said he was. According to Opencongress.org, Bass voted with Republicans 83 percent of the time. The site shows that Kuster has voted with Democrats 86 percent of the time. Interesting!
So far, Kuster is demonstrably, if slightly, more partisan than Charlie Bass was. If that's what the voters of the 2nd District want, fine. But judging by how often and how loudly Kuster claims to "put politics aside," it is clear that she knows they don't want that at all.