04 March 2009

Conference Call with Senator John Cornyn Today

I got a late invitation this morning to attend a conference call hosted by Senator Cornyn this afternoon at 1:15. What's cool about his conference calls is that they're real conference calls - open mike, basically. No muting or stuff like that, and you can hear the chatter in the background. Someone was listening to Rush Limbaugh - that cracked me up.

He was a few minutes late, and things sounded really busy there inside the Beltway. He opened with a couple of statements regarding the situation on the border and the spending frivolity in D.C. He is very (and rightfully so) concerned about the situation with the drug cartels and the running gun battles between the Policia Federal and the druggies. He invited the President down to get a first-hand look at the situation. I'm curious to see if the President cares enough or knows enough to worry about a potential war on our borders. In case you've not been keeping up with the news, it's a very bad and potentially catastrophic situation there. 7,000 people have died in drug-related killings since the beginning of 2008. Thousands of Federal Police have been rushed to Ciudad Juarez (across the Rio from El Paso) to help quell the violence. It's bad. He did mention that he's glad it's President Calderon in charge, and not his Chavez-sympathetic opponent from the last election. I thought that was an interesting and revealing comment.

Next topic was about spending, and the ludicrous amount of money being thrown about not only in the so-called economic stimulus program, but now in the equally ghastly $410 BILLION omnibus spending bill. At least they have the decency to call it what it is.

Finally, the "fairness" doctrine was discussed. Don't know what that is? I'm going to do you a favor: LOOK IT UP. Stupid is as stupid does, people.

The Senator then opened the line for questions and comments, and I was the first to chime in. I took the opportunity to express my concern over Attorney General Eric Holder's exploitation of the current situation in Mexico as an opportunity to introduce anti-gun legislation and to attempt to resurrect the so-called assault weapons ban. I opined that it was quite a stretch to blame the current situation in Mexico on the legal sales of semi-automatic weapons that looked scary. The Senator pledged full support of our Second Amendment rights, as he has in the past.

There were a couple of other questions, but nothing of note.

Here's what I took away from the meeting: the Senator sounded a bit...exasperated. I think he's a bit frustrated as a senior Senator in Washington, who's typically correct in his position, fighting against an irrational, emotionally-charged Senate. He's in the minority in more ways than one. Nonetheless, he was positive and clearly energetic.

I certainly appreciate his taking the time to talk to his constituency, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to particpate in that process.
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