The "local" television stations for West Plains come out of Springfield. West Plains is in Missouri's eighth congressional district, but Springfield is in the seventh. Which means that although I am denied the pleasure of voting against incumbent Congressman Billy Long of the seventh, I do have to suffer his television ads.
Actually, I've only seen one. Long's Republican district is so safe that all he has to do is run the occasional ad - and just sit back and bank the donations to his campaign.
In the ad that I saw Long hit on two interesting points. First, he does not like television political ads - he said so right in his ad! The former auctioneer is obviously a man of the people because we, the people, don't like them either.
The other point that Long made was that he does not like Obamacare - and by suggestion, he undoubtedly does not care for the President either. Long, whose personal appearance would indicate that some serious health issues may loom in his future, said that he voted to defund Obamacare fifty-six times. He seemed very proud of trying to deny health care to many of his own constituents. That is sad, and more than a bit hypocritical, since Congressman Long has his own government-funded health care.
In fact, if Auctioneer Long had not gotten lucky and won a six-way Republican primary four years ago - with only 36 percent of the vote, he would probably be scrambling like the rest of us to find affordable health care. Now though, thanks to the minority of Republican voters in the seventh district who felt that an auctioneer would make a good congressman, he doesn't have to worry about his own health care - and he doesn't seem too worried about anybody else's either.
(The seventh district was represented in Congress for many years by Gene Taylor, a used car dealer. The most recent congressman prior to Billy Long was 'Ol Roy Blunt. Those folks just can't catch a break!)
There is a vibrant and extensive health care community in Springfield including Cox and St. John's hospitals. I wonder how their administrators really feel about Billy Long trying to defund a one of their major funding streams. I doubt they want those people back clogging up the emergency rooms. Springfield is also the home of Missouri State University, the second largest university in the entire state of Missouri. I am wondering how much groaning goes on in the halls of that fine institution every time Congressman Long's name comes up.
All of the above, of course, is the concern of my friends over to the west in Missouri's seventh district - and not mine. Well, it shouldn't be my concern, but a television spot bragging about trying to deny health care to those in need aired on my television set - and it pissed me off!
The election is next Tuesday. If you like the benefits that Obamacare has provided - such as being able to keep your kids on your policy until they are twenty-six years old, or being able to get insurance even though you or a member of your family has a pre-existing medical condition - then send Billy Long a message at the polls. Let him know through your vote that you are trying to defund him!