Many have voiced their opinion that Hawaii Congressman Ed Case did better in the two monologue exchanges than Hawaii Senator Daniel Akaka. Few have noticed some of the glaring failures by Case to include: 1) Defining how Case’s positions on multiple issues are superior to Akaka’s; and 2) Showing how Akaka’s age is bad.
Research on the issues (see www.issues2000.org) indicates that Case is not all that different than Akaka. Case is a pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage, pro-union, big-spending Democrat. Though Case brings up a few issues where he differs (the Jones Act and possibly Iraq), for the most part Case outright endorses Akaka’s positions, or in Case’s own words, “Our Hawai'i has been served ably and with great distinction by generations of U.S. Senators.” This is the answer to Case’s first glaring failure: Case does not stress the superiority of his platform because it is not all that different than Akaka’s platform.
What about Akaka’s age? Case talks about “transition,” which, though Case denies it, is a euphemism for age. There is no reason to “transition” if Akaka has three terms of service left in him. Why would anyone want to lose Akaka’s seniority because, as his supporters claim, Akaka is in great shape both physically and mentally? Case’s answer should be that Akaka is no longer mentally competent to do his job. Though Case hints at Akaka being incompetent, he fails to come out and state clearly, “Akaka is not doing debates because he is not able. Akaka is reading his notes because he cannot operate without a prepared script. Akaka is not just old; he is mentally unable to do the job.”
Three reasons are possible for Case’s failure to clearly confront Akaka on mental competency: 1) Case is just a bad communicator and can seldom achieve clarity with conciseness. This fact became evident to me while sitting next to him during a forum sponsored by the Outdoor Circle in Kona on August 21, 2006. I noticed that Case showed a propensity to “dance,” that is to talk for two minutes without saying anything substantive or responsive. Instead Case throws out meaningless words like, “a lot of people have different opinions and I try to be sensitive;” 2) Case does not want to violate Malama Pono, but why? Respect? Possibly, but another option is that Case does not want to alienate the Akaka Democrats by insulting them with the truth. Case wants to keep friendly with these status quo Democrats because Case wants to become the new status quo Senator; and 3) Case does not love Akaka. If someone truly has aloha for someone else, they should speak the truth in love. If Akaka is being dishonest and covering up a senility or dementia, speaking truthfully about the disability is a way of showing care and compassion.
The best illustration of Case on the issues and Case on lack of clarity is his answer to a question about education asked during the question answer period of the August 8, 2006 “Monologue Exchange” at the Dole Cannery. Case was asked a question about the role of the Federal Government in state education. In response Case waxed eloquently for three minutes and said very little. The three minutes, however, revealed his position as, “throw more money at the problem.” This establishes Case as a status quo, pro-union, money-spending Democrat. Nothing is more status quo, pro-union and money wasting than rewarding a failing organization like the Hawaii Department of Education with more money.
Too bad that many in Hawaii will not consider alternative candidates. There is an unspoken rule of “unless you have at least $30,000 in the bank, the media and many voters will ignore you.” Ned Lemont in Connecticut put in about four million dollars of his own money and edged out incumbent Senator Joe Lieberman for the Democratic primary nomination, proving to all that a newcomer can win. Perhaps, however, Lieberman will surprise us with a win as an independent. Perhaps, likewise, one of the Republican candidates for US Senate in Hawaii will surprise us as well.
Mark Beatty MA, THM, PHD, MBA, JD is a Republican candidate for the US Senate in Hawaii (www.electmarkbeatty.com) For Mark’s other articles see www.bestideashawaii.com.