Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Saving Jeff Miller's Career

Today's Pensacola News Journal calls on Northwest Florida Congressman Jeff Miller (R-Chumuckla) to stop bleating G.O.P. talking points over "old political chestnuts from a different economic time." It's past time, the editorial says, for Miller to start working "to secure the majority of... federal dollars" from the Obama administration's proposal to digitalize medical records "to be used here," where a pilot program is already afoot.
On the table is stimulus money for the development of electronic medical records. There already is a pilot program in our county among the military, the University of West Florida, some doctors and private business. This is the type of high-tech business we crave, the type of business that will keep our children from moving to Nashville or Atlanta in search of opportunity.

Instead of blindly following outdated GOP orthodoxy, we urge Miller to secure the majority of these federal dollars to be used here. We should be, and can be, the center of electronic medical records development.

Instead of calling environmental initiatives a "disservice to all Americans," Miller ought to work to provide funding for our area for much-needed green technologies. We have the opportunity to go from an environmental nightmare to a shining star, with the accompanying jobs and increase in quality of life.
If we were in the business of handing out political advice to lousy congress persons, we'd go a lot further than the newspaper. Miller was a political eunuch even when his own party dominated Congress. No important committee assignments, no memorable legislative footprints left behind, no pork for the home folks that hadn't already been slaughtered and cured by the military on its own.

Ever since he arrived in Washington, Miller has been nothing more than a lowly mailman, trying to claim credit for the paycheck in our mail box while hiding the bills under the doormat.

If he really thinks bringing home the bacon is the surest way to serve his district (and win reelection), he'd pay attention to President Obama's plea for bipartisanship and jump aboard the train with his vote for the administration's budget, health care, and economic recovery proposals.

Sure, it would risk alienating the minority leaders in the House. But what have they ever done for him? Miller has the rare opportunity, right now, to become a national figure as well as a local hero. All he needs to do is break with outdated Republican "orthodoxy," as the News Journal describes it, and vote for what works.

That would be a career saver. Sad to say, we doubt Jeff Miller is courageous or smart enough to know it.

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