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Opinion Letters Blue dog Democrat

I read with interest your recent article (March 22 edition) about Hayden Rogers. It was as interesting for what it left out as for what it said.

Rogers, following in the footsteps of his boss, Heath Shuler, is a “blue dog,” which is another way of saying he is a Republican trying to disguise himself as a Democrat. Now that Shuler has decided to cash in and become a high-paid Washington lobbyist, Rogers wants the job as our Congressman for himself.

It would be nice to compare his positions with those of Cecil Bothwell, the real Democrat in the race to replace Shuler, but it’s tough because, unlike Bothwell who is clear where he stands, Rogers has chosen to be vague about his positions, falling back on generalities and feel-good statements like “helping families and the people.” He has also refused to debate his primary opponents, further showing his fear of actually telling us where he stands.

Piecing together what we can, it’s evident why Rogers is doing this. True to his nature, he would follow the Republican lead. For example, in order to reduce the deficit it is quite clear he would cut benefits of important programs like Medicare and Social Security rather than allow the giveaway Bush tax cuts for the rich to expire. He says he would have voted against the health care reform bill, and he has made typically vague statements about “fixing” it. Goodness knows what he thinks about the recent Republican assault on women’s health – we don’t because he won’t say. And this barely scratches the surface of what he isn’t telling us about how far he is from sharing our concerns.

Democratic voters in the upcoming primary should be aware of what we would be getting with Rogers. He’s trying to hide it, but if you read between the lines it’s there to see. In my view, those who want to have a real Democrat running against the Republicans in November, rather than mimicking them, should take note, and have a close look at Bothwell.

John Binkley — Franklin, NC

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