Cross-posted to bluejersey.com
Being an offensive tackle in the NFL is tough. It's tough physically, but there's also a non-physical component of the game that must be mastered. In today's game, the multitude of plays are complicated, and you have to memorize a large number of formations and be able to react instantly with a canned set of responses to defensive maneuvers.
In today's debate between John Adler and Jon Runyan, hosted by conservative talk radio host Michael Smerconish, Mr. Runyan demonstrated why he was a successful NFL player. He had memorized and successfully parroted all of the Republican talking points that were given to him by his handlers. The former NFLer even went so far as to regurgitate quotes from Democratic icons John F. Kennedy and Daniel Patrick Moynahan, as well as from conservative demigod Ronald Reagan. As he did in his NFL career, Mr. Runyan did his homework and memorized the playbook masterfully.
First-term Congressman John Adler, on the other hand, demonstrated that he is an intelligent politician. Those who support him would interpret this to say that he has shown that he is an independent thinker who doesn't always fall in lock step with the party line. Those of us who are a bit more cynical would say that he is moving to the right in order to capture the conservative voters of Burlington and Ocean counties. To help establish his conservative creds, Mr. Alder quoted not politicians, but instead referred several times to articles in Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal.
Regardless of which view you take, it is clear that Mr. Adler is the more qualified and independent-minded of the two candidates. He brags of being a centrist at a time when the nation needs more progressive voices in the House. His positions on offshore drilling, immigration reform, health care and other issues would perpetuate many of the problems we see today and don't give us the real change that this country needs. Yet, a vote for Mr. Runyan would be a vote for the policies of George Bush, Newt Gingrich, and John Boehner, and would continue to benefit the corporatists at the expense of the American middle class. So this year, for those of us in New Jersey's Third Congressional District, it's once again the choice of the lesser of two evils. A vote for Adler brings the “evils” of a hard-working intelligent centrist. A vote for Runyan brings the evils of the Tea Party, John Boehner, and Glenn Beck. The choice is clear.
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