Sen. Amy Klobuchar – Nanny or Advocate? Advocate!!!

It is interesting to me that the knock I seem to hear coming from the Right about Senator Amy Klobuchar is that she cares about the well-being and safety of people.  I guess that actually sounds good to me, especially in this period where corporations seem to be becoming increasingly more important than individuals.  The Right likes to throw the word “nanny” out a lot.  They use it to describe Sen. Klobuchar.  They use it to describe the government when politicians try to protect us from the greed of corporations.  They use it when advocates try to make our society safer.  I think I want more advocacy, not less, and using a pejorative like the word “nanny” to create a political wedge when it comes to public safety and security is a complete red herring.

We are lucky to have a Senator like Amy Klobuchar.  Amy has always been watching out for the average person.  Going back to the 1990s, before she was an elected official she was responsible for ensuring insurance companies could not dictate how long a new born baby and new mom should stay in the hospital.  She worked to ensure a minimum stay to ensure the well-being of both the new mother and the new baby.

Since being elected to the Senate, Amy has been a leader in working to keep greedy corporations from taking shortcuts by importing toxic toys and other products into to the U.S. from foreign countries like China that regard safety as less important than the bottom line.  She worked to make swimming pools safer, despite the concerns over “the costs” after the horrific injury, and eventual death of the little girl in Edina who was disemboweled by a pool filter.  She has worked to reduce the multitude of ways cell phone companies take advantage of consumers.  She has worked to keep children safe from sex offenders.  And she is working to make food safety a priority to protect the people that are most susceptible to food caused diseases like children.

In my opinion, Sen. Klobuchar is working for the safety and well-being of the lower and middle classes in everything she does.   That doesn’t seem so bad to me.  I think a lot more than half of the population could use a little more protection.  If right-wing bloggers and talkers want to turn “nanny” into a pejorative, fine, but Amy Klobuchar and her work and accomplishments should never be tied to their demeaning language because she is working for us all the time.  I have faith that she will do the right thing, regardless of the right’s attacks.


5 thoughts on “Sen. Amy Klobuchar – Nanny or Advocate? Advocate!!!”

  1. Yes, “Nanny-state” is the new buzz word.

    It evokes the emotion of “individual freedom” … the freedom to not wear a seat belt or helmet, the freedom to smoke, etc. So what if you die and leave your children without a parent … or just become a drain on the medical system (and confined to your bed), you have the freedom to do stupid things and the “government” should not stop you.

    Has Congress created restrictions on “our freedoms” as a consequence of safety … well, of course, but let’s also remember that “Congress” is not Amy Klobuchar. Everything that is approved takes a majority and Presidential approval.

    Regarding the pool safety issue, the law is Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Act (named after the granddaughter of Jim Baker, a prominent Republican), so it wasn’t just one little girl in Minnesota that pushed “nanny Klobuchar” to get the legislation approved. Heck, in 2004, 335 children died in pools due to the lack of basic pool safety legislation. As I recall, the House approved the legislation via a voice vote as Minnesota’s (voice of reason) Jim Ramstad (R-MN-03) said “One drain entrapment is one too many. One precious little eight year old girl losing part of her small intestine is too much suffering to comprehend. It is time to take action to insure our children are protected.”

    H.R. 4040:Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) which involved safety standards for children’s toys was approved by the House with only one NO vote (Ron Paul R-TX) and approved in the Senate with 89 votes in favor (and NO votes from Sens. Tom Coburn, R-OK, Jim DeMint, R-SC, and Jon Kyl, R-AZ).

    Both of these pieces of legislation were signed by George W. Bush .. a Republican.

    So, the question must be : IF Republicans want Safety, who opposes it ?
    IMO, its business who want to the “freedom” to operate unregulated. After the CPSIA was approved, there were a lot of complaints about the testing required … especially from organizations that resold donated toys … and testing requirements on homemade items. Those complaints get a megaphone, but we never hear from the parents who this Christmas will be buying toys that were now manufactured under these new laws. The focus is now on making sure that new products are made to the law and that it is a crime to resell anything that’s been recalled by its manufacturer … doesn’t this make sense … it’s not being a “nanny-state” … it’s being safety-conscience.
    BTW, I sure we will never hear from the parent that the pools are safer now … it just goes unrecognized.

    Food Safety is another issue that Senator Klobuchar has attacked. Sadly, on this issue, she may be losing. The Senate has had the bill blocked as the affected industries exert their influence … and they are winning. I made two posts on the MN Political Roundtable on this legislation, however the last commentary encouraged the Senators to vote against the legislation … despite the “egg” problem, the timing of site reviews is extended. Bad deal for consumers.

    The lesson from the 2010 elections is that “real” issues don’t matter … it’s all about framing the opponent using emotional words … thus, we have “nanny-Senator Klobuchar”.
    If we thought the Coleman-Franken race was dirty, it will seem like a “white gloves affair” in comparison to the Klobuchar-Bachmann contest.

    It’s not a case for being a “Nanny” or “Advocate”, it’s about commonsense … Amy Klobuchar has commonsense.

  2. Thanks Mac. As always, I am amazed by your knowledge and passion. I appreciate every comment you make and your posts are full of information and wisdom.

  3. FYI : The Senate today approved the Food Safety legislation 73-25.
    The House version of the bill, passed in July 2009, requires food producers to pay a user fee to the Food and Drug Administration, similar to those paid by the drug and device industries (which Paulsen (R-MN-03) and Klobuchar want changed). The fee would fund beefed-up examinations of the nation’s food supply. But the Senate version leaves FDA funding for expanded investigations up to appropriators, and getting extra funds could be an uphill battle in the new Congress.

    The Senate’s bill also requires less frequent inspections of high- and low-risk facilities than the House version, and includes compromise language from Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) exempting certain small farmers from some regulations. Tester and Klobuchar are up for re-election in 2012 so expect to see some amendments / votes that will be reflective of their states interests.

    FYI : An amendment was rejected to this legislation that would have required the Senate to accept an earmark moritoriam for all legislation … with Republicans Bennet (UT), Cochran (a mega-earmarker from MS), Collins (ME), Inouye (another big earmarker OK), Murkowski (Alaska, do we need to say more), Shelby (another big earmarker AL) and Lugar (IN) not joining the other Republicans.

  4. QUERY : Does Jim Inhofe (R-OK) consider himself to be a protector of the Nanny-State ?

    Our Senator, Amy Klobuchar’s legislation S. 1376 – International Adoption Simplification Act has been signed by President Obama. Senator Klobuchar legislation was introduced with Senator Inhofe as a co-sponsor [along with Dick Lugar (R-IN)].

    This is not a Democrat or Republican issue … it’s a people issue. Let’s acknowledge the work of these Senators … who have been studying the issue of fraud and abuse within intercountry adoption. There have been several meetings and community-wide discussions about the degree to which corruption is a part of the current system and ways that federal law might be used as a shield against such abuses.

    Senator Klobuchar put out the following statement :

    The bill has two key provisions for families adopting children from other countries.
    First, American parents will now be able to adopt children who are siblings, even if some of those children are older than 16. I think we can all appreciate how important it is to keep siblings together in one unified family, but previously, parents were prevented from adopting older children. This part of the bill hits close to home for many Minnesota families who are faced with leaving 16 and 17-year-old orphans behind and bringing their younger siblings to our country. They will no longer have to make this choice.
    Additionally, this new law allows parents adopting foreign-born children to immunize those children here in the United States within 30 days of entering the country. This means none of these adopted children will be subjected to potentially unsafe immunizations in foreign nations. Instead, these children can have full blood work done by their new family doctor, so we can be sure they’re getting the right vaccines in a safe environment.
    Every child deserves a safe home and a loving family no matter where they were born. With this new law, we can give families and children the support they deserve in the international adoption process.

    Let’s reject the “Nanny” label … and recognize that it takes leadership as exhibited by Senator Klobuchar to address problems.

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