Congress Bored Mercurial Schaffer?

As the Rocky Mountain News reports:

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Bob Schaffer didn’t win any gold stars for perfect attendance during his last year in Congress.

In 2002, when Schaffer’s self-imposed, six-year term limit was running out, he missed about one in every eight votes, starting with the first “quorum call” of the year.

Schaffer’s 13 percent absentee rate that year was more than two times his career average – about 5 percent…

Most of the votes were lopsided or unanimous. But there were weighty matters mixed in with the symbolic or procedural measures.

Among others, Schaffer missed final votes on legislation promoting peace in war-torn Sudan, a vote to make payments to the families of fallen soldiers exempt from taxes, an amendment to block some oil drilling off the coast of California and legislation that sought to replace the Immigration and Naturalization Service with a new agency.

The article goes on to point out that opponent Mark Udall has missed a number of votes this session, but that’s understandable since he’s running for Senate. Schaffer had no such excuse as a lame-duck congressman.

It’s common knowledge that as Schaffer’s self-imposed term limit approached in 2002, he was a little depressed about it. These missed votes are certainly a reflection of that, but also maybe an indicator of his how he deals with less-than-ideal situations generally: by mentally clocking out?

18 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Skyler says:

    What IS Udall’s absent rate?

    I don’t want to see anyone in the US Senate more than Rep. Udall, but I detest public officials taking time off from their elected office to run for elected office.

  2. One Queer Dude says:

    …he’ll go stir crazy in Senate, where he’ll be a member of the minority party in a chamber that requires 60 votes to enact anything, and where he’s an extremist in a chamber where compromise and collegiality are essential.  

  3. Yokel says:

    but also maybe an indicator of his how he deals with less-than-ideal situations generally: by mentally clocking out?

    Psychoanalyzing a shallow news story and a single statistic.  I expected more.

    • DavidThi808 says:

      The phrase was

      maybe an indicator

      If Bill Frist could make a medical diagnosis of Terry Schivo via video, then saying maybe an indicator is very resonable.

      • Half Glass Full says:

        He obviously had the skills, abilities, and objectivity to perform an accurate diagnosis based on video.

        Don’t try this at home, people.

        • One Queer Dude says:

             Even if he had examined Schiavo in person, he still wasn’t qualified to give an opinion on a neurological question regarding brain activity.

          • Aristotle says:

            was being facetious (and I’m sure you knew that) but your comment made me want to jump in. I come from a medical family, and between my relatives and the ordeal my father-in-law is going through (He has Parkinsons-like symptoms but may not have it because he isn’t responding to the medications) I’ve heard that neurological disorders are notoriously difficult to diagnose with accuracy. So given Frist’s lack of certification and the naked political expediency with which he made his comments, what he did borders on the unethical. And that’s “unethical” as a medical board would define it, not just in the sense that he did the wrong, selfish thing by speaking out the way he did.

  4. Go Blue says:

    He’s an intelligent designer who thinks condoms are bad!

    From ABC News:

    Friday at noon in Seattle, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., will speak at a luncheon event being co-presented by the Discovery Institute — the controversial organization that promotes intelligent design theory and combats Darwinism.

    And like Shifty Schaffer, he won’t give a straight answer to any policy question because he doesn’t understand the issues, he’s just an ideologue who supports Bush.

    Reporter: “Should U.S. taxpayer money go to places like Africa to fund contraception to prevent AIDS?”

      Mr. McCain: “Well I think it’s a combination. The guy I really respect on this is Dr. Coburn. He believes – and I was just reading the thing he wrote- that you should do what you can to encourage abstinence where there is going to be sexual activity. Where that doesn’t succeed, than he thinks that we should employ contraceptives as well. But I agree with him that the first priority is on abstinence. I look to people like Dr. Coburn. I’m not very wise on it.”

      (Mr. McCain turns to take a question on Iraq, but a moment later looks back to the reporter who asked him about AIDS.)

      Mr. McCain: “I haven’t thought about it. Before I give you an answer, let me think about. Let me think about it a little bit because I never got a question about it before. I don’t know if I would use taxpayers’ money for it.”

      Q: “What about grants for sex education in the United States? Should they include instructions about using contraceptives? Or should it be Bush’s policy, which is just abstinence?”

      Mr. McCain: (Long pause) Ahhh. I think I support the president’s policy.”

      Q: “So no contraception, no counseling on contraception. Just abstinence. Do you think contraceptives help stop the spread of HIV?”

      Mr. McCain: (Long pause) “You’ve stumped me.”

      Q: “I mean, I think you’d probably agree it probably does help stop it?”

      Mr. McCain: (Laughs) “Are we on the Straight Talk express? I’m not informed enough on it. Let me find out. You know, I’m sure I’ve taken a position on it on the past. I have to find out what my position was. Brian, would you find out what my position is on contraception – I’m sure I’m opposed to government spending on it, I’m sure I support the president’s policies on it.”

      Q: “But you would agree that condoms do stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Would you say: ‘No, we’re not going to distribute them,’ knowing that?”

      Mr. McCain: (Twelve-second pause) “Get me Coburn’s thing, ask Weaver to get me Coburn’s paper that he just gave me in the last couple of days. I’ve never gotten into these issues before.”

    • One Queer Dude says:

         Is it possible that this man is more stupid than Ronald Reagan was?  

        Even the Shrub understands that condoms reduce the spread of HIV.  (He still has to plug abstinence to appease the wing nuts and the Bible thumpers, but even Bush realizes that condoms work as a backup plan.)


      • Go Blue says:

        Media putting lipstick on their pig

        This went on for a few more moments until a reporter from the Chicago Tribune broke in and asked Mr. McCain about the weight of a pig that he saw at the Iowa State Fair last year.

        Instead of following up on the issue, the media changes topics so their golden boy doesn’t make any more gaffes.

        • cctiger says:

          At the bottom of your posts actually makes me happy! Instead of acting like he understands economics like most politicians, he is admitting his lack of knowledge.  

          Politicians- especially those running for President- should have an understanding of economics…but instead they spew sound bytes they think Americans want to hear.

          However the interview on sex-ed still sounds like a train-wreck.

    • The realist says:

      but with the 20th century, too.

    • Danny the Red (hair) says:

      I admire McCain’s personal courage, but this is pure lunacy.

      Even if you’ve “never gotten into these issues  before” you must not have the ability reason if you can not answer the question “do condoms stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases?” even without having “gotten into the issues before” you don’t have the mental facilities to be president.

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