Politics Is Personal

Posted in Congress, Commentary, Around The Nation at 12:02 pm by wcnews

When something catastrophic happens in someone’s life it leaves an indelible mark on them for the rest of their time on earth. That said, it becomes obvious when reading this article, Lawmakers seek repeal of insurance antitrust exemption, that Sen. Trent Lott (R - Miss) and Rep. Gene Taylor (D - Miss) got that mark when they lost their homes due to Hurricane Katrina. The refusal of their insurance companies to pay off their claims has so incensed them that they’ve decided to get behind a law revoking the insurance industry’s antitrust exemption:

Lott, who lost his home in the hurricane and who’s part of a lawsuit that’s being settled with State Farm & Casualty Co., said, “After Hurricane Katrina we learned a lot of lessons.” He said he found out “to my absolute horror that the insurance industry is not covered by the antitrust laws.”

“This is wrong,” Lott concluded, “and the Senate, in a bipartisan way, should, and I believe will, correct it.”

The bill has some heavy hitters behind it, notably Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who said in a statement, “If insurers around the country are operating in an honest and appropriate way, they should not object to being answerable under the same federal antitrust laws as virtually all other businesses.”

Taylor, who also lost his home and is part of the State Farm settlement, said in an interview that “the insurance industry is the only industry exempt from the laws intended to protect consumers.”

Now I’m sure we could probably go back through campaign donations of these two men and see that they’ve taken money, in the past, from the insurance companies. They probably also thought this would never happen to them. That catastrophic life event can make even the staunchest advocate change their position.

At this point it appears, from their votes, that Sen. Lott and Rep. Taylor - the only Democrat to side with the Republicans - are for President Bush’s surge. Naturally this makes one wonder how these two men would vote if this war had been personalized in their lives, like their homes. Especially when the president says things like this, Money Trumps Peace…Sometimes. I’m sure anyone who’s buried a child can attest that their is nothing more unforgettable than that. And If these two members of Congress would change an antitrust law for a lost home, imagine what they would do if they had to deal with a loss like that of Cindy Sheehan.

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