Speaking Of Disappointments….

A reader has sent me the following information about a “listening session” that Rep. Susan Brooks, an Indiana Republican, will be holding this coming Monday.

Please get the word out. For those in Susan Brooks area of the 5th Congressional District of Indiana, she will be holding a “listening” session in the Indianapolis area on Monday August 6 at the Lawrence Readiness Training Center, 9920 E 59th Street, Lawrence, Indiana (Indianapolis East-side). She needs an earful as she has been weak on women’s issues and against women’s right to choose. She is rarely available in Indianapolis and this is an opportunity to show up and be heard. This is the closest we will ever get to a Town Hall, which she will not do.

I have known Susan Brooks since the early 1980s. For most of that time, I considered her a friend–not a close friend, but certainly someone simpatico. From what I could tell, she did a good job as U.S. Attorney and as Deputy Mayor, and she practiced criminal defense law with one of the lawyers I most admire, Rick Kammen. (Among his other virtues, Rick has represented Guantanamo detainees, and he is as decent and compassionate as he is skilled.)

Then, of course, she was elected.

The woman I had always assumed was pro-choice trumpeted her antagonism to abortion. The woman I had always considered reasonable was suddenly “all in” to the agenda of a President that she had to know was deranged. A lawyer who had defended the civil liberties of criminal defendants turned into a lawmaker willing to vote for judges opposed to the rights of women, gays and criminal defendants. The woman who attended numerous community meetings as Deputy Mayor became virtually inaccessible to constituents and unwilling to hold Town Halls at which she might be challenged, or forced to defend her increasingly indefensible positions and support for Donald Trump.

Brooks became one of Trump’s most ardent supporters, voting with the President 98.9% of the time, according to Nate Silver. (Based upon Trump’s margin of victory in the 5th district, she would have been predicted to vote with him “only” 85.9 % of the time.)

What were some of those votes? Well, she opposed a carbon tax. She signed onto a resolution supporting ICE and its current immigration tactics. She voted with her party to roll back Dodd-Frank regulations put in place to prevent bankers from engaging in the practices that triggered the 2008 recession, and for the repeal of measures to protect consumers from discriminatory markups on auto loans. She opposed limiting the ability of officials to search and read private messages collected incidentally as part of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

She has also been a reliable anti-choice vote, most recently voting to make abortion illegal after 20 weeks. Despite her former experience with criminal activity and gun violence, she voted to make concealed carry permits valid across state lines–a position that most law enforcement professionals view as anathema to reducing gun violence.

And of course, she voted for the execrable tax “reform” bill –  a 1.5 trillion dollar giveaway to the richest Americans at the expense of the middle class, who will have to finance the exploding debt and deficits caused by the tax measure. (Doing so will be made more difficult by the administration’s persistent, successful efforts to increase the costs of healthcare by sabotaging the Affordable Care Act –efforts that Brooks has enthusiastically supported). 

Unlike Indiana embarrassments like Todd Rokita and Jackie Walorski, Brooks is intelligent– she knows how much damage is likely to be caused by these and other measures she has supported. I can only assume that her slavish devotion to this disastrous administration is a cynical effort to foreclose a primary challenge in a district that has been gerrymandered to be reliably Republican.

Staying in office evidently trumps integrity.

Brooks’ Democratic opponent–a businesswoman named Dee Thornton whose positions are far more reflective of those of 5th District voters, according to polls I’ve seen–is an underfunded political novice. Even in a year that promises the possibility of a blue wave, the odds are against her. But if you are one of the many 5th District constituents who thought they were electing a moderate and have subsequently been disappointed, you should register that disappointment, and send Brooks a message, by voting for Dee Thornton.

Meanwhile, Monday’s meeting is a rare opportunity to voice your disapproval in person.


  1. Marv,
    “You don’t need to bow to me.”

    My previous was sarcasm, not supplication. Sorry you missed it.

  2. To All,

    I quit. I’ve learned my lesson again. I can be very hard headed. I don’t have the qualifications for being a FEMINIST. I need to stay away from this blog. Life is too short.

    Best to all.

  3. I have to honestly say that I’m not sure what this kerfuffle is about but I am sure that anti-Republicans fighting with anti-Republicans is an unaffordable luxury at the present time.

    Can we agree that as far as the Democrat Party is concerned we should be engaged in politics as usual? That is diverse views to be resolved as to the details of platform and candidates towards the goal of liberal democracy that our founders wisely chose as the path to the maximum number of middle class residents able to live as high as possible on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs? That’s politics as usual.

    Agent Orange and the Republican Congress is not politics as usual but wealth in service of wealth against middle class diversity.

    Let’s get back as soon as possible to politics as usual then hope for the return of progress, the resumption of continuous improvement.

  4. My intention was not to cause Marv to quit. It was simply to take him down from his high horse. I am sorry for the result of my posts, not the intent.

  5. If you don’t vote for the Democrat, you are the enemy. If so, your vote, regardless of what it is or isn’t, will count for the Trump Party.

    That statement is not exaggeration. If you are liberal/progressive, you can vote D or be a traitor to you country, modern liberalism, and the values of the Enlightenment. It is LIVE OR DIE time for representative government.

  6. Pete,

    “I have to honestly say that I’m not sure what this kerfuffle is about but I am sure that anti-Republicans fighting with anti-Republicans is an unaffordable luxury at the present time.”

    I believe we have to neutralize the MALE OLIGARCHY now or we’re going to lose everything. Neither you, nor anyone else seems to agree with me on that. My very long-time companion, who is no longer living, was recognized as a great feminist. We had a magnificent relationship, however, we separated once for about a month on the issue of facing-up to the MALE OLIGARCHY. I was critical of the FEMINIST MOVEMENT for not doing so. I didn’t budge and neither did my companion, Barbara. We, eventually, got back together and never again discussed what I felt and still do is our major political problem.

    Wray is not responsible for this. I plan to stay on my “high horse.” I, certainly, don’t need to be around anyone who plans to knock me off of it. And Wray is not the only one who would like to do so.

    I don’t believe you can have an ETHICAL FRONT without dealing with the MALE OLIGARCHY. I’ve been extremely successful in NEUTRALIZING them in the past and don’t have any desire to quit now. I’m sure you know, this blog is not the place for me to find encouragement on that issue.

    You stated, “Agent Orange and the Republican Congress is not politics as usual but wealth in service of wealth against middle class diversity.” This is a FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE. How can you be successful when you make a statement like: “Can we agree that as far as the Democrat Party is concerned we should be engaged in politics as usual?”

    I understand. These are very difficult times. Take good care of yourself.

  7. I’ve listened to Dee Thornton at a couple of meet and greet sessions and let me say that after reading about some of your experiences with Susan Brooks that Dee is a breath of fresh air in a time that it’s certainly welcomed. She’s smart,experienced in the business world but has the compassion and passion to lead Hoosiers out of these dreadful political times. If you get an opportunity, or better yet, make the time to go to see her. She talks to you like you matter and your issues matter. You don’t feel like a timed participant, as in one of these blogger’s experiences with Rep Brooks. Check out her website folks and see if you feel like we may have some hope in the 5th District. She does have a couple of upcoming debates scheduled with Ms. Brooks, also.

  8. By the way,

    Wray McCalester

    Democratic Party

    Wray McCalester was a Democratic candidate for District 83 of the Indiana House of Representatives. The primary election was on May 4, 2010, and the general election was on November 2.


    McCalester ran in the 2010 election for Indiana House of Representatives District 83. McCalester was defeated by Kathy Heuer in the general election which took place on November 2. McCalester was unopposed in the Democratic primary election on May 4, 2010.

  9. “I’m not focusing on Democrat issues or Republican issues, red issues or blue issues. I’m focusing on things that affect everyone,” she said. “When you focus on a whole and not the few, you can bring forth policy and legislation that is good for all. I think most people can see that.”

    The above is copied and pasted from “Dee Thornton for Congress” web site. While asking people to vote for Senator Joe Donnelly to support the party rather than the man may seem at odds with Ms. Thornton’s goals; in essence it is ultimately “seeking policy and legislation that is good for all”. Not voting for Donnelly because he voted a few times against party lines; think back to the result of the entire Republican party turning against Senator Richard Lugar because he voted a few times against Republican party lines, denying support and campaign funds and putting forth a last minute choice of Mourdock. Fortunately for everyone, Mourdock made the most ignorant statement imaginable in support of anti-abortion legislation which probably lost him the election and helped to elect Joe Donnelly. Will you insist on returning that favor by not voting for Donnelly and help elect Braun which will probably mean a Republican cover-all for the state of Indiana and effect issues at the highest level of government?

    In case you have forgotten; Mourdock’s ignorant comment was, “If a woman got pregnant from being raped; God must have wanted her to have that baby.”

    And as a reminder; with or without Donnelly’s support, the odds of Kavannaugh being appointed to SCOTUS prior to the November election are almost 100% that it will happen.

  10. Dee Thornton is a capable and vigorous campaigner. She hears us and responds with specifics. She is working very hard, appearing daily in the district at public events accessible to all who turn out.

    Ms. Brook (not Our Ms. Brooks) is the opposite. She has demonstrated that she wants full control at all times, restricting the time required to understand her constituent’s concerns, avoiding town halls where constituents might meet one another and share concerns.

    Instead of telling Ms. Thornton to get her campaign “in gear”, and resigning us to expect big money to continue to control the contest, do something positive. Donate to her campaign, even if is peanuts compared to the big players. Go to her events, follow her on FB, encourage others to register and vote.

  11. I would like to hear from Ms. Thornton. I would like to see an Indiana Democratic Party emerge from the painful politics we have seen in the last few years that has some kind of a strategy and will actually do something to promote challenges to the likes of Congresswoman Brooks. I believe Brooks has been a complete waste of the time I have exerted going to her Carmel office and the many, many phone calls, emails, and posts on her page Facebook challenging her positions. I think her concept of “listening” is certainly not what I would define as such.
    Bring on this invisible Dee Thornton. I would love to see her, hear her, and maybe even do some grass roots work from her, but where is she?

  12. All readers of this blog, please be advised: Susan Brooks held a “listening forum” at the MSD Pike Township Admin office back in March. I attended, only to discover that Susan Brooks was NOT in attendance. Instead, several of her staffers were on hand to intercept constituents as they came through the door. We were kept apart from the other constituents in the room and only given an opportunity to speak with the staffer our reason for coming. The staffers simply recorded what was said, thanked us for coming, then escorted us out. Don’t expect anything different this time around. Susan Brooks, like Todd Young, has no desire to mix with the hoi polloi, only to be able to report that she has done for campaign purposes. The sooner she is voted out, the better for every Hoosier!

  13. Jeff, simply go to Thornton for Congress to join and see where she’ll be speaking next. I believe that it’ll be worth your while!

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