Tuesday, November 10, 2009
He is the only real "character" left in the state legislature. He's the chair of the House Appropriations Committee Rep. George Cushingberry (D-Detroit.) "Cush" as he is affectionately know 'round these parts, is from the "tell-it-like-it-is school that he learned at the knee of veteran legislators when he first showed up here in the 70's. Smart enough back then to keep his mouth shut and his ears open, "Cush" is now where they were. As such he often dispenses his "wisdom," free of charge at the beginning of most appropriations meetings. Most of the time he is quite entertaining as he sounds like the Black version of Garrison Keilor minus the attacks on Lutherans. Well the other day on statewide Publc TV's Off the Record, the chair waxed on about a certain female governor. "I love the governor," he began his instant analysis after being asked to comment on some of the verbal back and forth he and she have had over the years. Here's her problem as he warmed to the subject. She professes to be a duck, but "sometimes she is a goose." Translated: Sometimes he feels she does not adhere to her democratic roots and wanders off into the GOP la-la land. Without saying it, he wonders sometimes what she stands for? In her defense, she has to play footsie with the republicans because they control one half of the legislature. But in his defense, she has danced round some issues during her tenure and left more than one democrat scratching his or her head. "You can't be a democrat and try to out Republican the Republicans," he reflected on something former Detroit Rep. Matt McNeely taught him. At some point you should try to be either a duck or a goose and if you try to be both, you could end up a dead duck or dead goose. "Cush" himself is a vanishing bred of true liberal democrats even though when he sided with Democratic Speaker Andy Dillon on cutting state services, some folks at home called him a Republican. He is a lot of things, but that he is not.