Friday, August 07, 2009

My Congressman Is A Blue Dog

In this very red state of Idaho we sent a Democrat to Congress. Of course his predecessor was from a planet so foreign from ours, even his own Republicans couldn't support him for another term.

I like Walt Minnick and I voted for him. I will again even though challengers are coming out of the woodwork because they smell blood. Kimberly Strassel wrote an excellent piece in The Wall Street Journal about the challenges facing these Congressmen in 2010. Mainly the Rahm/Nancy pressure cooker of partisan agenda.

I don't agree with every vote Minnick has made nor do I expect to in the future. What I do respect is the fact that he has a good solid background in business and also understands not only his state, but the people who populate it. He is also his own man to the point he's willing to think things through and voice his opinion even when the party bosses wish he would just go away. He won't. He has the tenacity of a Jack Russell digging for a gopher.

Two things are troubling me. One is that one of his challengers is a veteran who is trying to link him more to his "boss" Pelosi than to his stand on issues. For obvious reasons. What bothers me is not that he is a veteran; for his service he should be applauded loudly and strongly. It does not automatically qualify him for a seat in Congress. I need to be shown more than Republican talking points and that fact.

The other, and larger issue, is the Rahm/Nancy pressure cooker. This has been a sore spot with me since the onset of the Obama administration and I don't give Obama a pass on allowing it. It's interesting to me that a federal jury has ruled former Louisiana representative William Jefferson must forfeit $450,000 in bribery receipts. You remember him; the one who had $90,000 stashed in his freezer.

He was convicted on eleven counts, including bribery, for using his influence to broker business deals in Africa. I see little difference between his case and the influence lobbyists have on congressional representatives. Rather than outright taking cash and stashing it in their freezers as Jefferson did, they take it in the form of campaign contributions.

The hyprocrisy of Congress is mind boggling. Rahm is the strong arm. Nancy knows where her bread is buttered. Sometimes their hutzpah amazes me. They are now planning to to spend $550 million to buy eight jets to accommodate their taxpayer paid junkets.

Fly commercial like the rest of us? Not a chance. They'd then have to look into the draconian practices of the TSA. Would they consider the used jets they forced the auto execs to give up? Used? Heavens no!

Do you really want this group revamping our health care system? I do not. Everything they've touched so far has unintended circumstances that are devasting to some segment of the population. Even cash for clunkers. Think about what it's doing to the used car business and those charities who take clunkers as donations as just a couple of small examples.

What this country needs is a whole lot more Blue Dogs. If the Republicans want to call themselves Red Dogs, that would be fine with me.

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