Somehow, I Feel Vindicated

Somehow, I Feel Vindicated.

Back in November, just before the election, I wrote about who I was not going to vote for. With rare exception the Republicans got the knife as frequently as the Democrats. On my list of those not worthy of my consideration, I included one, Steve Daines, running for the lone Montana Congressional seat to replace Denny Rehberg (who I didn’t vote for in the Senate race even though I couldn’t stand his opponent). My reasoning was this:

Steve Daines seems to me a typical politician. A “family values” Republican who, given the timing of his campaign, appears to have been handpicked by Rehberg. [Neither he] nor anyone else, including the ones who trip all over themselves saying that Ron Paul is a personal friend, [used their] clout in the Montana GOP to keep 14.4 percent of the Republican Primary voters [who did vote for Ron Paul] from being disenfranchised. I will be writing in Vincent Melkus, who is a former Marine in his twenties living in Hardin. I won’t be voting for either the Democrat Kim Gillan or the Libertarian David Kaiser. Kaiser is pro-abortion and does not want to cut defense at all.

I had no specific criticisms of what I thought he would do once in office other than that I suspected that he was probably a typical politician. A person that either openly flouts the Constitution or says one thing while doing another or both. Now, he may not have said he wouldn’t vote for something like CISPA, but his having done so certainly does conflict with much of the rest of his campaign rhetoric. And it certainly is not derived from any of the enumerated powers of Congress. In fact, legislation like CISPA is expressly prohibited in the Bill of Rights (Amendments 14910).

So, I am glad to say I did not vote for this dirtbag. He seems like a nice guy with a nice family. Perhaps he is. But where it counts for you and I he is just another crook. If that seems too harsh or like passing too much judgement too soon without enough information, don’t start by condemning me. Instead, reexamine your own premises. In my [humble?] opinion, verbally abusing politicians, and viciously hounding them into doing what is right is the only “check and balance” that has ever meant anything or had any lasting positive effect. And even then it falls far short. But while the republic (that was at one time “free”) still stands and people feel warranted to work within the corrupt system, it should be the default conduct of any person that wants to preserve what freedom is left, if not reclaim those that have long since been handed away.

Here is a good thing to remember about politics: 99.99% of the time when someone says anything about limited government they are full of it and likely are aware of that fact. I’m surprised the Democrats have never employed small government rhetoric as one of their tactics! Oh wait, they have!

5 thoughts on “Somehow, I Feel Vindicated

  1. I’ve known Steve Daines professionally and personally for about 12 years. I worked with him and my kids know his kids being contemporaries in the public high school. Steve has been very active in the Christian community and taught an intense program with BSF, (Bible Study Fellowship, International). He’s an all-around nice guy with a nice family but he’s no Ron Paul.

    Politically Daines’ main focus is on cutting spending and downsizing the federal government. At first he was going to run for senator against Tester but the Rehberg camp eventually woke up and ran for the senate job. Rather than fight it out against Rehberg, freshman Steve bowed to the senior party politicians. I believe Daines would have beat Tester had he been allowed the chance.

    The CISPA vote is indeed distressing. If I ever cross paths with Daines again I’ll be sure to grill him on it.

    • You know, I always feel awkward after I call people out like this, especially if they do really seem like a decent guy, and in light of the fact that probably every decent conservative person I know in this state voted for the guy. But if that is what it takes to let people know where I stand…

      If I happen to notice Daines making some sort of principled stand on another one of these kinds of bills, I’ll be among those thanking him, like I did with Rehberg for his vote against the Fiscal Cliff deal. I’ve had both good and bad things to say about Rehberg, who also seems like a well meaning man, but still, being a public figure with power, was deserving of some criticism. Severe, if necessary.

      Who knows, maybe every once in a while that sort of thing wakes them (or at least the occasional voter or constituent) up. But maybe a gentler approach would be better (I’m reminded of this classic story from American history: http://personalliberty.com/2010/04/09/sockdolager-a-tale-of-davy-crockett-charity-and-congress/). Perhaps talking to friends who would lovingly admonish him is what Mr. Daines needs. If neither type of response works, I’d say its time to find someone else, even if it means losing to the Democrats for a term or two.

      Lord knows this kind of feedback, particularly if done in person, could have helped the Tea Party Republicans elected in 2010, only about one third of which seem to have even remotely tried to do what they said they were going to. Apparently Washington changes people. I’ve seen it I think even with someone as close to the ideal Senator imaginable, Rand Paul.

      Anyways, thanks for commenting and for not taking this personally.

      • Hey Hank/Henry or whatever you go by :-)

        FWIW, I think your overall perspective is quite good. I’m with you Bro.

        Since all human beings are by definition imperfect, there’s no such thing as a perfect candidate, including Ron Paul… Why do I feel I just committed blasphemy? :-)

        Voting ALWAYS comes down to negotiating some compromise between our personal pragmatism and our need for ideological purity. I was a registered Libertarian when I cast my first vote in 1980. I voted for Reagan because I thought he represented a much needed change at the time. Was I disappointed later? Of course. With similar circumstances would I do it again? I think so.

        I love Ron Paul, he’s like a personal hero to me. But sometimes I wish he wasn’t such a nice guy and that he would really beat up on his opponents.

        As regards, the practice of politics with my vote, I pretty much opt out. This last election I gave a write in vote for Ron Paul just for my personal satisfaction. Of course I voted for Daines… At least I can say I voted for someone in national politics that I actually knew personally. But since he’s taken office I’ve only had one communication from him… It was a form letter asking for money. Hah!

        But I’ll be sure to interrogate him about CISPA the next time I meet him!

        • Steve, please feel free to call me Hank. It has more of a Montana feel to it.

          I think Reagan had a good thing going at first (the 1964 speeches I’ll use for proof), but like I said, Washington changes people. I don’t really want to bring up conspiracy theories, but being shot also changes people.

          I agree with your sentiments, and wish Ron Paul had done a better job defending himself and his views, but I guess that is just not his personality. I think he had a few decent jabs at Santorum and Gingrich this last go around, but nothing too nasty. He was easily the most respectful and least argumentative person up there, for better or for worse.

          In regards to Daines and CISPA (and whatever else he might have toed the party line on), I think that would be awesome! I’m not sure I could do that even if I knew someone (I’ve met a few of the local and state GOP candidates, but none of the ones that won, I’m afraid). I’m very standoffish in person. Behind a keyboard I feel secure. :)

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