Opinionated @ CFE

Where I Stand 2010: Federal Offices


Every year, I spend a considerable amount of time studying each candidate and, if needed, attempting to contact them to get answers to specific questions. I would strongly encourage each of you to do the same. Here are my picks for the federal offices.

U.S. Senate: Like many Utahns, I wasn’t very happy with Bob Bennett. Unlike many Utahns, I’m not terribly happy with the choices placed before me. Every day, Mike Lee is looking more and more like a panderer that said what needed to be said to get his way into office. I have no doubts that within a couple of terms (if we hold out that long), he’ll be Bennett with better PR.

I’d like to like Sam Granato, but his campaign has, quite frankly, been insulting. He spent months not posting any issues on his website and is running on a “Mike is a loony” platform. Charging along with a textbook case of negative campaigning is not the way to go. Had the Democrats actually nominated Christopher Stout, I would have considered voting for him.

I can’t say that I think too highly of Scott Bradley either. He has about the same platform as Mike Lee, but without the phoniness. Unfortunately, most of his “positions” are rambling and say very little about how he wants to¬†achieve¬†his vision.

In this election, I plan on voting None of the Above. I truly do not feel that any candidate deserves my support at the ballot box. (I’m open to creative write-in suggestions if you have a good one.)

U.S. House of Representatives #2: I’m going to say what most people already know: Jim Matheson is a spineless coward. He thought he pulled off an artful dodge by not voting for the health care “reform” bill before Congress, but we all know that had it come down to needing his vote, he would have given it. Then he spends all of his time dodging angry constituents from both sides, refusing to actually face the consequences for his decisions. I’m sorry, Jim, but you can’t get away with that in any elected position.

While I agree with a large part of Morgan Philpot’s campaign platform, his highly partisan “Matheson is Pelosi” attitude is very off-putting. I don’t feel like that will be very productive, nor do I feel like he’s putting forward much message of his own. I agree much more with Randall Hinton’s platform and have found his positions to be both logical and well-worded. Unsurprisingly, Randall Hinton has my support as the best choice in this race.

Next installment: state races.

A Reality Check for the Matheson Haters


Hey Democrat Matheson haters? I know you’re angry. I understand it. No really, I do. You don’t like it that he won’t support your pet issues like the current healthcare bill, overturning DOMA, and the FISA junk. (Believe it or not, I’m with you on the last one.) That said, do you really think you’ll be better off if you take him down in the convention or a primary? Not bloody likely.

Here’s the reality: Jim lives in a district that contains a lot of Republicans and independents. By most accounts, he shouldn’t even still be in elected office. Remember that narrow victory of 1600 votes back in 2002? Given how badly gerrymandered his district is, it’s a wonder he’s still there. Since then, he’s widened his lead to 28 points in the most recent election. Given that a Republican should hold a 15-point advantage, that’s quite a feat.

So what, then, would you hope to accomplish by putting a more liberal candidate into the general election? Anyone you put in Matheson’s place that isn’t about as conservative as he is would get creamed in the general election. It also sends a message that moderates and conservatives had better get the heck out of your party or you’ll force them out. As Ethan pointed out so well, it’s hypocritical to demonize Republicans for demanding acquiescence to the party line when you’re all too willing to to it yourself.

I’m not saying you have to love Matheson or excuse him when he doesn’t vote your way. I’ve happily voted for another candidate when I thought they were better-suited to the task. But you have to ask yourself a simple question: is it more important to have the seat in your camp or feel good about pushing out anyone who doesn’t push the party line? You can’t have both.

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