by J Scott Christianson, Columbia Daily Tribune Columnist
My hat’s off to Tribune Publisher Hank Waters for writing the weakest endorsement of a congressional candidate I have ever read.
After providing a long laundry list of the bad policy decisions that Congressman Kenny Hulshof has made, Waters endorsed him in his Oct. 16 column using the best argument he could summon: “He is a good guy.”
I am less concerned about whether my representative is a good guy than about whether he will provide good representation and be a good decision maker. I want a good congressman! I want a representative in Congress who will not be a rubber stamp for his political party’s policies without thinking about the effect on the people he represents. I want a congressman who will provide oversight when the executive branch reaches too far and who will respect the independence of the judiciary. I want my congressman to respect the rule of law. I frankly don’t care whether he is a “good guy,” just whether he is a good representative.
But let’s just assume for a minute that being a “good guy” is the main quality you want in a congressman. Is Hulshof really a good guy? Based on his record, I don’t think so.
Does a good guy support a “stay the course” war policy when it is clear that the current course is leading to disaster? Does a good guy endorse illegal wiretaps? Does a good guy vote to support torture? Does a good guy vote to create the biggest deficit in national history? Would a good guy be obsessed with giving the richest of the rich more tax breaks while the middle class is socked with more tax burden?
Affable guy? Maybe. Good guy? No.
Hank says, “If they” — the voters — “vote with their hearts, they will stick with Hulshof. My heart wins.” Well Hank, you must have some thick skin if Hulshof’s actions aren’t breaking your heart! Perhaps Hulshof’s charm and good looks have left Hank in such a besotted state that he can’t think clearly. I just don’t understand what there is for the citizens of the Ninth District to love about Congressman Hulshof.
When asked why voters in the Ninth District should like him, Hulshof often points to the millions of dollars that he has brought to the Ninth District. But where did that money come from in the first place? It came from our tax dollars! In the past six years, it has been coming from the national debt…