Tuesday, March 23, 2010

So long, it's been good to know you

Mountain Goat and Tara have written a lengthy and extensively sourced "expose" of Walt Minnick. If everything they write is true, it's a pretty unflattering picture. More on that below.

I have been hoping to find something about Walt that I could support, other than he is nominally a Democrat. By all accounts, he is one of the most endangered Democrats in Congress, in a district that is heavily Republican. And, frankly, I really don't mind him representing his Republican constituents as well as his Democratic ones. That cross-party representation is something I've wanted (and never gotten) from our Republican officials.

But, here's the rub. I can't say it any better than MG and Tara, so I'll quote from their post:
He has shown no interest in convincing moderates and independents that Democratic values are Idaho values and can make a difference in their lives. He's simply been trying to convince as many as will listen that he's not like other Democrats.
I saw this first hand at a tea party gathering. An old duffer asked Walt why Democrats would write a health care bill that would allow "euthanizing our seniors." Instead of denying that bit of idiocy, Walt instead just explained the conservative issues he wanted addressed by the bill; same money, private sector, all that. AS MG and Tara say, Walt made no effort to convince the crowd that Democrats aren't all bad. Instead, by contrasting himself with them, he made Democrats look bad. "I'm not like those Democrats, I'm a good guy."

Anyway, I decided after Walt's efforts to derail the consumer protection legislation, and now after his vote against health care, that I'm not going to vote for him nor support him. I won't vote for his Republican opponent, most likely, unless Mike Simpson changes districts, but I've had it with Walt.

I know; big deal. One guy, one vote. But it's one vote Walt will never get. And I've talked to at least two other Dems who feel the same way. I suppose Walt could do something to redeem himself before November, but to get my vote, that's what he'll have to do.


And about the sourcing of the MG/Tara post, they have listed some 45 sources. I haven't had time to check the sources, yet. But, the reason I say "If everything they write is true" is because I haven't checked the sources. What they say is pretty devastating, and I don't want to sign on until I'm sure I agree with it. It sure looks like it's accurate, and knowing them, I expect they did the job well.

All in all, it's clear they put a tremendous amount of work into the article. Hey! Why hasn't our traditional media done anything like that?


Tara A. Rowe said...

One criticism of the source list we've contained in our piece is that it is more academic and not the traditional way in which news outlets present their sources. That fault is mine because of my academic training, but each of our sources were used after painstaking efforts to ensure their credibility. In addition to the forty some odd sources we've listed, we have even more that we didn't use or cite in our research. Our brief biography and picture of Minnick presented in this piece is only a small cross-section of the research we've done over the previous months.

Thank you, Alan, for linking to and mentioning our work. I have heard from various people over the last 24 hours that say much the same thing you do about voting for Walt--one vote may not seem like many, but you are not the only one. Yours, mine (when I relocate to the 1st CD before November), and several others aren't simply one vote. For every tea bagger, moderate or Republican Minnick courts, a Democrat that supported him in the 2008 race is lost. He'll learn the hard way that his strategy didn't add up in terms of votes. And especially, as you say, with a strong, stable Republican in the race that Republicans should have no problem voting for, every Democratic vote will actually matter.

Bubblehead said...

I disagree with the theory that the votes Walt will lose on the left will equal, or be more, than the votes he'll gain in the center. Based on no real data, I think he's more likely to pick up (or, more accurately, retain) 5-10 votes from the center for every vote he loses on the left.