Blue Dog Walt

Mountain Goat has a piece up that shows Walt Minnick on the run from Mike Stark (blogger for FireDogLake & Huffington Post) who was attempting to question some Congress representatives on ‘the birther issue.’   She even has video!

In Idaho’s 1st District, waking up to find out your congressman has done something bizarre isn’t unusual.  Characters like Helen Chenoweth, Butch Otter and the granddaddy of them all, Bill Sali, have recently graced the halls of Congress representing the people of Idaho with a style and flair that, at times, can only be called unique.  Maybe it was too much to expect that Bill Sali’s successor bring a little “normal” to the office.

Not sure why his first instinct was to run.  Maybe he thought he was going to get cornered with a question on health care and maybe his campaign training kicked in. ….  <snip>

It does seem strange that a man who benefited from the efforts of bloggers when mired in a tough campaign against an incumbent who, had he not been one of those “Idaho characters,” should have won reelection easily, would now be running from them.  Maybe it’s his positions on things like health care that has some progressive bloggers less than enthusiastic with Minnick’s initial months in office that also has Minnick running from answering their questions and calling them scum.

Maybe.  I know I haven’t been pleased with his first few months in office – but then, truthfully, he’s not my representative.   Mike Simpson is,  as I’m actually in the second Congressional District, who is Republican.   Regardless, I am a Democrat who had hopes with Walt Minnick’s election.

Sunday, I just happened to catch the tail-end of John King’s program on CNN.   I don’t care for John King and I don’t watch much CNN any longer, but flipping through I heard ‘Idaho.’

The first video has John King sitting down with three people:  one, a Palin supporter; an Obama voter; and to be honest, I’m not real sure who the guy sitting to the left of the woman (Dr. Patricia Bauer) voted for.

The second video is more about Idaho’s 1st congressional district and the line ‘Blue Dog’ Democrat has to walk.

Rep. Minnick has not turned out to be the guy the Democrats, especially the Idaho Democratic Party, said he would be.  Minnick’s supporters and staffers will contend that this is what Minnick campaigned as and he has held true to his independent values.  The problem is, progressives who had their doubts about Minnick during the campaign were assured that when votes came up that really mattered to progressives and the Democratic party, Minnick would vote the party line when it counted.

The above is from Tara at The Political Game.   She delineates Minnick’s voting record since being in Congress, referencing an apparent submission by John Foster – spokesman for Minnick – appearing on the blog for the Idaho Democratic Party.  As Tara indicates, there is, however, a bit of a puzzler.  The recent submission by Mr. Foster only includes ‘yes’ votes.  What? Never voted ‘no?’  I know that’s not true.  I don’t recall if it was Walt’s first “no” vote – I just know it pissed me off immensely at the time.  It was on January 9th where he voted ‘no’ on the Paycheck Fairness Act.   Then there’s the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the Stimulus package) as well as the more ‘Health Care Reform Bill.’

Democratic Rep. Walt Minnick says the bill is flawed, fails to guarantee affordable health insurance for all Americans and calls for too big of a role for government.

Damn Dude – folks didn’t vote for a Republican but that’s what you are.


3 Responses

  1. It seemed logical and reasonable to me that a complete picture of Walt’s voting record should be available–not just the all yes, all the time voting record available via the IDP website. Maybe I’m wrong, who knows. I just can’t sit around listening to a Democrat talk about “socialized medicine” like his Republican colleagues. How is the current delegation and different than past delegations? Without Craig and Sali, Risch has picked up the more conservative element and represented it within the delegation. And more and more it seems Minnick is voting just like Mike Simpson. Minus procedural votes and quorum calls, I’d bet they line up nicely.

    Excellent post, Wordsmith. Thanks for the CNN video, too. I have been meaning to post those, but I’ve been swamped.

  2. Ya know, I answered you, like early this afternoon, I don’t know what happened to the response.

    I agree. It seems quite reasonable to have Walt’s voting record on the IDP website. He is, after all, a Democrat and representing the state of Idaho, be it CD #1.

  3. Calling the democratic party liberal, and the republicans conservative is a little bit of a stretch. They both operate a power structure that appeals to what they believe to be a winnable majority. The fact that what we have chosen to represent us under law amounts to little more than dangerously powerful rival clubs with different mottos. I seriously doubt that anyone actually involved in politics is surprised by this at all. It is routine for people in lower offices to change parties in order to advance to the next level. I suppose we could focus on policing the voting records of the club members, though.

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