We Don’t Need
A Rubber-Stamping Yes-Man Speaking for Us
Over the past six years, I’ve gone from #HH4ND to #NA4HH and back to #HH4ND again. But I’ve always been #NW4KC, and when it comes to the U.S. Senate, I’m even more so.
No Way for Kevin Cramer
I’ve been unimpressed with Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., since the middle 1980s when he first began running for office. Over the years, his demeanor, foolish statements and political positions have only solidified my distaste.
Cramer’s votes are consistently an affront to nearly everything I value and hold dear. On top of that, he makes our state look ridiculous to the rest of the nation and world on a fairly regular basis.
The man has foot-in-the-mouthitis, an apparently untreatable malady that causes a person to spout off demeaning, misogynistic, racist or just plain stupid things. Most recently, Cramer’s looked like a clown due to statements about Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee and how people who have been sexually abused are moving “toward victimization.”
Environmental protections, social programs that care for and protect those who cannot do it themselves, decent healthcare, civil and women’s rights – all must be bad in Cramer’s way of thinking. Oil companies, Wall Street, mega corporations, billionaires, wildland degraders, wildlife dismissers, climate change deniers – Cramer’s votes protect them.
In my judgment, Cramer is exactly what a member of Congress should not be – impetuous, often blissfully ignorant of facts and a blind follower.
That last bit is what bothers me the most. More on that in a minute…
Heidi Heitkamp for North Dakota
#HH4ND was the social media hashtag of the 2012 campaign for Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D.
My vote was one of those that gave Heitkamp the ever-so-slight edge against Republican Rick Berg in that election. She was at least close to my way of thinking on a whole slew of issues, from healthcare to women’s rights, the rights of sexual assault victims to trade policies.
It’s not too much of a stretch to say she couldn’t have won without me and a handful of other voters.
Never Again for Heidi Heitkamp
This was my cheeky rebellion against a Democratic senator who, from my point of view, cast many disappointing votes.
It began in the spring of 2013 when she voted against reasonable gun control measures (expanded background checks) in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Conn. She’s voted against gun control, or in favor of looser measures, multiple times since. In fact, she’s one of only four Democrats in the Senate that the National Rifle Association gives an “A” rating based on her voting record.
That’s not a selling point for most progressives.
Neither were many votes related to things like environmental protections, banking regulations and presidential appointees.
The “Upper Chamber”
Heitkamp and Cramer are now locked in a contentious race for her seat in the Senate.
The Senate is often called the “upper chamber” of the U.S. Congress. It’s supposed to be “the world’s greatest deliberative body.”
Cramer, through his own declarations, has disqualified himself from serving there.
He promises to vote with President Donald Trump 100 percent of the time. Always. No matter what. That’s not representing North Dakotans; that’s representing Trump.
That is not deliberative. That is not thoughtful. That is not intelligent.
The last thing I want – the last thing any of us should want – is a senator who blindly follows the president anywhere and everywhere.
If he were to win <spit in the dirt>, there would be no reason to send Cramer to Washington. Trump’s staffers could just call in his votes. That would save time, taxpayer money and embarrassment for a significant percentage of North Dakota citizens.
One of Heitkamp’s brags during this 2018 cycle has been that she’s “voted with President Trump more than 50 percent of the time.”
I haven’t liked that.
It also means nearly 50 percent of her votes went the other way, and I’ve supported the vast majority of them. One in particular stood out, not so much because of the issue at hand but because of how she came to her decision.
The pressure from the majority of North Dakotans to vote in favor of confirming Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court must have been overwhelming.
I was one of the people who called her office during the hearings to ask, respectfully, that she vote NO.
Heitkamp waited a long time to make up her mind. Some say it was a stall to better determine the politically expedient path. Perhaps. But in the end she voted her conscience, against confirmation.
She must have seen the Kavanaugh I saw – a mean-spirited, entitled little man who, even if he didn’t do what Blasey Ford said (I believe her), he was not a good choice for the highest court in the land. He showed himself to be hyper-partisan, flappable and lacking the steady good judgement the position requires.
Heitkamp’s letter back to me said, “I believed that (Kavanaugh’s) testimony called into question his temperament, honesty, and impartiality – traits necessary to sit on the Supreme Court and critical to ensuring that all parties are guaranteed a fair hearing before the court.”
That is deliberative. That is thoughtful. That is intelligent.
That I like a lot.
Heidi’s vote took guts, not to mention the willingness to go against self-interest.
In it, I saw a person weighing everything before coming to a decision. I saw a courageous person who isn’t always going to base decisions on the next election. I saw someone who most definitely was not a rubber stamp.
Heidi is no one’s yes-man.
That’s what Cramer has promised to be.
I don’t want someone whose votes can be called in, who regularly spews witless and often offensive proclamations, representing me in “the world’s greatest deliberative body.” Do you?
Go vote. Vote for deliberate, thoughtful and intelligent representation. Vote for Heidi.