(Fred Weinberg) – So Dean Heller has announced for the United States Senate and every member of the Republican Lite Brigade has announced his support.
That would include Governor Bran (Welcome To The Big Leagues) Sandoval, Lt. Governor Brian (I’d run myself except they won’t let me) Krolicki and a cast of folks who are more concerned with keeping the seat in Republican hands than the actual quality of the person they send to the Senate.
Coronations are for Buckingham Palace.
The Republican Party is supposed to be the party of ideas. It’s a party populated by imperfect but thinking people like Newt Gingrich and Mike Huckabee.
Dean Heller is a nice guy. But.
Primary elections have the ability to bring out the best reasons to vote for someone and the worst reasons to vote for someone.
I have yet to be convinced that Dean Heller has had any ideas about fixing something that is obviously broken. I’d like something more than platitudes from Heller.
For instance, I’d like him to explain his vote to extend unemployment compensation to 99 weeks at the expense of the very businesses struggling to stay in business.
I’d like to know which side of the Senate he would come down on. Would he side with Tom Coburn and Jim Demint on a close call or would he go along to get along?
Where does he stand on money sapping questions such as global warming and green power?
Is he willing to vote “no” on earmarks?
Is he willing to defy the elders of the party to cut the budget?
These are things we don’t know about him because his terms in Congress are not particularly distinguished.
If we were to act on the concept that it is his turn, than he’s a shoe-in.
But what is his philosophy of government? Does he really believe that he who governs least governs best? Is he really for a smaller government?
We don’t know these things because he has only served two terms and three months in Congress and now he wants to be a Senator. That means he’s going to serve the rest of this term running. And raising a lot of money. Just like Barack Obama in 2007.
Speaking as a resident of his district, I’m not sure that’s a good idea.
If we were to measure his conservative bona fides by his record, I’d say I’d want more.
How would he fare in a debate?
To give this guy a clear path to the Senate without testing his mettle is like telling people such as Coburn and Demint that help may or may not be on the way and the only way they’ll find out is after the fact. Sort of like we have to pass the bill to see what’s in it. And how is that working for you?
Let me put this in terms that everybody should understand.
Our government is fundamentally broken.
It’s not irreversible.
But fixing it is not going to be fun. It’s going to involve big ideas and hard work.
If someone wants to be one of the 100 people who can influence our laws so that we have a chance in our lifetimes of seeing the United States again as that shining city on the hill which Ronald Reagan often spoke about, than we cannot just elect someone because he’s attractive and we don’t want a big fight.
If Dean Heller wants to be a United States Senator, we should make him get there the old fashioned way. He should earn it.
(Mr. Weinberg is publisher of the Penny Press)