I continue to be disturbed about Chet Edwards recent votes, most particularly the one where he voted with the Party of Torture Republicans on the military detainees bill, and secondarily, on the warrantless wiretapping bill. These are critical issues to me, that involve my cherished beliefs about how to treat others in general as well as an idealistic view of our American constitution.
I was raised a Christian, and, as such, strongly believe that you treat others as you wish to be treated. That, coupled with the belief that those who are accused of a crime ought to be able to see all the evidence against them, and evidence based on torture should be thrown out, prevents me from joining with Republicans to support unchristian and unamerican stances.
Some people like Chet and the way he talks, his folksy way of doing things. The same can be said of some Republicans appreciation of Bush, the "Wouldn't you like to have a beer with Bush" question, when it is based on personality that they happen to like, versus what the actual vote record is. That's fine, but I don't want to vote for someone based on personality but on voting record.
I'm not the only one disturbed in the district, of course. A number of Democrats have said they will leave the ballot blank instead of voting for Chet and the military detainees bill was the straw that broke the back from a long string of Voting-With-Republican votes.
The sad fact is that this system is structured so that third parties are not treated the same way as the entrenched two parties already in power; thus in any given voting decision, one has to decide, in the first instance, which party most accurately reflects the values of the voter. For me, that's Democrats, although I have to say that I would like to see a multi-party system in this country again. It doesn't mean that the *Democrat* running is going to reflect Democratic values and therein lies the rub.
Chet Edwards had no opponent in the primaries. Now, the only choice is between him and crazy Van Taylor from the Party of Torture. But by Chet's voting with Republicans on this, he becomes, by proxy, a part of that party. So, it's like "Which Republican would I prefer to vote for?" where I cannot vote for a Republican.. at .... all.... in any circumstance.
I am going to vote for him in the election, if only to add my vote against Van Taylor. But why? It isn't because of Chet Edwards. It is because the vast majority of Democrats DID vote for the right Democratic values and the ones who stood up against the unconstitutional and immoral actions of the Republicans deserve to try to get a Democratic majority in the House so that we can hope to reverse the damaging laws Republicans have passed. Who knows if Chet would continue to vote the Republican platform, but at least his bad votes could be overcome.
For any of you reading this from the district- if you leave the ballot blank, and Van Taylor wins ONLY by a small margin, you don't want to be wondering if YOUR vote was the one that prevented true Democrats from getting a House majority. What if Van Taylor was the ONLY extra house Republican that swayed the numbers from a minority to a majority? So, at least in my opinion, you shouldn't leave it blank. Vote for Chet but not because you think Chet represents you-do it for the stream of Democrats who *did* stand up for Democratic values and deserve the shot to stop Republican domination.
P.S. Want to see streaming video of Democrats standing up for our values? I clipped video here. -probably on the second page by now of the Torture bill.