Irritating Touchstone: Conrad Burns and his Gazette guest editorial

Yesterday, the Gazette ran the dueling guest editorials of Conrad Burns and Jon Tester. I admit that these editorials weren’t as exciting as those from the House race, but in that case Rehberg really laid it on thick. That, and we’ve heard most of the Senate race positions made during the debate. Still…as always…my thoughts:

Tester wrote some of the strongest language on ethics I’ve seen yet, and made a vow I hadn’t seen:

Congress is spending our tax dollars like drunken sailors. If I ran my farm that way, I’d be long since out of business. What they see happening isn’t representative government. It’s an auction. Backroom deals are cut, not on the basis of what’s best for the average Montanan or American, but on who can write the biggest campaign check.This climate infecting our nation’s capital has to be stamped out once and for all. As your U.S. senator, I pledge the following: I will ban all lobbyist gifts, meals and travel paid for by outside sources. All of it. I will not take personal favors from lobbyists, nor will my staff. What’s more, I’ll ask a Montana judge to conduct an ethics audit of my office every year so you know I’m living up to the trust you placed in me.

Good stuff. Of course, we know who he’s referring to when he says “drunken sailor.”

Tester touts energy independence and lower health care costs, both issues he’s worked hard for during his stint in the Montana Senate. So we know this is a promise, not idle political platitudes.

Burns’ statement leads off with Iraq, showing he’s trying to divert the issues to a plebiscite on the President. (Um, dumb move, Connie.):

Our strategy in the war on terror ought to be to win. Time and again Islamic radicals have been emboldened by a feeble American response to terrorism. When the Marines were bombed in Lebanon, they were quickly withdrawn. When Blackhawk helicopters were shot down in Somalia, we packed up and left. When embassies in Africa were bombed, we bombed sand.

Anybody have Burns’ record on Somalia and Clinton’s Sudan bombing? I suspect that Burns, like most of his Republican peers, decried Clinton’s efforts fighting actual terrorists. Remember the shrill outcry from the Republican Congress when we bombed an al Qaeda training camp in Sudan? The GOP claimed it was a diversion from the Lewinsky scandal. Oh, how the times have changed!

We were attacked on 9/11 by people who wish us harm. It is naïve to believe that the violence will end by cutting and running. The fight would simply shift from Fallujah and Baghdad to places like New York and Washington, D.C.We can and must win this war on terror. We need to give our troops every tool they need to win this war on terror. I don’t want to stay there forever, but I don’t want to leave before we’ve done the job right. The people who should make that decision are the generals on the ground, not Washington, D.C., politicians.

The idea that somehow the war in Iraq has anything to do with actual efforts against terrorism is ludicrous, pure Republican partisan spin to justify the administration’s botched efforts in Iraq. This argument is about three years past its shelf life, and I find it annoying that the Senator (a) believes Montanans are stupid enough to buy this cr*p, and (b) doesn’t consider the war important enough to come up with a newer, more creative reason for us being there.

The Iraq War only detracts from our national security. The money poured into Bush’s war only steals from our domestic efforts to seal the borders from terrorists. Shipping container inspection? Pah! Less important than Iraq – according to the GOP. Sufficient law enforcement on the US-Mexican border? Pah! Less important than Iraq – according to the GOP.

Let’s face it, fighting “them” in Iraq means that we’re more likely to see a terrorist attack here. And the fact that we haven’t means the threat is probably – definitely? – exaggerated.

But let’s not take chances. Bring ‘em home from Iraq, beef up our security, fix the bureaucracies that provide us with emergency services, and get to work on the ailin’ economy. Oh, wait. We can’t do that with potty-mouth Dinky and his spineless Congressional yes-men in office.


Burns finishes up with renewable energy – a Democratic issue – despite the fact his idea of an energy plan is to give big oil subsidies and tax breaks, and (get this!) tax cuts!

Tax cuts??

We’re racking up a massive deficit, the only tax cuts anybody’s seen are for the filthiest richest in our country, we face hyper inflation if these trends don’t reverse, and Conrad Burns wants to cut taxes???

It’s like this version of Conrad Burns was beamed to the present from 1982 or something.

How else do you explain his idiotic and continued support for nation-wrecking tax cuts?…and for his fat-cat buddies, one assumes as always.

And then if that weren’t funny enough, Burns writes this under “Montana values”:

I also believe it important to represent Montana’s values to Washington, D.C., and not the other way around. That’s why I have voted for judges who believe it’s their job to interpret the Constitution and not write it. I believe in all of our constitutional rights. Private property and gun ownership are the cornerstones of freedom.This election is a choice. I am guided by the principles of opportunity, freedom and a government that serves the needs of the people. Votes matter and my record is clear; I stand with Montana.

Last time I checked, Burns is from Missouri. And I must have missed the handout that said we Montanans should take money from wealthy corporations and do whatever it is they tell us to do.Burns wouldn’t recognize a “value” if it stepped up to him and spit in his eye.

  1. Mark T

    Burns is saying exactly nothing. Gazette ought to be ashamed to run free campaign ads for him. At least demand that he be substantial. But let’s face it – few people read 700 word op-eds. Damned few. Letters to the editor get a better read, especailly 100 word ones.

    Clinton’s Sudan bombing? Ahem … seems if I remember right, he bombed a pharmaceutical plant there, denied it, denied it, admitted it, and then the matter was promptly set aside and forgotten here in Orwellville.

  2. True on the Clinton pharmaceutical bombing, but then I was just trying to point out Burns’ hypocracy.

    Something I failed to point out in the post — Reagan was the one who pulled out of Beruit in…’84?…after the Marine barracks was blown up and a couple hundred Marines died.

    So is Burns dissing Reagan? The horror!

  3. Mark T

    Good point. Reagan also turned around and invaded Grenada two days after Beirut, which oddly pushed the story off the front pages.

  4. Warfare definitely changed after WWII, didn’t it? A professional army, no Congressional declarations of war, war almost exclusively used as a political tool where domestic politics almost seems to matter more than the actual fighting…

    Sounds like a friggin’ book actually.

  5. Very good website no deposit casino [url=]no deposit casino[/url]

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