The complaint has been raised that Bill Sali isn’t effective as a Congressman, most recently by Mountain Goat Report:
Idaho’s First District Congressman Bill Sali continues his quest to embed himself with the tiniest of minorities. This time he’s voted with 19 others against a bill that would authorize support of science and engineering researchers.
Mountain Goat Report shows us the numbers, gives us no clue as to what the opponents arguments were against the bill, but give us an implication that being on the “wrong side” of a 397-20 vote indicates Bill Sali is wrong. In fact that Bill Sali is just willy nilly voting against bills because he’s “anti-science.” Did MGR call Sali’s office and ask? Get a statement he could respond to? No, just filed a charge to attack Bill Sali.
The assumption here is that successful Congressmen are never on the losing side of lop-sided votes. Of course, that’s not true. Mike Pence, one of the most powerful Republicans in Congress voted against the same bill.
How does one define an effective Congressman? Is it someone like Robert Byrd or Ted Stevens who’ve created our nation’s fiscal crisis with their massive egocentric overspending? They bring home the bacon, but grandkids get stuck paying the bill. Is it someone who passes big impressive government programs which end up doing more harm than good? No.
As I see it, the folks of Idaho’s 1st District msde a choice for someone who represented their values. Not the values of Seattle, the Bay Area, or Maryland, but Idaho values. In the current Democrat Congress, those values are not popular. Does that mean we surrender who we are and what we believe for some pork? Will we sell our souls to gain fool’s gold that kids and grandkids will have to pay for? Idaho said no.
They elected someone who would stand firm against the tides of statism and liberalism. They elected Bill Sali to represent their values whether they’re popular or not. It’s tough getting anywhere as a freshman in the minority party, but I don’t believe either status will last forever. I believe he’s got grit and determination mixed with a good style that will serve him well in the long run. Yes, some folks in Idaho’s political establishment didn’t like him because of inconvenient dedication to principle. But had we had 220 or so members of Congress like him for the past few years, I can safely say we wouldn’t be in the mess we are today, and only by electing more men of his caliber can we hope to make our way back.