Somehow I find Jim Matheson’s hitching his cart to the Obama’s “Yes We Can,” wagon train despicable and manipulative. On the core issues, Matheson’s platform and voting record were at key odds with the National Democratic Party’s. The democrat “light,” or liberal republican from Utah is finally facing serious dissension from within his own party. Given Claudia Wright’s 45% approval by the “Democratic” delegates at the “State Democratic Party Convention,” coupled with the fact that her campaign had virtually no money by comparison, Jim Matheson is in serious trouble.
On the surface the Democratic Majority Whip, Congressman Steny Hyer, publicly endorsed Matheson’s candidacy but his keynote address at the convention and the three cartoons we were shown, supporting health care reform and other key issues, told a different story. Much like a comedian can insult you to your face when you are laughing at his/her jokes, Hyer was able to keep a straight face throughout the weekend. What an actor!
Not as good of an actor as Jim Matheson though. “I’m really a democrat and if you don’t believe me just ask a republican.” The man had me in stitches throughout the weekend. Trailing along behind his handlers, Jim would glide, as gracefully as one could when wearing black cowboy boots, from caucus room to caucus room throughout the morning of the State Democratic Party Convention. Jim gave his patented schtick and dashed out of the room before he could come under attack from the loud and raucous delegates who were willing to engage him.
But we knew his modus operandi because he had been using it on us for over a decade. Want an audience with Jim? Good luck. He may grant you an initial appearance, but his intensions are merely to gage whether or not you are with him or against him. If he deems you are a threat, forget about a followup gig. If he feels you are no threat, then you are simply an annoyance, so once again no repeat performance. And what skills he uses to evade direct questions! Much like crooks go to prison to learn to be better criminals, Jim went to the graduate school of evasion and subterfuge in the halls of congress. I wonder if he got his PhD?
Even if a jury of his peers in the general election finds him guilty and throws him out of office, I feel Jim is rehabilitative. Although he did not break down with tears when the vote results came in as did Senator Robert Bennett, he did swell up with emotion and was genuinely hurt because almost one half of the delegates did not like him.
As if that loss was not enough, he now must work at least two jobs (I think good parenting is a job but that doesn’t count here) for the next one month and a half. On top of all that, if he was a decent human being, he must have the guilt of over 5000 American deaths, coalition of the willing forces and hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis on his conscious. Coupled with over 10 years served for good behavior; for Representative Matheson has done some good work and is not evil incarnat. Jim should be paroled after his two year hiatus from politics.
The way I see it Mr. Matheson has two choices. If he was principled he would do penitence in the form of good works, spending more time with his family and engaging in deep personal introspection. He then could be ready, and would have my support, to take on Hatch in the Senate.
If he wanted to stay in Washington, he could take a job as a lobbyist for the companies he has represented over the years.
President Obama’s agenda for positive change in America would be better served with Claudia Wright in Congress.