Feb 14th, 2009 by dwood.
I am a conservative Southernor. While most closely affiliated with the Republican Party, I vote a straight ticket only about once in every 2 or 3 elections. I believe strongly in the premise of “the best person for the job” and often can find a Democrat or Independent with true conservative values whom I prefer and trust over the Republican nominee. While I’ve never voted for a Democratic Presedential candidate, I have voted for Democrats in State and local elections when I felt they best served the role of the office for which they were running, and when their personal beliefs and philosophies closely matched my conservative nature.
Due to educational concern for my 9 year-old daughter, and convenience for my business commute, I moved last year from Alabama’s 3rd Congressional District (represented by Congressman Mike Rogers, a strong and well-seated Republican) into the 2nd District. One of my immediate concerns was newly-elected Representative Bobby Bright, a Democrat who had served as Mayor of Montgomery prior to winning the election to represent the 2nd District. Bright’s record in Montgomery had been wonderful, some say exemplary, as he revitalized downtown, operated continually within a balanced budget, and was very successful and instrumental in bringing new industries and new jobs to the area. Still, that big “D” after his name concerned me, as did the fact that he was “the new kid on the block” in Washington. I had only a cursory knowledge of his career, did not reside in Montgomery, and never had the need to research or follow him as his service had no direct impact on my life prior to moving into the 2nd. Suddenly he wasn’t just my Mayor, or State Representative. He was my one and only tie to the House of Representatives in Washington, DC. I began to follow him closely.
During the initial House vote on ERRA, Congressman Bright was one of only 11 Democrats to vote against the Pelosi/Reid stimulus proposal. When ERRA returned from the Senate Bright once again voted no, this time one of only 7 Democratic Representatives to do so. Some may argue that it is his personal conservative values that drove his vote (he is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition, with a proven record of conservative values on almost every issue), as opposed to his responsible and faithful representation of the constituents of the 2nd district. Whatever the motivation, Congressman Bright got it right. In the face of what was certain pressure and coercion by seasoned Washington veterans such as Pelosi, Reid, Artur Davis of Alabama, and others, Congressman Bright stood his ground and voted the way the people of Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District would have wanted him to vote. He recognizes, as do we, that this Bill is not in the best interest of this Country nor this economy. Unlike Arlen Spector, a career politician and professional fence rider, Congressman Bright showed true character, strength, and responsibility by voting as his constituents would want, and not simply voting for something “because it was better than nothing.”
Arlen Spector, Susan Collins, and Olympia Snow should take a look at Alabama’s “new kid on the block” and ask themselves one question: ”How is it that a newcomer, from the other party no less, is being heralded by “our party” as a hero while we longtime professional “conservatives” are being vilified?” The answer to that question lies as much with Spector, Collins and Snow as it does with Congressman Bobby Bright.
Bobby Bright represents the people of the 2nd District of Alabama. He is new, inexperienced, and more concerned with “getting it right” than “getting noticed.” Whether or not he agrees with us is not the issue. He voted as we wanted him to, and he will do it again in the future. He gets it, and we are proud of our “new kid on the block.” He voted AGAINST his party and FOR his people. He didn’t vote AGAINST his party, AND AGAINST his people, because HE/SHE knew better than all of them combined. He honored his responsibility, he didn’t use it to his advantage. Does that shed any light on it for you Senators Collins, Spector and Snow?
I am proud of my Congressman, Bobby Bright (D) from Alabama. He is the newest man in the House, and yet, not a single person there has done their job any better than he. He is from “the wrong party” (in my mind) and yet he has earned my trust, and my respect. He embodies things seen seldom in today’s machine that is the US Government:
Honor to his Country. Honor to his constituents. Honor to himself, and his family. Honor to his State. Honor to the Constitution. Honor to the Republic that is the United States of America.
Because he has honor, because he has respect, and because he has conservative values, I can say today that…
He has my vote. No matter what capital letter comes after his name, or how short his term has been.
I am proud of Bobby Bright simply as a man and as an Alabamian, but I am more proud to call him MY Congressman. Because he gets it.
And he honors it.
Thank you, Congressman Bright.