Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Targeting Lee Terry

by Kyle Michaelis
I know they've got a link on the sidebar, but I want to take this opportunity to praise the UNO College Democrats - especially Dave Sund - for getting their blog back up and running and - again - making it one of the online hotspots for those interested in Nebraska politics.

Sund has done one hell of a job over the last week taking 2nd District Republican Congressman Lee Terry to task for his hypocrisy and hyperpartisanship. Terry hasn't responded well to his new place in the House minority and has put on a pretty good display of pettiness in his floor statements and a total lack of principle with his first votes in this young Congress.

Now that the shallowness of Terry's support has been exposed in the 2006 election, he's been forced to make a choice between continued "Republican-First" extremism or providing the independent leadership that Nebraska voters expect. Clearly, he's chosen the former, revealing himself as a tired rubber-stamp with lots of ambition but only vision enough to read the scripts and play the games laid out for him by his party masters.

On ethics, earmarks, and, now, even on national security, Terry has failed to represent the values and interests of Nebraska's 2nd District voters. In fact, he's made a damn strong case for his being one of the most targeted Republican incumbents across the country in 2008 if he dares to seek re-election after a full decade of failed leadership.

Unsurprisingly, the 3rd District's Republican pool boy, Adrian Smith, has kept close to Terry and seems content to follow his pathetic example on the above issues. But, the 3rd District offers a much different dynamic than the 2nd that likely affords Smith more room for incompetence. With the emergence of what could soon prove a new 2nd District, however, Terry might just be writing his political career's obituary.

One could read into Terry's conduct that he's writing off seeking re-election and is already aiming for Hagel's Senate seat, positioning himself with his party and its base for a statewide primary battle. Otherwise, he's just being a damn fool, unable to break the habits that have served him and his constituents so poorly over the last 8 years.

So, keep up the good work, Mr. Sund. Keep holding Terry's feet to the fire - an uncomfortable position that will only become more unpleasant and, ultimately, more dangerous if he persists in these foolish partisan shenanigans that the embarrassed voters of the 2nd District will not and should not stand for at their next opportunity to be heard at the ballot box.

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