Sen. Nelson…a good man
Senator Ben Nelson’s (12-26-12) letter to The Times is acknowledgement of the beginning of the end of an era. A recognition of diminishing ability for traditional Democrats to remain in the “Democrat” Congress. Nelson has witnessed the decline of bipartisanship, writing “Sadly...the word ‘compromise’ has become a dirty word.” My response is the same as I wrote (02-08-12) after Mary Kay Quinlan of Nebraska News Service asked in a letter “When did compromise become a four-letter word?”
It was Jan. 23, 2009. Three days after taking office, President Barack Obama responded to Republican objections against some provisions of his economic stimulus package. “I won. So I think on that one, I trump you.” This statement got very little media coverage. After nearly two years of Democrat partisan plunder and ramming through freedom killing legislation like Obamacare, a statement by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (10-23-10) about making Obama a one-term president, is still being used by the media as the definitive example of partisanship and even racism.
Nelson’s letter also acknowledged his success in getting federal funding for worthwhile state projects. He shares this effort with most politicians whose roles have been reduced to those of beggars. We send our representatives to Washington, D.C. in an effort to recover some of the money that the federal government has stolen from our state. I don’t fault Sen. Nelson for this. It took over 200 years to get here.
For all citizens to be represented, both sides need advocates expressing their positions. I have voted for Sen. Nelson because I believe that he truly does care about Nebraska and approached most issues with common sense. We have disagreed on more than several issues over the years, but he impressed me by being the only representative who responded to my letters and emails personally (not form letters). Usually he would rationalize with “it’s a good start” while I opposed there being a “start.” In our disagreement he never tried to deceive me about his intentions.
At a “town hall” in Kearney during the healthcare debate, he told me he would never vote for a bill that included taxpayer funded abortion. That was not my primary concern because taxpayers already fund it through Title X, but I accepted that answer because I knew the progressives/socialists would never throw Planned Parenthood out of the bill. I can only imagine the pressure Obama’s Chicago mob brought down on him (the “rack” and nailing of knees to the floor come to mind).
He eventually capitulated and voted for the bill. He went from hero to zero. The scourge of Obamacare may be impossible to rescind at this point and possibly forever. Voting for it was a bridge too far and Nelson was on the wrong side when the bridge collapsed. That being said, overall I think Sen. Nelson has been a good public servant because in essence he is a good man. There are far too few of those in Congress these days.