Grand Forks Herald: Franking Flap Is Silly
Tom Dennis at the Grand Forks Herald has the right take on the franking controversy here in North Dakota which, judging from the Democrat letter writing campaign to the state’s opinion pages, is like the biggest scandal since Watergate or something.
“Republican Berg’s mailings seem absolutely indistinguishable from the ones sent out by the ‘Three Amigos,’ the all-Democratic congressional delegation that represented North Dakota for almost 20 years,” writes Dennis. That’s exactly right. Were Berg’s mailings a little self-serving? Perhaps. Does every single member of Congress send out the exact sort of mailings? Yup.
Is this a tiny fraction of federal spending? Absolutely.
Where Dennis makes a mistake is in failing to point out exactly why Democrats (and the ever-opportunistic Republican Duane Sand who is challenging Berg for the NDGOP nomination) are manufactured this tempest in a tea pot. It’s because they don’t want to talk about the real issues.
Democrats are at a serious disadvantage this election season. They’re the party of Obamacare and the stimulus spending. They’re the party of Barack Obama. None of those things play well in the state, and yet they’re going to be forced to either campaign on those issues or run away from them. Neither choice is very good. So they’re trying to find a third way by going on the offensive against Berg.
And don’t get me wrong, Berg is far from perfect, but to the extent that the North Dakota electorate is dissatisfied with his leadership, I think it’s not because he’s been too conservative. I think it’s because he’s not been conservative enough.
Which is no doubt anathema to the learned scholars that occupy the ivory towers of the state’s editorial pages, but it’s true. Berg disappointing conservatives in North Dakota isn’t exactly going to drive those conservatives into the spread-wide arms of Heidi Heitkamp who has gone far to the left of mainstream state politics since the lat time she won a statewide election.Tags: duane sand, election 2012, Grand Forks Herald, Heidi Heitkamp, North Dakota News, Rick Berg, tom dennis