A few minutes after President Barack Obama completes his State of the Union (SOTU) address, we will get to see one of the major problems with the Republican Party.
According to several reports, there will be three responses from the right. Three. Washington Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers will give the “official” Republican response. The Tea Party response will be given by Utah Senator Mike Lee. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul will give another Tea Party response.
Sadly, Montana’s lone Representative and U.S. Senate candidate, Steve Daines, will probably be paying more attention to the responses from Lee and Paul than the one from Rodgers. Daines has aligned himself with the Tea Party quite remarkably in his first year in Congress.
At least two Montana newspapers have noticed Daines and his extreme views.
Daines was recently warned by his hometown newspaper, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, to “resist pull of tea party ideologues” and “distance himself from GOP extremists.”
Amen to that.
The Chronicle editorial board warned, “…to win the statewide general election in Montana, Daines will undoubtedly need the support of a majority of moderate, independent voters. Siding with the tea party is unlikely to earn that. In fact, it will likely have the opposite effect.”
In the past few elections, I’ve voted for several Democrats or left that part of the ballot blank when the candidates were aligned too far to the right or to the left for my satisfaction.
I told a friend the other day that I felt that Daines was about a sentence away from Todd Akin/Richard Mourdock territory.
Today the Billings Gazette editorial board basically called Daines Representative No. The headline of the editorial is “Montana needs leaders who do more than say ‘no.’”
The Gazette board also stated, “Leadership requires more than just saying no.”
In a little over a year, Daines has managed to paint himself into the Tea Party corner. He has not been a leader, but more of a complainer.
Tonight after the SOTU speech I’d like to hear what Daines sees as issues where he can find common ground and compromise with the President.
Trying to find compromise and common ground would look a lot more senatorial instead of basically sending out a press release with the word “NO” on it.
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Actually, there were 4 responses. http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/gop-sotu-response
Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s (FL) used the CMR framework and personalized it to tell her story.