Contrary to their campaign literature, there appears to be little light between Rep. Todd Tiahrt and Rep. Jerry Moran. The two are vying to replace Sen. Sam Brownback in the U.S. Senate and throwing barbs at one another through press releases, commercials and twitter feeds.
Judging from the debate they’re waging in the media – they have yet to debate mano á mano – the votes they’re arguing about happened dozens of years ago. For example, a recent Tiahrt campaign ad suggests Moran voted to raise taxes while a member of the Kansas Legislature – more than a dozen years ago.
The other “issues” raised in the campaign have included the fact that Moran is a lawyer; and Tiahrt moved his family to Washington while Moran’s family remains in Kansas.
(For the record, I’m sick to death of electing attorneys. They’re largely worthless. But it also matters to me that the other one moved his family to Washington, D.C. It’s hard to maintain Kansas values from afar.)
While both have been in the U.S. House, it appears there have been few votes in which they’ve voted differently.
In the last few months, I’ve leaned more toward one of the men than the other. Then I went to Washington, D.C., and was able to spend a little time with each of them.
I didn’t like the representative for whom I thought I’d cast a primary ballot personally. He spoke in front of a group of us and seemed condescending and arrogant. He called us all girls.
He tried to use my name – I was wearing a name tag, we all were – and he called me, “Danielle.” Repeatedly. I honestly appreciate the effort, but if you’re going to use my name in a condescending tone, get it right. Or, just come close. My name is Danedri.
But on the few votes I can find where the two differ, I agree most often with the condescending one.
I liked the other one as a person.
He was engaging. He seemed to talk to the group rather than at us. But he’s questionable on a few issues I care about. Worse, sometimes being personable can be just short of a criminal act in the U.S. Senate — at least to my way of thinking.
I’d rather have a Senator who raises some hackles than one who always goes along to get along. That’s largely been the problem in the train wreck currently known as Senate Republicans. (See Sen. John McCain. Also, former Republican Sen. Arlen Specter. Gross.)
So, I guess the question is: Do I vote for the more approachable, more likeable person, or do I vote for the person with whom I’m most likely to agree?
It’s a tough call. The primary election is Aug. 3.
I wish I had another choice.