The argument could be made that the entire West Virginia delegation, including Republican Capito, endorsed their party rather than a person. Who really knows their thinking? We, however, exist on perceptions more so than truth. It is usually much later that we realize that seeking the truth was wiser than believing the perception. In our Presidential primaries, the Republican Convention gave two-thirds of our delegates to Governor Mike Huckabee before a single West Virginian cast a primary vote. It was not West Virginians, but the party establishment and their backroom shenanigans that decided to take one candidate in favor of another. Barack Obama lost the West Virginia primary, but was still endorsed by the Governor and his Democrat Congressional delegation. In neither case did the voice of the people matter. The desires of the party establishments on both sides of the political divide most often take precedence over the desires and needs of the people and the state.
Democrat Senator Robert Byrd, who calls himself Big Daddy when boasting about bringing home the pork, has been representing West Virginia in Washington since 1959. Besides bringing in the bacon, Senator Byrd should be known for other things a sycophantic and liberal media will never mention. His 14 hour filibuster of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Exalted Cyclops rank he held in the Klu Klux Klan would not fit well with the liberal media spin for the Democratic party.
Democrat Senator Jay Rockefeller is a New York transplant. He was our governor for 8 years before being elected to the Senate in 1985. He is a millionaire of inherited wealth and a lifelong party politician.
Keeping it in the family, in 1983, Democrat Representative Alan Mollohan replaced his Congressman father as the representative from West Virginia’s 1st Congressional District. Mollohan is also a millionaire politician who was under investigation by the Department of Justice on some significant issues like steering earmark money to non-profits, from which it is alleged he then profited. Interestingly, the investigation stopped with his party back in charge.
Democrat Nick Joe Rahall went to Congress in 1977 to represent West Virginia’s 3rd District. Rahall represents our southern district commonly referred to as the coal fields. The only change I noticed in southern West Virginia since I left there in 1966 is that there are now fewer people. Rahall leans pro-Palestinian and anti Israel. His sister Tanya owns a public relations and consulting company and lobbies for Middle Eastern clients.
Republican Shelley Moore-Capito went to Congress in 2001 to represent West Virginia’s 2nd District. She also comes from a political family. Her father, Arch Moore, served in Congress from 1957 to 1969 and was Governor of the state for 3 terms from 1969 to 1977 and from 1985 to 1989.
Our serving Congressional delegation has a nearly a century and a half combined time in Washington, allegedly representing the people and interests of West Virginia. You might think that these wealthy, career politicians could have accomplished something for the state that would have moved it above number 50 on the per capita income scale. In fairness, I think we did climb up to 49 a time or two and we do have a lot of structures named for Robert C. Byrd.
The most pressing national security issue for us, after Islamic terrorists, is energy independence. In West Virginia, we have more energy reserves than Kuwait. Kuwait, you recall, is the country whose oil we saved from Sadaam Hussein.
Our state leadership endorsed an administration that wants to end not advance the coal industry that provides more than 50 percent of our nation’s electrical power. West Virginia could provide much more energy from our natural gas resources and by converting coal to liquid fuel that burns cleaner than diesel. Environmental Protection Administration impediments are already costing coal miners their jobs and as the President said before he was elected, his cap and trade plan will bankrupt coal fired electrical plants and necessarily quadruple the cost of electricity. It looks like Wal-Mart might not just be our largest employer; it may be our only one.
Forward thinking political leaders with so much time spent in Washington would have worked to transform our state into a major player in energy production. Instead, ours chose the party.
I suggest you do the most basic research on your state and those representing you in Washington. Do not be surprised when the picture you develop is quite similar to the one I just shared.
The answer to the question is that hope, like freedom, ends when it is tied to men or to their political parties. It lives as long as it is tied to our founding ideals.