Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dan Burton Tests My Facebook Etiquette Rule

My rule of thumb is that if somebody sends me a Facebook "Friend" request, and I know and like them, they get a quick "add," even if I don't agree with their politics. I've got Republicans, Libertarians, and apoliticos in my list. This is the source of my consternation today. Somebody from Dan Burton's campaign sent a "friend" request to me.

I do my Christian best not to actively dislike people, but it's a struggle with Congressman Burton. It started when I was a senior at Ben Davis High School. Three classmates and I qualified for the National Debate Finals (insert nerd joke here), and as a reward, our debate coach, Larry Highbaugh, said he would get us in to see a member of Congress. Unfortunately, Alex P. Keaton wannabes populated our debate team, so the other three cancelled out my Andy Jacobs vote. Two of the guys did policy debate, and the topic for the year was Latin America, an area in which Congressman Burton was immersed at the time.

To this day, I remember thinking how ridiculously arrogant the Congressman was. He bragged about a trip to Nicaragua and made it sound like he single-handedly stopped the Sandinistas from turning the entire continent into a Soviet satellite. I recall him saying that current Nicaraguan president, Daniel Ortega, was a terrorist (he was - to his own step-daughter) and that Oliver North was a hero (he wasn't). I've always had a problem with people whose justification for violating a law is "I know better than you," unless they're willing to accept the full penalties as an act of civiil disobedience. As a result of my initial interaction, I have never been a Burton fan, although somewhere I still have an autographed photo.

Over the next two decades, the Congressman engaged in some of the most ridiculous theatrics in Congress and almost never took a position with which I agreed. His personal conduct while claiming to be so pious to his district's church crowd has always sat poorly with me as well. In fact, the only reason I can tolerate the man is because Congressman Andy Jacobs and Congressman Burton are good friends. Congressman Jacobs tends to be a good judge of character, so there must be something positive I'm not seeing in Burton. Like all of it.

But I guess he did take time to autograph a photo for me. I'll give him the "add"... but only so I can keep tabs on what I hope is his last term in office. If this were a two-way with Luke Messer versus Burton, Messer would own Burton. Unfortunately, Messer entered a field already populated by Brose McVey. Carl Brizzi has also allegedly stated interest, though the conventional wisdom is he'll only run if Burton steps down. A three or four-way primary that divides up the anti-Burton sentiment is the only thing that will keep Burton in office, and Republicans seem intent on giving it to him.

Wonder what a signed photo of a still-sitting Congressman can get you on E-Bay.


1 comment:

Jacob Perry said...

Not surprisingly, I couldn't agree with you more.

BTW, the FB request came from "The Prosper Group". I doubt Dan has ever heard of Facebook.