I had originally written this as a reply to my last post, but decided that I would make it a separate post instead of burying it in old news.
At the convention, I glanced over at a PowerPoint printout that one of the delegates next to me had (she was a bitty, BTW, clucking at all the candidates she didn't like - give them at least a modicum of respect here, people!), and I have to say that it did surprise me. It was from Chris Cannon's campaign and it did mention that he had passed more legislation in Congress than anyone else (except for 2 others), and that's an important thing. I think that disproves the "Cannon's just a voter" theory that is one of the legs of David Leavitt's campaign. Another Leavitt contention was that Cannon has a low power ranking (based on Congress.org's rating system). That's true, he's #318. At the same time, I went and looked at their methodology, and a measure of power is earmark getting ability. Quite frankly, I want to have a Congressman with a low ranking if earmarks is a measure of power because earmarks are an abuse of the Congressional budgetary system.
In turn, there are two points that Leavitt does make that I agree with. One is that it's the Republican party's fault that we lost control of Congress and we need to stop blaming Democrats. We did lose it, and we squandered an ability to make the country more fiscally responsible and reform major government programs under a giant mountain of earmark abuse that was so epic that the earmarks from 2000-2006 surpassed every other earmark made in the history of the US. Republicans have nobody to blame but themselves. As a result of things like this, I really think we're going to be in the minority for the next several Congresses, and as a result the second thing I think Leavitt has a point on is that by electing him now we would be building senority for the future when we will become a majority again, whereas Cannon would be close to retired.
I really like both Leavitt and Cannon and that's what makes this so difficult. In prior years, it's been very easy to decide who to choose - the other candidates clearly weren't the same caliber as Chris was, but this time it's a legitimate choice. It makes it hard, but I like it better even though I have to hem and haw and choose one then choose the other then go back and do it all over again. It's a testament to the strength of both of the candidates that it is a difficult decision.
Might I also say that I feel for every member of the House because they are constantly running for their seat - they never have some time off from it. That's more than I would ever want to do because it takes so much time and money that it's hard to fathom.