Even Profiles Of Conservatives Have To Be "Moderate" For Fish Wrapper

I've mentioned a few times that I wonder if the Fish Wrapper would ever do a profile of a conservative, since it seems that they only profile liberal loonies like Jules Boykoff. Well, they finally managed to do it, but of course, it was about Vicki Berger, a "moderate" Republican. Translation: a Republican who is almost a Democrat. You can tell where the piece is going right from the beginning.

SALEM -- It's not every day that Oregon's Democratic governor personally thanks a Republican legislator for following the courage of her convictions.

Apparently it's only a good thing for Teddy when your convictions are for socialism and higher taxes.

But Gov. Ted Kulongoski mentioned Rep. Vicki Berger three times in one news conference recently, after she became the first House Republican to vote in support of a cigarette tax increase to pay for children's health insurance.

So far, Berger is the only Republican vote the governor can count on. Democrats need all 31 of their House members, plus five Republicans, if the "Healthy Kids" plan is to pass a floor vote in the next week or two.

Nobody is surprised by Berger's defection in the Revenue Committee. It's not the first time the Salem representative has bucked party leadership. Still, she says, everyone is asking: "How are you holding up?"

"Are people unhappy with me? Yes," she answers. "But do I look like I've been beaten black-and-blue?"

The article goes on to mention multiple places how moderates have more power this year in the sharply divided House (31 Democrats, 29 Republicans). Side note: if I remember correctly, wasn't it an even 30-30 split last year? Why is it that moderates would be more powerful this year than last year?

Reading through the article, it becomes clear that she is almost embarrassed about being a RINO (Republican In Name Only).

Berger says she'd hoped to remain quiet about her support for the governor's Healthy Kids plan. But after Kulongoski repeated her name and Smith praised her vote, Berger says, "Now I'm out."

Why try to keep your vote quiet if you think it's the right thing? Could it be that it's because the bill would cover illegal aliens, among other problems? I'd be quiet about that, too.

An interesting thing to note is how Ms. Cole contradicts herself. At the end of the article, she mentions how Berger actually lets people know what she is going to do.

"I'm not afraid to say no," Berger says. "And I do signal what I'm going to do long before I do it. I don't surprise people."

And that's exactly how she has ended up being the first House Republican to publicly support the governor's Healthy Kids plan.

The Democrats addressed Berger's concerns in amendments added to the proposal. So she voted "yes" in the Revenue Committee and says she intends to do so again when the bill hits the floor.

She might be the only House Republican to vote for the bill.

"If you're afraid of conflict and controversy," she says, "don't be a legislator.

So which is it? She hides her vote on Healthy Kids until she is brought out in the open by Teddy and Smith, or she lets everybody know?

Cole also manages to mention conservative blogs such as Rino Watch, but only to point out how she takes flak from them.

Even so, Berger remains a favorite target on RinoWatch, a conservative blog that takes digs at Oregon legislators deemed to be "Republican in Name Only." Berger is frequently referred to as "Ms. Rino" by bloggers who also say she "may lead the charge for votes necessary to allow the Democrats to succeed."

On thing that is surprising to me is that they left out that fact that in 2003, she voted for Measure 30, which would have been the largest increase tax increase in Oregon history. It must be an oversight, since this vote definitely shows her anti-conservative tendencies.

The thing that stands out to me is that even when the Fish Wrapper profiles a conservative, it has to be someone who is seen as a moderate, or leaning towards the liberal side of the spectrum. In other words, you're only deserving of good words in a Fish Wrapper article if you are"seeing the light" and leaning towards the left. Heaven forbid they actually do a profile of a true conservative who walks the walk and fights against the Dems continuing push to make us into a socialist society.



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