On the way home from the gym today I had the opportunity to listen to a few minutes of an interview with Rob Cornilles, the Tualatin businessman who is a candidate for the Republican nomination in the First District congressional special election (replacing the disgraced David Wu). I admit the primary ballot I returned on Wednesday didn't list Cornilles as an option, but that said, I found my spirits buoyed by several of his comments. Most notably, he had absolutely no hesitation affirming that he had refused to sign onto Grover Norquist's no-tax pledge--which would put him in the company of about 6 current GOP members of Congress. Asked if this bothered him, he replied no, not at all; he was running to represent the people of a notably eclectic district, and he felt such a pledge would counteract his ability to do this well.
Three cheers for representation! Regardless of the election's outcome, we need more elected officials on both sides of the aisle who think first of their constituents and who refrain from hobbling themselves with didactic positions. Informed policy-making is a complicated task. Pledges such as Norquist's (or, indeed, such pledges on any position, right or left) are profoundly counterproductive in achieving policy success. Perhaps the current environment of discord and disgust will lead toward more candidates willing to take such stands. I hope so.