One-time Texas railroad commissioner and longtime activist Jim Hightower had it right: There’s nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and a dead armadillo. That’s where our newly elected congressional representative, Cliff Bentz, thought he found himself when he arrived in Washington, D.C. Faced with his first test as a congressman, Bentz failed it miserably.

In trying to walk that line between accepting the results of the election and rubber-stamping the subversion our democracy, he thought he could have it both ways. So he voted "no" on destroying Arizona’s electoral votes, but "yes" on burning Pennsylvania’s. That’s despite the fact that Congress has no business rejecting the ballots of millions of voters in a fair election because they include mail-in ballots.

That he was willing to do so after rioters had trashed the U.S. Capitol, smashing windows and looting offices, was a real eye-opener for me. Just that morning I’d called his office and made it clear that, as a Vietnam veteran, I didn’t go to war for to have our elections attacked with lies and deceit. Oregonians have voted by mail for over 20 years. It’s probably the most secure system in the country. It’s elected Democrats and Republicans, and it elected Bentz.

He betrayed our state and the citizens who elected him. The middle of the road he thought he was traveling was on the edge of a precipice, with sedition lurking below. He better have his parachute ready: It’s a long way down.

Norm Cimon

La Grande

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