The "present" vote is in effect a "no" vote, but it is a "no" vote that sends a message. Hold on before you hear what I have to say and simply disagree. Keep an open mind and read the entire article. I have left those who want to continue their anger and disappointment an opportunity to agree with me and still interpret a “present” vote as “cowardly” if that is their impression of the person that cast it. Keep reading and you will see how, at least historically, a “present” vote has been interpreted to send any one of three possible messages.
Regardless of what the intent of the message, I must point out however that those needing a “yes” vote are frequently the ones most upset and they are also the one with unique powers to claim revenge. Even if there is only one vote of “present”, the one who cast that vote can be the recipient of retribution for the entire time they hold office.
Undoubtedly, the “present” vote has been a tool used in elections to interpret the one who cast it in as negative a terms as possible. It has been interpreted in all three ways we will discuss by those wanting to elect someone other than the one who cast it.
Let’s start our discussion with the infamous votes cast by Illinois State Senator Barack Obama. How many did he casts? Was it 191 “present” votes? Republicans lost some of the insight they could have gained by exposing his “present” votes as simply those of a fence riding coward. That is one of the three choices for sure. And these 191 Obama votes surely deserve that characterization. Especially in retrospect. 191 votes! But let me present you an argument for why that analysis falls short of what should have been identified by voters when they heard it.
First let’s look at these votes when most of them were cast. Most of them were cast when Obama had no inkling of ever running for President. If you accept that as fact, then most of these votes, if not all of them, were cast when he could have never assumed that his votes and his character would ever be examined as closely as they have because of his candidacy and his win in the run for the Presidency.
So let me submit to you reason number two some vote “present”. The one his most artful and articulate admirers have used in his defense.
Number two reason goes goes like this:”The "present" vote is used by lawmakers in situations where they agree with a bill in spirit, however the current version of the bill is not good enough to vote "yes;" either it is too expensive, it is inadequately planned or funded, or it has riders or earmarks attached that are entirely inappropriate.
This is classic Obama. Nothing is as good as he could have done it. The man with a “messiah complex” had 191 bills come through that simply were not good enough. This my friends was a huge hint into the kind of person the American people elected twice to be the Commander and Chief. Obama, we now know for certain, is a coward who tries to avoid taking a stance; AND he is an arrogant men with few things to recommend him as a leader.
The third reason? Obviously, the one I believe affected our Congressman. Someone who can not be characterized as a coward or someone who thinks they sit at the right hand of God, could conceivably cast a “present” vote. Those not willing to consider this because they already planned on giving a politician grief for their entire time in office because they wanted someone else elected, or those who interpret every single issue, even a vote in a losing cause, as a matter of principle – brace yourself. Your temperature may spike! If voting on filling a position, the third reason could be that you wanted to vote “no” on the candidate, but also wanted to preserve your vote “for’ someone (until you knew who they were a little better or until a new candidate emerged).
On the matter at hand, I have known Brian Babin for almost twenty years. I feel sorry for anyone that has judged themselves to be a better Christian than Brian. I feel the same way about someone who either openly or silently has judged him to be a coward. All I can say is you must not know him or you are a poor judge of character and perhaps you should leave that area to someone else.