Minority Raises Its Profile

, Allie Winegar Duzett, Leave a comment

Yet another eloquent conservative spokesman whom media outlets can’t seem to find spoke at the Bloggers’ Briefing at the Heritage Foundation last week. “For those of you who want to know, I’m not going to be on Dancing with the Stars,” Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) said, laughing about his relationship with former U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay at a recent Heritage Foundation Bloggers’ Briefing.

“It’s been an interesting ten months,” Rep. Olson began, referring to the myriad of legislation the Obama administration has proposed: health care, cap and trade, et cetera. He described his own experiences with his constituents, noting that many of them are very upset with the state of national politics and were keen to ensure that good policies were being made. In this context, Rep. Olson made an interesting analogy: “[Creating public policy] is like sausage: it’s good to eat but you don’t want to see how it’s made,” he said.

He talked about the American Clean Energy Security Act, the “cap and tax” bill eight Republicans voted for in June 2009. “We ended up losing by 8, which ironically was the number of Republicans who voted for the bill,” Rep. Olson said, quick to claim that the bill would have passed without their votes anyway. “I think we’re doing a good job,” he said added, referring to himself and the other members of the Republican Party in Congress.

“But we’ve got a big challenge in communications,” Rep. Olson went on. “We’ve got the Washington Times and Fox News, and a handful of other publications out there that give us a fair shake, and it’s important that we get that fair shake.” He discussed his concerns with the ability for Republicans to be treated fairly in the news, pointing out that the Democrats are relentless in their attacks on talk radio and other conservative media.

This, Rep. Olson contended, is why bloggers are so important. “ We can’t thank you guys enough for what you do,” he said to the bloggers present. In many ways, Rep. Olson acknowledged, blogs are the only places the other sides of stories get out to the world.

Rep. Olson stated that his goal in being a congressman is to make sure that his kids get a better life than he did. The great thing about America is “that every generation gets to do better,” he said, adding that with the work of bloggers and others who promote conservative or balanced media, there is some “sunshine coming through the clouds.”

“Keep doing what you’re doing,” Rep. Olson told the bloggers. “You are a power for us.”

Allie Winegar Duzett is an intern at the American Journalism Center, a training program run by Accuracy in Media and Accuracy in Academia.