Who is Dave Camp?
The short answer is that he is the Congressman from Michiganâ€™s 4th District. But who is he, really? What does he stand for? Who does he work for?
Those are fair questions. Consider this â€“
Dave Camp is a member of the Republican Study Committee, an extreme right wing group that was â€œorganized for the purpose of advancing a conservative social and economic agenda in the House of Representatives. The Republican Study Committee is dedicated to:
* a limited and Constitutional role for the federal government,
Based on his voting record, itâ€™s not surprising that he is a member of the RSC. But hereâ€™s the fun in all of this: Camp is also a member of the Main Street Republicans.
So whatâ€™s the big deal?
Well, the Main Street Republicans are a moderate group, whose mission is â€œto promote thoughtful leadership in the Republican Party, and to partner with individuals, organizations and institutions that share centrist values.â€
How does this translate on the issues? Letâ€™s take a look at stem cell research, for example:
The Republican Study Committee has not written anything original on this issue, but directs the visitor offsite for material that articulates the RSC position:
â€œHuman embryonic stem-cell research is illegal, immoral, and unnecessary. It is ILLEGAL regarding use of federal funds because Congress has stated that no funds should be used for research which
involves the creation or destruction of human embryos for research purposes, and human embryos are destroyed in the process of deriving human embryonic stem cells.
It is IMMORAL, because human beings are killed in the process. Scientifically there is no disputing that we are a human being even at the one-cell stage. It has never been acceptable to sacrifice one set of human lives for the potential benefit of others (and they are only potential benefits at this point.) Human embryonic stem cell research assigns different values to different human beings, designating some as people and some as property.
It is totally UNNECESSARY. Ethical alternatives exist such as adult stem cells which have already shown much more promise than embryonic cells, these results for adult stem cells are fully detailed in the
scientific literature, and that adult stem cells are already being used clinically, making good on the potential that embryonic stem cells only promise.â€
The Main Street Republicans do not share that opinion:
“One of the top legislative priorities for the Republican Main Street Partnership in the 109th Congress is stem-cell research. Rep. Mike Castle, President of RMSP has introduced legislation (H.R. 810) that
would expand the current federal embryonic stem-cell policy by funding research on new stem-cell lines that have been ethically derived– from discarded embryos created through the in-vitro fertilization (IVF) process- through informed consent of the donors, and without financial inducement.”
So â€¦ who is Dave Camp?
Is he the extreme right-wing neo-con who foolishly believes you can simultaneously limit the federal government while legislating family values? Or is he the common sense centrist interested in thoughtful leadership?
That all depends on his fellow House Republicans. They donâ€™t call him â€œRubber Stamp Campâ€ for nothinâ€™.
Since Camp took office in 1990, he has voted with the majority of his party on all but three votes. And in all three cases in which he voted with the minority of his party, the House Republicans were nearly evenly split. One can safely assume that he didnâ€™t vote with the majority simply because he guessed wrong on those three occasions as to how the majority would vote.
Itâ€™s not easy to stand up to your friends, but if you are a principled person, there will most likely come a time when it needs to be done. Camp either lacks the courage to stand up to his fellow Republicans, or he truly believes that his party is always right.