I got an opportunity to speak to this man a few hours ago:

Former Congressman Ed Bryant,
candidate for Senator from Tennessee

I’ll cover the canned speech a little later, but first I must tell you that immediately after Ed’s (first) talk I walked up to shake his hand. He looked at me carefully, reached out to shake my hand and said, “It’s good to see you again.

As far as I can recall, I have met Mr. Bryant exactly one time: over a year ago on February 24, 2005. Why can’t I have a memory like that?

After a few pleasantries, I told Ed that I was glad to hear that he believed that the 2nd Amendment allows citizens to carry weapons for self protection. I then swept back my sports jacket on my side and showed him my belt, saying, “I wear this empty holster so that every day I am reminded that our freedoms are being taken away. Not just the Second Amendment, but all our rights. So that issue is very important to me.

We then talked about the importance of protecting our rights and the need for real conservatives on the Judiciary Committee (which, given his background, I believe he would be chosen to serve on).

As to his speech, I actually heard Ed Bryant twice tonight: at a small “meet and greet” and then (after a short walk down the hall to a larger room) at the local Bartlett chapter of the GOP. So the following is the paraphrasing of a compilation of the two talks. Basically, Ed said:

  • He participated in setting up a Healthcare Task Force to help control costs. While such measures cannot fully mitigate the exploding costs of health care, they keep wasteful spending down.
  • As a U.S. Attorney, Ed Bryant sought to prosecute felons under Operation Triggerlock. [Note: while I support such programs in spirit, I am appalled by the excesses that “mandatory” prosecutions and sentencing inevitably lead to.]
  • Illegal Immigration, or as he likes to call it ‘people who are illegally crossing our border’, because they are not here to immigrate and do not plan to assimilate. This is a problem that could lead to the Balkinazation of our country. We must stop the bleeding and so must post troops on the border (whether it is the National Guard or regular troops) to send a clear message to the Mexican government. These troops should be given enforcement power, not put in a supportive capacity like the President wants.
  • A Manhattan Style project must be established to develop alternative energy cars within five years. Rather than going to Mars, we should partner with academia and private industry to develop cars that can compete with gas-powered cars. America should continue to be the country of innovation. In the meantime we should control prices by drilling in ANWR and off the coast as well as build more refineries.
  • A great deal of every congressional session is spent battling over the budget. There should be one budget every two years. The extra time should be spent overseeing the spending and controlling waste.
  • The world changed on Sept. 11. We cannot afford to put people in office or on a court who we have to guess how they will vote.
  • Bryant answered a question about the super-trade pact that Bush is establishing behind the scenes. Bryant says that it smacks of the EU and that the Senate needs to pay attention and should be involved. It doesn’t make sense to enter into a local trade union; we need to be in a global trade union.
  • Bryant said that he is not willing to concede an inch of sovereignty to the UN, but thinks that it does some good. However, while in the House he voted to slow UN funding to protest bad behavior.

Cross posted AlphaPatriot.com.

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