by Dr. Ed Berry
Montana Senator Debby Barrett wrote a public letter on February 11 against the CSKT Water Compact. Her letter, like all letters against the Compact, fails to prove the people of Montana will be better served by rejecting the Compact rather than by approving the Compact.
Her letter shows she does not understand why the Montana legislature created the Reserved Water Rights Compact Commission in 1979, the facts of the Compact, the role of “principles” in making a decision, and the real issue of the Water Compact.
The issue is not whether the Water Compact is perfect, as all Compact opponents seem to think in their critiques. The issue is whether Montana will be better served with the Compact or without the Compact. The difference in outcomes of one road versus the other road is what matters. The Compact is a classic “Robert Frost” decision. The road taken will make all the difference.
Senator Barrett should have evaluated the differences in outcomes between accepting or rejecting the Compact before deciding to reject it. She did not do this. Therefore, her claims are frivolous.
Senator Barrett says voting for the Water Compact will “compromise” her “principles.” On an issue so critical to Montana, she should state her “principles” and tell how her “principles” cause her to reject the Compact. Her argument against the Compact is so devoid of facts and logic that we must question her “principles.”
Are her “principles” the same as those used by right-wing radicals who fail to vote for the most conservative candidate in final elections? So they vote Libertarian or not at all?
Are her “principles” the same as those used by right-wing radicals who claim they cannot vote for “the lesser of two evils”? If so, then Senator Barrett does not understand “principles” and until she does, she is as dangerous to Montanans as an unqualified pilot is to the passengers.
If in her mind approving the Compact is “evil” as she has described it, then had she done her homework she would have found rejecting the Compact would also be “evil.”
I wrote extensively about principles before the last election. Had Senator Barrett studied my arguments she would understand that our most important principle is to vote to achieve the greater good, even if this means voting for the “lesser of two evils.”
Therefore, the real issue of the Compact is which road, approving or rejecting, achieves the greater good for Montana.
Here are the reasons Senator Barrett gives for her rejection of the Compact and my comments on her reasons. [Read more…]