The Dillard Doctrine

Urban Conservative Commentary on Politics & Life

Uphold the Oath: A Letter to Congressman Scott Rigell

Congressman Rigell,

I wrote a similar letter to President Obama in 2009. While you and I are on the same ideological plane, it’s necessary to invoke the same sentiment for your swearing-in today.

We already share one oath as veterans, and today you will take the same one that I took during my time in DC. I think you know its significance, so I’m not going to dwell on that.

Supporting and defending the Constitution isn’t easy in this day and age. People who attempt to take it at its most literal often fail, as do those who attempt to “evolve” it to modern times. There is a middle ground, though we haven’t found it yet. With that, your job becomes supporting the Constitution as you know it. Sometimes, that will require you to make some hard choices. If you can make those decisions and know that, in your heart and mind, you acted in keeping with what its authors intended AND what your constituents want (and yes, that’s a balancing act), then you have done what you were sent to do. That is the mandate that comes with your oath.

The work of governing, by its very nature, requires compromise. Not of principles, which I know you well enough to expect you not to bend on. There will be times, however, where to accomplish your goals, you will have to accept those of others that you may not agree with. Regardless of what we heard during the campaign, governing without compromise is unrealistic. I expect that when the compromises do come, you will weigh your principles against them, and act accordingly.

Finally, on the local level: don’t forget who you represent. I know that, in some areas of the district, there are certain things expected of you because of the “R” behind your name. Your presence is needed in Norfolk as much as it is in Virginia Beach and the Eastern Shore. As you cast your votes-even the tough and/or unpopular ones-keep ALL your constituents in mind…and when you come back home, visit all of us, and don’t just hang out in Virginia Beach. Your campaign showed a willingness to reach out to everyone; having won, don’t abandon that.

With that, enjoy today…it is well earned. When the work begins, however, stay true to what you campaigned on. Keep your principles first. Support and defend our Constitution, even when it becomes unpopular to do so.

You have my support…and my best wishes.




Written by Coby Dillard

January 5, 2011 at 11:16 am

One Response

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  1. Addendum/Clarification:

    Also, in your defense of the Constitution, I would consider deferring to the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the law rather than your own. It is not your place as a legislative representative to interpret the Constitution when acting in that capacity.


    January 5, 2011 at 11:45 am

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