Rick Becker: Stop Hiding From #NoDAPL Heidi Heitkamp


It is long past due for Senator Heidi Heitkamp to make a statement and take a position with regard to #NODAPL.

She has been conspicuously absent during these many months that these protests and illegal activities have been escalating. Although I disagree with her unprincipled mode of thinking, I get it. It’s politically smart for her to avoid taking a position. On one side she has a critical voting bloc with Native Americans. On the other side, she has oil and energy, critical to the North Dakota economy.

She has, up until recently, been able to traverse the two.

People are noticing her refusal to take position as evidenced on her own Facebook page. Regardless of her post content, the ensuing comments decry her for not taking a position on DAPL.

Comments such as, “Every comment on every post is #NODAPL. Please address the issue” and “Stop being a coward.”

The liberal left and environmentalists are noticing too. On Indianz.com it states, “Senator Heidi Heitkamp who otherwise is an outspoken advocate on tribal issues, released a carefully-worded and somewhat pained statement…that glossed over the unprecedented nature of the Obama administration’s action in regard to the pipeline.”

[mks_pullquote align=”left” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]Senator Heitkamp, there are times when no decision is a decision. When no action is an action. When not saying where you stand actually says exactly where you stand. [/mks_pullquote]

I agree with them, and following her statement, started the hash tag #HedgingHeidi.

The statement referred to here came after a Federal Court ruling, which sided with the pipeline company after full deliberation. This was immediately followed up with the Obama administration’s nearly unprecedented action. His action stomped on the judicial process, exhibited extreme executive branch overreach, and gave the middle finger to the rule of law, the separation of powers, and the people of North Dakota.

So, yes Senator Heitkamp, I think your statement was pained and glossed over Obama’s actions, too. Unlike Indianz.com, however, I want to hear you admonish the administration for this egregious action. This is exactly the type of situation in which the people of North Dakota want to know you will stand up to a President on their behalf.

Yes, even if he is the leader of your party. If you won’t do that, why are you there?

Until now behaving like a Clinton – ignoring it until it goes away – as been mostly working for you, but your colleague Chase Iron Eyes has changed that. You have no choice now, despite the unfamiliar territory of standing for something which may cause you to lose votes.

Mr. Iron Eyes was part of your team of 2016 Congressional candidates, along with Sen. Glassheim and yourself. Yesterday Mr. Iron Eyes came out publicly supporting illegal activities of protesters in Bismarck and Mandan.

In a very conspiratorial tone, he references Snowden, and implies the torching of vehicles and equipment was an inside job. He states, “They are leaving no options but to take the fight to Bismarck-Mandan.”

Alluding to illegal behavior, he writes, “I never like to ask people to do things I wouldn’t do myself, but DAPL is forcing our hand.” In a thinly-veiled provocation to violence he further states, “Never agree to illegal behavior online, never urge illegal behavior or agree with anyone in person to do illegal things or with a phone present, even if you trust them.”

He offers these recommendations to avoid being implicated in violence because of “high surveillance on everything”.

It’s unfortunate that Mr. Iron Eyes doesn’t follow the lead of Chairman David Archambault in advocating only non-violent actions. Fault Mr. Archambault for many things, but he is not advocating violence.

Senator Heitkamp, there are times when no decision is a decision. When no action is an action. When not saying where you stand actually says exactly where you stand.

Come out now and denounce Mr. Iron Eyes, and repudiate all illegal and violent actions of the protesters.

No more wavering and hedging. The people of North Dakota want to know if you have the fortitude to stand up for them.