Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Randy Forbes: Deceptive Constitutional Scholar

When last we checked in on Randy Forbes he was in the Hall of Shame for voting in support of H.R. 3548. Randy was just happy to support a bill that would tax Virginia businesses and give the unemployed in failed states like California, New York, and Michigan more money. My criticism isn't with the idea of unemployment insurance, my criticism is with the idea that you can tax half the country to pay for the poor economic management of the other half. And even if Virginia is a well managed state overall because of our conservative political culture (which will reassert itself in sending Bob McDonnell back to Richmond as Governor in a few days), there are still areas like Petersburg in Randy's district that are hurting. Congressman Forbes voted to tax businesses in Petersburg, destroying job growth, in order to send checks to Detroit or New York City.

I was really angry at this vote because Randy Forbes, Rob Wittman, AND Frank Wolf all voted for the bill. On the Democratic side in the Old Dominion, Tom Perriello, Glenn Nye, Gerry Connolly, and Jim Moran voted against it! Even the liberals knew this was a bad idea!! And two of our leading conservatives (Wittman and Forbes, sorry Wolf) either didn't read the bill or didn't care about their constituents.

Now I see that Randy Forbes has a tweet asking people what they think about requiring members of Congress to sign up for the public option:

@Randy_Forbes Tell me what you think:Should Members of Congress have to enroll themselves in the healthcare plan they vote for?

Here's what Congressman Forbes has to say:

I have joined with 94 fellow Members of Congress to cosponsor H. Res. 615, which would require those Members who vote in favor of a government run healthcare plan to forgo their current health plan (FEHBP) and agree to enroll under the public option.

Here is the problem with H. Res. 615. It is a resolution expressing "the sense of the House of Representatives that Members who vote in favor of the establishment of a public, Federal Government run health insurance option are urged to forgo their right to participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) and agree to enroll under that public option."

Expressing the sense of the House that Members should do something isn't the same thing as requiring Members to do something. The House passes pointless, stupid, meaningless resolutions all the time expressing the sense of the House. They can pass one urging members to brush their teeth. Doesn't make anyone do it. Hell, they could pass one urging members to pay their taxes, but Charlie Rangel wouldn't change his tune. It's not law. It's not binding. It's meaningless and empty.

Or, in other words and with apologies to LBJ, Randy Forbes is giving us chicken shit and calling it chicken salad.

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