Republican Bob Goodlatte, mocked by the left in Virginia for his promise in his first congressional campaign in 1992 to limit himself to six terms, which he will double with his inevitable victory this November, is showing us why it’s best to cycle through our elected representatives every so often.
A quiet back-bencher early in his career, content not to ruffle feathers at home or on Capitol Hill, focused on sensible legislation and good constituent service, Goodlatte has morphed into a caricature of the Beltway TV conservative, Bobby Firebreather.
Case in point: his screeching performance in Buena Vista before a bipartisan audience on Monday, dropping Obamacare bombs here and even dredging up the stimulus as if this was still 2010 there.
You wanted to make sure he’d taken his blood-pressure meds, he was so red in the face as he pressed the case that he no doubt makes to partisan fundraising dinner crowds on a regular basis, to the delight of those in attendance at such affairs.
“We have a constitutional crisis in Washington, D.C., when we have a president of the United States who, instead of working with the Congress, says he’s got his pen and his cell phone, and he’s going to take the law into his own hands. That is not leadership. That is not what we need,” Goodlatte yelled into the microphone at Glen Maury Park.
“He gave us the job-killing Obamacare, that’s going to cost us two million jobs in America. He gave us the stimulus, nearly a trillion dollars in spending to create jobs, and instead we lost jobs. He is overregulating every segment of our economy …”
This Obama also sprouts horns and a tail at night, as do other Democrats, who are all socialists who hate America.
He didn’t say as much, but that was the general message.
Goodlatte referenced the “352 bills that have passed the House that are sitting on Harry Reid’s desk” and chided the Democratic Senate for not passing anything from the House Republican agenda.
“They need to pass bills in the Senate so that we can sit down and work together, and put bills that create jobs, create energy policy and create a strong America again,” Goodlatte said, oblivious to the role that Senate Republicans (read: Ted Cruz) play in making sure that the Senate as a whole passes nothing of substance, whether generated internally or coming over from the House.
This isn’t the Goodlatte that the Sixth elected in ’92 to replace Democrat Jim Olin in Washington in a tightly contested race, but rather a new breed emboldened by re-election victory after re-election victory in a district gerrymandered since to ensure a huge GOP majority that means he is Congressman-for-Life.
And you wonder why Congress is so dysfunctional. If this is what passes for statesmanship there, it’s obvious why we’re doomed.
– Column by Chris Graham