Congressional Ruminations…

…now that SWMBO has finished student teaching and I am back on the Dawn Patrol.  I will have to handle this better (hopefully) come the fall.

It was interesting to watch the contenders rise and fall in Va-10.  Jim Trautz bailed on a GOP challenge to Frank Wolf, and Rich Anthony-the initial Lowell Feld crush in the race-dropped out of the race for the Democratic nomination due to health issues.  Now apparently the Demos will line up behind Jeff Barnett, who does not at first blush offer any more real hope to beat Frank Wolf than did Jim Socas, Judy Feder, or-in fact-Rich Anthony.

I look forward to yet another Jim Moran cycle in Va-8.  Congressman Moran, despite his enormous foibles and inability to keep his temper under wraps, will trot along to another huge and/or unopposed victory.  Along the way he will commit some bizarre act demonstrating how wrong it is for him to be in Congress, the media will voice its indignation, petitions will be raised, demands for his removal will be heard, and the Eighth District will send him back.

Why am I so sure?  Because it has been some time since Congressman Moran has assaulted a minor in a parking lot, castigated a religioius minority, or engaged in unseemly financial relations with constituents with legislation before Congress, and we are about due.  After all, a teapot can only withstand the steam pressure for so long.

Meanwhile in Va-11, my home district, Keith Fimian seems intent on assuring Gerry Connolly’s reelection.  Fimian, who has treated the candidacy of Pat Herrity like it was a mortal insult from the day Herrity announced, has gone on the attack at this site. While I appreciate that Fimian made his fortune in the cartage business, I hoped he would have left hauling garbage to his professional activities and left it out of the political.

I don’t mind substantive debate, but I do find intellectually insulting how Fimian claims Herrity raised taxes due to his vote on the residential tax rate. First off, all the GOP members of the board voted for it-are they also high tax drones? Second, he doesn’t address property tax assessments…which seem to have dropped across Fairfax County as the bottom fell out of the real estate market. Incomplete arguments like this can serve to injure both candidates.

This is a time Fairfax County is cutting back on services, cutting back on library hours, raising rates for park usage, considering doing away with school activities to save money. Fimian doesn’t address the need for a tax increases, or whether they could have been avoided…which makes his arguments a little shy of intellectual heft.

Fimian also takes a whack at Herrity for approving a one cent additional increase in a stormwater district, but again fails to provide details about why the increase was even being considered and why it was wrong to approve it. I don’t know that anyone would be surprised that the stormwater tab was in fact not a new tax or an increase, but setting aside as a separate entity something that had previously been wrapped up in the property tax.

Keith Fimian is proving himself to be the poster boy for one of the current ills of the GOP. He wants to lead, but offers no idea of now he would get there. He criticizes Herrity for a tax increase vote, but does not offer context or an alternative plan that would have avoided the tax increase.

It is one thing to attack an opponent’s record…it is another one to do so in a half-assed manner that omits facts and does not explain why the vote was bad.

However, there is an undercurrent to this tactic that I find especially worrisome. There have been many discussions of the attacks, and two that caught my eye were here and here. There is a random glee to the Fimian supporters who flail at Herrity for voting for the rate increase while refusing to take note of the totality of the vote-things like property values dropping, the budget negotiations that kept the increase down, the fact that when the rate was approved all the GOP board members were praised for working to keep the increase down instead of launching a protest vote and allowing the Dem majority to do as they wanted.

Perhaps the best commentary on the Fimian side was a comment at the TooConservative post linked above. Written by “Dan”, and commenting on Chris Beers assertion that he like the HHT side because he liked to see the “squishes” get upset, he said:

Chris, I am confused by your comment. I am not a Republican so please enlighten me. I assume your comment about “squishes” is directed at people who you deem to be insufficiently conservative. As you define the word conservative, of course. Not necessarily how it was traditionally defined for many years prior to the current insanity in the Republican Party that is so often misidentified as conservatism.
Since what seems to have gotten the squishes, as you call them, in a tiff is the fact that Fimian has shown such a willingness to lie with complete abandon, are you saying that telling the truth is for “squishes” and that lying is now a “conservative” virtue? Or is it just okay to lie tactically when you are way behind as Fimian appears to be?

Strange times, indeed…


4 thoughts on “Congressional Ruminations…

  1. I’ll vote for whoever is opposing Gerry Connolly. I do, however, wish it would be somebody that believes in limited government. Fimian’s choice of words may or may not be disingenuous, but he is missing a good opportunity. Herrity appears unwilling to make the tough decisions and scale back government spending to accommodate for reduced revenues.

    The Fairfax solution is to adjust taxes and fees to increase revenue that is disproportionate to the economic trends. I don’t care how “conservative” is defined – that behavior doesn’t jive.

  2. Herrity and his crew of insiders created the problems we have and they have no idea how to solve them. Worse yet, he is basically a Tom Davis clone. A RINO trying to disguise himself as a conservative. If Connolly holds the seat, It will be Herrity’s fault for entering the race late, splitting the vote, and causing dissension in the base. He should have been content to stay on the board. He’s never created a job, he raised my taxes, and he’s not ready for prime time.

  3. Bwana:
    It has been a two sided sword for me over the years to say this, because most of the times it has been as a result of a joke at my expense, however, when you are right – YOU ARE RIGHT. Mr. Fimian is lying and not telling the whole story. Also, he is running the same anti-politician campaign and while that may work out in the hinterlands, to those of us herein close proximity to the Capital that doesn’t fly – the thing he also fails to say when he comes on with this “I’m a business man not a politician” line, is that two years ago a seasoned politcian defeated him and while Mr. Connelly’s margin of victory was tighter than I thought it would be, for the 11th District it was still a convincing victory and if Mr. Fimian is again the nominee, then Connelly will continue to be our congressman. As a Republican I am tired of this winning the party battle and losing the November war – Mr. Herrity can win us the War! So Go Pat Go!!!
    Take care Bwana,

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