Monday, April 13, 2009

Republican Candidate Bradley Rees on Rep. Perriello's Budget Vote

I recently stumbled upon this post by Bradley Rees, Republican candidate for Congress, on Rep. Perriello's vote against Obama's budget proposal. Importantly, Perriello was one of 20 Democrats to break ranks with Obama and the party and to vote against the budget; Rep. Perriello was concerned with the long term consequences of the proposal. Yet, curiously, Bradley ponders Perriello's motives:
That being said (and ever being the cynic), I can’t help but wonder if there might be an ulterior motive here. In a word: 2010. After all, Tom has the cover of a significant Democrat majority in the House. Politically expedient votes can come in handy in a tough election cycle. Consider the fact that he won by less than 1% last November December, and he didn’t have a voting record for Goode to attack last time around, and the picture starts to become pretty clear.
But, hey, that’s politics, right? Yep. Sure is. DC politics as usual (that everyone thought they voted to change). “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Oh, well. 2010 awaits…
I'm concerned with the logic pattern that has emerged here, nevermind the exemplary and textbook straw-man therein. Bradley attacks Perriello when he disagrees with Perriello, and Bradley attacks Perriello when he agrees with Perriello. When Perriello votes over and against Bradley's desires, Perriello is dead-wrong, or logically, a partisan idealogue (1, 2, 3). But, where Perriello and Bradley do agree, Perriello is just playing politics. Sure, one time does not a pattern make, but twice a pattern emerges. Saith Bradley on Rep. Perriello's vote against re-funding TARP:
While I applaud my Congressman for voting against this new bailout, I must, as a rational human being, call his motives into question.
Bradley, you can't have it both ways, and this strategy devalues your likable voice; you can't pick and choose from these possibilities to suit your campaign agenda.

I'm reminded of the second Danville debate between then Rep. Goode and Perriello. A question was asked to the candidates about 2nd Amendment rights, and both Goode and Perriello were talking up their strong NRA credentials. Goode kept blasting at Tom, even though the NRA gave Tom the highest rank possible for a challenger. Tom stopped Goode and asked him, "Why can't you just admit that on this issue you and I agree?" The admission of agreement, left there, was adult-style politics, and the crowd loved it. At that moment, Goode looked small, weak.


Linda said...

Good point.

CWPNRG? said...

Obviously, I'm appreciative that he did vote against the bloated budget. I'm just confused why Perriello couldn't vote for one budget out of the 5 proposed. If he's addressed that, and I've missed it, my apologies. But I just don't understand why he couldn't support any of them...

Drew said...

CWPNRG?, Tom did cast a vote for all of the budget proposals. Tom voted against them all, presumably for the same reason. Here are the roll calls:

1.) The actual budget2.) The Republican alternative3.) The Congressional Black Caucus alternative4.) The Republican Study Committee alternative5.) The Progressive Caucus alternativeHope that helps. Not sure where you got that bad information, but if you could pass it along.

Drew said...

Sorry about the bad formatting on my previous post; it looked good in the preview, but didn't post like the preview.

One last thing CWPNRG?. Tom on the Republican alternatives: I considered but voted against the two Republican alternatives. The primary alternative ran up similar deficits while sticking with many of the policies that got us into this mess. The second alternative that was even rejected by most in Republican leadership, gave tax cuts for Wall Street and cut benefits to seniors, one of the groups hardest hit by this economic downturn. Typically the minority party has more flexibility to produce a serious, responsible budget, but I was disappointed with the results.

CWPNRG? said...

I knew he voted on all them - but he voted for none of them.

Thanks for that quote: so basically he's telling me that he's to the right of the Republican leadership budget - but the RSC budget cut programs that were too important and had too many tax cuts for the rich, etc. Interesting.

Anonymous said...


First of all, thanks for posting on me again. You have no idea how much traffic you are driving to my blog. It is much appreciated.

Secondly, I was left a bit awe-struck by your post. The thought had never entered my mind that questioning the motives of a politician could be construed as constructing a "straw-man." Is it fair to say that your purpose in posting this was to chastise me for daring to question Mr. Perriello's motives? That is the way it comes across.

If you'll note the language I used in my post, it becomes pretty clear that I was merely bringing up the possibility that Mr. Perriello's motives may not match his rhetoric. The accusatory nature you seem to have attached to my post should have been blunted by my intentional use of the qualifiers "ever being the CYNIC," "can't help but WONDER," and "MIGHT be." All of these qualifiers, I may add, were included in the same sentence.

I suppose someone should have told Raymond Burr and Andy Griffith that calling one's motives into question is out-of-bounds. Perhaps they would have thought twice about taking on the title roles in those popular (although, evidently, fatally flawed) TV dramas.

Seriously, though, I was under the impression that our entire legal system would collapse without the ability to adjudicate on the basis of motive. That is, to my understanding, the main distinction between classes of misdemeanors and felonies, and a major determinant in hate crimes cases.

Without being free to question one's actions, as well as motives, we lose a huge part of the interaction involved in our political process. This is not, as you suggested, "having it both ways," but rather utilizing the logic God blessed us with to its full extent.

Without the ability to simply pose a question about a person's motives for a particular action (regardless of whether you agree or disagree with said action), our entire political process and legal system would be lacking a crucial element.

Not to mention the fact that we wouldn't have Perry Mason, Sherlock Holmes, Ben Matlock, or Auguste Dupin to look up to anymore. What kind of world are you trying to subject us to, Drew? Why? WHY?!! ;-)

Butch Porter said...


This is why you need to run under a third party.