Friday, November 16, 2007

The Appropriate Level of Praise for a Congressman

Some commenters here have (perfectly understandably) bristled when I point out things that Pat Tiberi has done right. Mr. Tiberi is after all still a conservative, still a partisan Republican, and still enables President Bush in some of his most egregious policies.

On the other hand, Mr. Tiberi has, in recent months, made some votes that would seem to indicate a willingness to at least appear moderate and in touch with his constituency (not to mention get back in the good graces of the Dispatch... I mean, Riskind is not calling out anybody in particular, but Pat's professional behavior from last November until the SCHIP vote has made the CD's endorsement editorial look more and more tragicomic), and I'm not willing to play it both ways. It's pretty awkward for me to jump and scream at wrong-headed partisan votes (of which there have been plenty) and then insult him when he avoids making wrong-headed partisan votes.

To be fair to my critics, though, this attitude on my part runs the risk of the exceptions carrying more weight than the rule. So how to cover something like the recent ENDA vote, in which Tiberi broke ranks with the GOP and voted, commendably, to end workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation?

Well, I guess one could do it as the Washington Blade does:

Republicans from Louisiana, Ohio and Virginia were among the 13 who received Human Rights Campaign’s lowest congressional scorecard rating in 2006, yet voted Nov. 7 to support ENDA...

...“The people that we see on this vote is a sign of the progress we’re making,” he said. “It really is uncharted territory for some of these folks, and we appreciate the strong support they gave this bill.”

Sammon said Republican support for ENDA also shows some GOP congressmen are aiming to win over moderate voters next year.

“You have folks who are looking ahead to 2008 and they see the landscape is going to be very difficult and they need to reach out to moderate voters,” he said. “This is one issue to do that on...."

...Among the Republicans with zero scorecard ratings that supported ENDA were Reps. John Campbell of California, Tom Davis of Virginia, Phil English of Pennsylvania, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Vito Fossella of New York, Randy Kuhl of New York, Jim McCrery of Louisiana, John McHugh of New York, Candice Miller of Michigan, Jon Porter of Nevada, Jim Ramstad of Minnesota, Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Patrick Tiberi of Ohio.

1 comment:

nekervis said...

Re: "get(ing) back in the good graces of the Dispatch"

Out of curiosity, when was the last time The Dispatch failed to endorse a central Ohio Republican Congressman against a Democratic opponent?
Unless Tiberi shoots a puppy on live television, I really can't see The Dispatch turning on him.

That said, good for Tiberi for his ENDA vote.