Friday, February 13, 2009

Late to the party (Cowing to the Party Update)

Update: Uh-oh! Flip-Flop! Cao says no to jobs, schools, roads, and levies for his own district. So much for yesterday's playful explanation of his intention to vote yea on stimulus:

"The GOP leadership, they fully understand my situation and the needs of my district, " [Cao] said.

Scalise, the assistant Republican whip, laughed when asked whether it was his responsibility to keep Cao in line, adding that a few Republican defections are to be expected.

Joked Cao, "Steve Scalise doesn't know kung fu. I know kung fu. He can't whip me."

So just how did Congressman Scalise 'whip' the rookie Cao into dis-understanding the needs of his district?

Does this mean Joseph Cao's honeymoon is over now?


Original post

Congressman Cao's noble pledge to vote for the stimulus bill on his second-go-round with the legislation is like sneaking your name onto someone else's gift at an office birthday party after the present has already been opened.

Not an office guy myself, but I'm confident in the analogy.

"I'm voting along what my conscience dictates and the needs of the 2nd Congressional District dictate, even if I were to be the only member of the GOP to vote for the stimulus package, " he said.

"Even though it is going to be a humongous bill, even though we will be in debt for years, I believe that more likely than not, I will vote for it because the 2nd Congressional District needs a stimulus package."

The Times-Picayune's Jonathan Tilove certainly doesn't get in the way of Cao's self-congratulation.

In fact, Cao was totally MIA when this bill was being crafted. He did absolutely nothing to articulate the needs of the district and was not properly engaged with the detailed plans of various municipal and state agencies. He did not leverage his vote to try and get money for schools, roads, public transit, or energy infrastructure. He voted 'no' when it counted, when his vote would have meant something in terms of the structure of the bill. Then, he was in lock-step with his obstructionist, do-nothing, Hooverite brethren.

And it cost the city of New Orleans.

I've been doing a lot of heavy examination behind the scenes of how various state and municipal agencies collaborated with our Congressional delegation, national organizations, and with the Obama transition team. I'm trying to work it all into one big picture but there are many layers. I promise results soon.

Suffice it to say, we could have used some real representation in the House. I'm not sure Bill Jefferson would have been appreciably better but he at least would have tried.

I'm glad to see Cao is voting for the stimulus now but the Congressman from the most devastated city in the nation needs to bring more to work than a lunch box and a 'yea' vote. Legislate, my good man. Legislate.


Tim said...

Wow, didn't take long for Gao to become a full-fledged politician, did it?

As you observe, he hasn't done a damn thing to help, and now he knows full well that he can vote "for" the stimulus bill to impress the locals without pissing off his Republican Party paymasters. And if push comes to shove, he can always claim to have voted against the bill before he voted for it.

It's disgusting.



E said...

Well that's interesting. I didn't interpret it as Cao becoming 'politicized,' that's not quite what I've discovered.

Rather, Cao's failure here seems to have a lot more to do with incompetence, naivety, and absence than it does shrewd or insidious political calculation.

Superdeformed said...

Cao is a weak 1 term nobody that is part of a pointless minority party in the House.

At least he's not Bill Jefferson.

Anonymous said...

How was Cao a better choice than Bill Jefferson?

Cao said from day one that he was a conservative, pro-life Republican. If you voted for Cao, you supported the party and policies of George Bush.

So Jefferson took bribes. What is Cao doing? When push comes to shove, Cao toes the Republican line if the party promises him future funding, power, or a lucrative job after he leaves office. That's just another form of bribery (Look at Billy Tauzin and John Breaux--all "honest" politicians who made millions by doing favors while in office).

Bill Jefferson secured billions in aid after Katrina because of his power in the black caucus. We traded one corrupt politician for another corrupt one, and the poor and displaced will pay the price.

So now the nation thinks that not only are we knaves, but fools as well.

E said...

In my opinion, the real tragedy was the inability to reform the Democratic ticket via the primary process.

Tim said...

In my opinion, the real tragedy is America's death pact with two political parties that everyone agrees are total failures.