June 11, 2008
Surprise, Surprise: NCGOP leaders are beginning to speak out against some of Patrick McHenry’s Republican-branded Xenophobia, many calling his crude attack methods against Democrats (many of which have caused him some embarassing moments in the House), even so far to say what has to be the greatest quote of this election season:
“McHenry and a lot of other Republicans in Washington need to get a clue,” – Lee Teague, the GOP chairman in Mecklenburg County
McHenry’s patent brand of Xenophobia was first seen in 2004, when McHenry used it to attack his Democratic challenger for his seat. McHenry became somewhat famous in the 10th District for blaming “Liberals” for many of Congress’ woes- generally speaking at GOP meetings about how Nancy Pelosi was “after him”.
The truth is, McHenry’s Liberal-bashing agenda has not only soured Democratic tastes, but also many Republicans, as the party struggles to reach across the aisle in a Democrat-controlled Congress. Ever since Democrats took control of Congress in 2006, Republicans have been working very hard to push Conservative legislation in Congress, which naturally requires the support of Democrats- but McHenry’s comments, including claiming Democrats were going overboard with earmarks, has done nothing but harm negotiations.
One perfect example of this was McHenry’s own major earmark, the “Home of the Perfect Christmas Tree”, which totaled up to $129,000- out of taxpayer funds. McHenry began in 2007 with a vicious campiagn attacking both Liberals and Conservatives for “pork barrel projects”, claiming massive waste of funds in Congress. Rather than attempting to work with many Democrats, he attacked voraciously, embarassing fellow Republicans with his childish speech. McHenry, naturally, never mentioned his own $129,000 pork barrel project- making sure to never mention it, despite vicious attacks he made on Congress at the same time.
The result? Congress decided to strip one pork barrel project: McHenry’s. 100 Republicans and 149 Democrats voted to strip one single line item out of a bill: McHenry’s “Perfect Christmas Tree” pork barrel project.
Washington – For the first time, one of Representative Jeff Flake’s (R-AZ) amendments to eliminate wasteful pork projects passed. Late last night, 100 Republicans and 149 Democrats voted to strip the Financial Services Appropriations Bill (HR 2829) of a $129,000 pork project offered by fellow Republican Patrick McHenry (R-NC) for the “Perfect Christmas Tree” project—a venture to subsidize North Carolina artists who make holiday decorations.
You read it correctly: 249 members of Congress were so angry with McHenry’s attacks that they decided to punish Avery County because their Congressman so hypocritically bashed pork barrel spending when he was participating in it himself. One would find it hilarious if it was not for the fact that now Avery County can forget about future money, thanks to a hard-headed Congressman and his attempts to scuplt Michelangelo’s David with a chainsaw for his own ego.
Of course, more recently, Patrick McHenry has been attacking challenger Daniel Johnson (a Democrat, naturally), with his same brand of Xenophobia as before. Not one month ago, McHenry claimed that Johnson was “Nancy Pelosi’s chosen recruit” with “pockets stuffed with cash from Washington liberals,”- despite having no proof. Embarassing the Republican party of his entire district, McHenry continues to throw out foolishly childish attacks against the Liberals, without any kind of substantive reason to attack. This is only months before McHenry called his Republican primary challenger “Lying Lance”- while not proving why he called him a liar (McHenry’s office loves to point out that it was his press spokesman who called him “Lying Lance”, trying to distance him from the embarassing comment).
The best thing is? McHenry’s tried to hide it. The NC Democratic Party jumped on the attack on Johnson quickly, obviously angry (as they usually get)- McHenry then removed the text. You can see the original version of the text on this blog (Warning: Not Safe for Conservatives), and his “new” version on his website, with the lines edited out. Obviously, McHenry knew this wasn’t working well.
This is certainly not to say that Republicans are supposed to not point out Democratic hypocracy: but when your attacks are full of doublespeak and without substantive reason, they do nothing but embarass your party. Trust us, there are many things to call out the Democrats on: name-calling is not one of them.