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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

It Goes Way Beyond Boucher

We defeated him, that's for sure.

But more than that, we exposed - and thwarted - the dastardly scheme mounted by his Washington buddies to tax and regulate us into oblivion by declaring CO2 to be a pollutant a taxable commodity through the now-infamous cap-and-trade proposal that he helped draft.  A scheme that, had it been implemented, would have spelled doom for thousands of families in Southwest Virginia.

That plot?  It now resides on the ash heap of history.

Where it is joined by the careers of more than a few politicians - like Rick Boucher - who put ideology ahead of concern for constituent well-being.  The rapturous news:
Day of reckoning for climate vote
By: Darren Samuelsohn and Robin Bravender, Politico

House Democrats who voted for the 2009 bill to cap greenhouse gas emissions – dubbed cap-and-tax by GOP opponents – had a terrible night.

Over two dozen lawmakers who favored efforts to clamp down on heat-trapping emissions were swept away on Tuesday's anti-incumbent wave, ushering in a new class of Republicans who doubt global warming science and want to upend President Barack Obama's environmental and energy policies.

Democrats who voted for the controversial House climate bill were slaughtered at the ballot box, including Rep. Rick Boucher, the 14-term Virginian who helped broker some of the key deals instrumental to its June 2009 passage. In the Senate, several reliable green advocates also went down to opponents who derided tough new environmental policies.

Come January, Obama will be working with a Congress that will have little appetite for the types of sweeping energy reform he sought over the last two years. With the House in Republican hands, some of the climate issue's most vocal advocates have been dislodged from their powerful perches, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman.

There's no hiding the House Democrats' bloodbath, with more than two dozen members who voted for the Pelosi-led climate bill losing their seats, and more likely to fall as the final tallies come in. The outcome sends a strong signal to moderate lawmakers as they consider any risky votes in future Congress' on energy and environmental issues.

"It's going to be cap and tax forever more, and I don't think any of these guys are ever going to touch it again," said Linda Stuntz, an industry attorney who held a top Energy Department spot during the George W. Bush administration. "I think anyone who thinks there's vitality left is kidding themselves."

Boucher's defeat is perhaps the most stinging given the central role he played in brokering key pieces of the legislation to make it more friendly to his home state's coal industry. Over the last 18 months, Boucher has defended his work on the climate bill, saying it's much better than the alternative of Environmental Protection Agency emission control regulations.

But his Republican opponent, state House Majority Leader Morgan Griffith, still found political leverage and ultimately won, 51 percent to 47 percent.

"I don't think there's any question about it, cap and trade was the issue in the campaign," Andy Wright, a former Boucher chief of staff, told POLITICO. "If Rick had voted no, he wouldn't have had a serious contest." [link]
It's not quite that cut and dry, but the point is well-taken.  Washington politicians - mostly all Democrats - got caught up in the hype and the hoopla surrounding the theory of "global warming" and dreamt up the only response they could, being Democrats: A crushing regimen of taxes and regulations that no one - NO ONE - believed would make one iota's difference in global temperatures.  Theirs was to tax and regulate for the sake of taxation and regulation period.  The average American who is struggling to pay his heating bill these days be damned.

And now they're gone.  Most all of them.

Good riddance.  May their kind never darken our doorway again.

- - -

Here's the disturbing truth with regard to Rick Boucher's loss: It didn't have to be.  The election was his for the taking all along.

Even with his vote in favor of cap-and-trade, he could have weaseled his way into reelection by pulling a Joe Manchin, by going on TV and oozing contrition, by admitting the grievous error of his ways, and by grabbing a gun and shooting high-caliber holes in his cap-and-trade bill.  Literally.

Instead Mr. Boucher stubbornly argued throughout the campaign season that his work on behalf of that coal-killing bill was righteous and that he had done the right thing in voting for it. This despite the fact that everyone on the planet knew by then that it was a gross miscarriage of the mandate we give our elected representatives in Washington.  Everyone.

The more he defended his actions, the more his poll numbers declined ... and declined ... and declined ...

Until, ultimately, he was sent packing, resoundingly, by the voters of Southwest Virginia.

If only he had had someone at his side giving him sound, real-world political advice.

But no.

Manchin, in case you're not aware of it, after being seriously behind in the polls over in West Virginia, rocketed into the lead when he made his startling strategic course adjustment and began to run to the right of every Republican in the land, resulting ultimately in ...

... his defeating his conservative Republican opponent by nine points.

A lesson to be learned.

- - -

One last point.  Rick Boucher claimed in his defense that he had done the deed at the behest of utility company executives who wanted him to mitigate the potential damage that the EPA might wreak upon their industry.

Power company executives.

The same power company executives who are viewed by everyone around here as being the Great Satan.

Boucher was doing their bidding.

Why he ever used them in his defense I'll never know.  Maybe the Taliban weren't available.

The Only Way They Know How To Win

Surprise.  Surprise:


That comes from the Washington Post, so you know. This the newspaper that single-handedly got James Webb elected in 2006. By concocting a scandal involving a non-word uttered by Webb's Republican opponent in a moment of levity. A non-word that became - somehow - a racial epithet. A racial epithet that got George Allen defeated.

So it worked for the Washington Post and the Virginia Democratic Party then; there's no reason to believe it can't work again. "Macaca" may be used up but, with a bit of imagination, I'm sure the lowlifes who made it happen can be counted on to pull a similar stunt again next time around.

With Webb coming up for reelection in 2012, time is of the essence.

Get started, sewer rats.

I Hope It's a One-Word Letter

Dear Messers McConnell and Boehner:

Earmarks.

Sincerely,

Signed: The Ones What Brung Ya

* They don't get that right, they won't get anything right.

Ouch

Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan looks upon the president with his burka now removed and is completely underwhelmed:
On Wednesday, President Obama gave a news conference to share his thoughts. Viewers would have found it disappointing if there had been any viewers. The president is speaking, in effect, to an empty room. From my notes five minutes in: "This wet blanket, this occupier of the least interesting corner of the faculty lounge, this joy-free zone, this inert gas." By the end I was certain he will never produce a successful stimulus because he is a human depression.

Actually I thought the worst thing you can say about a president: He won't even make a good former president.
And this from a woman who almost voted for the guy, so captivated was she at one time with his soaring oratorical skills that seem to have somehow vanished.

If they were ever there at all.

Oops

I hate it when I get something wrong.  As I have on infrequent occasions.

But I don't think I've ever gotten a weblog post this wrong before.

ThinkProgress, a wild-eyed lefty website, accused an influential Bush supporter(!) of having pulled the trigger that got Keith Olbermann rubbed out at MSNBC recently.  Only problem is, that supporter has no influence whatsoever at the liberals' favorite cable channel.  At least not yet.

Too funny.  Too embarrassing.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Obama Got One Thing Right ...

... in his post-election news conference the other day (and it wasn't that the election proved that the American people are wanting those in Washington to cooperate with one another more closely in solving problems).  It was this:

"I think that there is no doubt that people's number one concern is the economy. And what they were expressing great frustration about is the fact that we haven't made enough progress on the economy." (source)

That admission would actually go a long way toward explaining the election rout that took place here in parts of Southwest Virginia.  I and others have made a lot of Rick Boucher's vote in favor of cap-and-trade.  And we could have made a big deal of his support for ObamaCare, except for the fact that, in the end, he voted against it.

What it does explain is Carroll and Patrick County.  Look at these vote margins as reported by the Virginia Board of Elections on Tuesday night:


The Democrat lost bigger there than anywhere else in the 9th District. With nearby Washington County coming in close with a 56% to 41% spread. And with Grayson County at 54% to 42% and Henry County 52% to 45%.  With Wythe at 53-44.

Couple those statistics with these:

Henry County, Grayson County, Carroll County, Whthe County, and Patrick County are all laboring under double-digit unemployment (with Martinsville's rate of joblessness being triple the state average and Galax's being double).

Here's an illustrative map showing the problem in stark terms:


Add to this dilemma the fact that Rick Boucher aired political ad after political ad on TV in which he touted his ability to bring jobs to his district.  His district was watching and saying ... Huh?

Is it any wonder this part of the state voted for ... change?

Someone once said, "It's the economy, stupid."  That someone was certainly right when it came to Southwest Virginia.

Boucher Who?

To think, our (soon-to-be former) congressman took a bullet for the cause, that cause being Obama's cap-and-trade energy bill, and the captain of the team that had championed that cause says uh, never mind, we'll find us a new cause.

Poor Rick.

From yesterday's comments to "Boucher Walked the Plank," we learn the following:
The irony is so thick you can cut it with a windmill blade. Obama now drops cap and trade support. This will haunt Rick Boucher's dreams for the rest of his life.

"Cap-and-trade was just one way of skinning the cat; it was not the only way," Obama said at a news conference Wednesday, a day after Democrats lost control of the House. "I'm going to be looking for other means to address this problem."

Legislation putting a limit on heat-trapping greenhouse gases and then allowing companies to buy and sell pollution permits under that ceiling narrowly passed the House in 2009 as a centerpiece of Obama's domestic agenda, but it stalled in the Senate.
Think ol' Rick isn't upset? Cap-and-trade was the reason he got beat on Tuesday. And now Obama drops it like a smelly bag of dog poop.

Perhaps he deserved better. Perhaps he didn't.

But he sure as heck should have known better.

And for that he'll not be forgiven. Nor missed.

Thanks, SL.