WASHINGTON — Rep. Peter DeFazio is angry.
Just watch any of his speeches on the House floor:
He’s angry with the White House’s “lame program” for stem-cell research. He’s angry “the government’s borrowing about $800 million a day.” He’s angry “the House is going to use valuable time to vote on banning the threat of gay marriage.” He’s angry that oil companies “gouge people at the pump.”
DeFazio does angry well. He’s been doing it for years. I challenged him once on Lars Larson and he immediately went into a rant that accused me of hating women, children and apple pie. He might even actually mean it. It’s hard to tell.
Political savvy he has in abundance. Take that line about the oil companies gouging at the pumps. The FTC looked into that after Katrina. They found nothing. But it’s a good line, it’s a Party Talking Point and most people would like to believe that it’s true. That it’s not is immaterial. Peter’s going to use it.
Peter likes to point out his success in getting funds to fix bridges on I-5. What he does not point to are his earmarking of millions of dollars to fund a fancy train station and refurbish an empty baggage building. While right next to it a roadway is choked and congested and can’t be expanded because of a lack of funds. Roads…or empty buildings? Which would seem more important to you?
He also likes to play up his “maverick” streak. Emphasizing that he votes against his party sometimes. He does. But only after counting the votes and figuring that his vote is not going to change anything. Whenever there is an important vote, he is right in line with the Party.
He says that he criticized his party even when Clinton was President. It’s true as far as it goes, but his criticism was always from the Left. His belief is that no one came run their lives as well as a building full of faceless bureaucrats
It was said of Democracy that it would last only until people learn they can vote themselves funds from the public treasury.
Vast tracts of forest in Oregon were given to the railroad companies in return for their building railroads. In time, this land ended up being signed over to the counties where they were located so that they could use the proceeds from the timber sales to offset the fact that so much of their land was off limits to development..
Since then the environmentalists, using such ruses as the Spotted Owl, have convinced the government to sharply curtail logging. They were greatly assisted in this endeavor by the Democratic Party.
Now DeFazio wants to take credit because, having destroyed the economy and caused thousands to lose their means of earning a living, he is going to get handouts to replace the lost tax revenue. As for the jobs, his favorite suggestion is a depression style “jobs” program, just so the workers will know that they’re not earning a living because of their own work but because the beneficent government and Peter DeFazio made it possible. Maybe they’ll even name their children after him and hang a big picture of him in the kitchen.
He’s against Free Trade. In fact he’s against any trade that that is not regulated by vast bureaucracy. Everything you do, everything you make, everything you sell should be in accordance with detailed regulations and practices written by some unseen bureaucrats somewhere.
He does donate his pay raises to a scholarship fund but while he makes prominent mention of it in every interview I have read, I have never seen the accounts. He wouldn’t be the first Congressman to use an account for other purposes, but unless he releases the account records, I have no way of knowing if he is or not.
He is dead set against allowing people to put part of their Social Security taxes into personal accounts. He knows very well that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, but he thinks it is one that can be kept alive with increased taxes, at least until he is safely retired.
He pretends otherwise because it is politically useful. But he is not stupid, he knows that it’s unsustainable in the long run.
He likes to pretend to be “fiscally conservative” but every solution to every problem seems to involve larger government, more bureaucrats, more spending and higher taxes. The fact that he voted for the line item veto doesn’t make him a ‘fiscal conservative’, it makes him a politician.
He is of the opinion that private businessmen are greedy and lazy, but public employees are generous and hard working. How someone with his years in government can say that with a straight face is evidence of his acting skill.
He is a Union Man through and through. He thinks that everyone should have to pay part of their earnings to the Union bosses so that they can donate more to his campaign. He’s also appreciative of all the free labor they provide his campaign as well.
DeFazio’s no “maverick” and he’s no “fiscal conservative”, he’s a politician that’s going to say whatever it takes to get elected and do whatever his party tells him.