It was a rare moment on Capitol Hill Wednesday afternoon when Reps. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) united to promote an initiative that they said proves that “we don’t always go at each other’s throats around here.”
In a joint TV interview, the odd couple on the House Budget Committee rallied support for the line-item veto legislation, which they had introduced earlier in the day.
President Obama on line-item veto, "I think there's not a President out there that wouldn't love to have it."
Of course! Heh, heh, heh.
This is eerily similar to the time when Russ Feingold teamed up with Paul "Progressives are a cancer" Ryan on the same legislation.
As far as I'm concerned, Paul Ryan was the kiss of death for Russ Feingold and given the heightened sensitivity to Wall Street sell-out politicians like Paul Ryan among the electorate, Chris Van Hollen sold out the 99% with this terrible, terrible move. We're watching.
Don't get me wrong here, I'm crazy about Feingold but that was one of two times in the past twelve years I was embarrassed by his position. Not a bad record, but if there's one thing about fundamental freedom-loving Wisconsinites and true blue Progressives, it's that we never blindly follow our champions when they steer off the path and we're not afraid to tell them that. The blog Down With Tyranny had harsh words for the Ryan/Van Hollen unholy alliance, I completely agree, and also noticed that Wisconsinites don't sell out our independence for a smile and a wink.
Down With tyranny Excerpt:
I always like a Democrat willing to stand up for the 99%-- even if that means standing up to the craven power structure inside of his own party. People in Wisconsin are pretty independent-minded.
Down With Tyranny was referring to Democratic candidate for the 1st congressional District of Wisconsin, Rob Zerban.
According to this article in the Janesville Gazette, Zerban doesn't feel comfortable with the line-item veto because he believes it is unconstitutional. That's good reason enough to oppose it.
But the political blogger at the newspaper poked and scolded Zerban on his position and suggested Zerban needs a refresher course in American Government & Politics.
The blogger implied Zerban's "unconstitutional" position was a poor reason to oppose the legislation since the bill must become law first and only afterwards then proceed through the judicial review process. But if I recall, the entire GOP caucus voted against Obama's Health Care Reform Act ...because ...they thought it to be unconstitutional. So, is Rob Zerban the only one not entitled to form an opinion against legislation because he thinks it might not pass constitutional muster? Is it okay for members of Congress to oppose legislation before it goes through the judicial process? You bet it's okay. Zerban was right to issue his opposition in that context. This attack on Zerban was totally uncalled for and without merit.
Rob Zerban is exactly the kind of thinking we need in Congress to stop the wholesale selling out of America. If you'd like to help Zerban's campaign, check out the Stop Paul Ryan ActBlue page - it's open 24/7.
I've written fairly extensively about the Janesville line-item veto in the past and, only with the assumption it is constitutional, find it to be an abhorrent expansion of executive powers that will politicize the pork barrel earmark process more than it already is - as if anyone thought THAT was more possible. Look no further than this legislation.
Older stuff on the line-item veto
March, 2009 - Line Item Veto a Trap For Obama
April, 2007 - If Bush Had The Janesville Veto
April, 2007 - Feingold/Ryan Veto Act Surrenders Purse