With nothing to lose after getting blasted in last month’s elections by incumbent Republican Senator David Vitter, U.S. Rep. Charlie Melancon is letting his hair down a bit and showing that his persona as a moderate, “Blue Dog” Democrat was a lie. Recent statements out of the Congressman, whose bid to upend Vitter netted him only 38 percent of the vote to Vitter’s 57, indicate that not only does he subscribe to some hard-Left views he didn’t want Louisiana’s voters to be aware of but his opinion of his constituents is less than glowing.
The rumor on Capitol Hill has it that before Melancon voted against censuring New York Democrat Charlie Rangel for his multiple occasions of monkey business with taxes, he was heard saying something along the lines of “if the people of Louisiana can forgive David Vitter, I can forgive Rangel” – which would appear consistent with the rambling, bitter and graceless “concession” speech he gave on election night after being drummed by the Senator.
But the Times-Picayune has an article this morning discussing Melancon’s vote against the tax-rate compromise agreed to between Republicans in the House and Senate and President Obama, who the Congressman lavished an “A” grade on for his performance earlier this year. In that piece, written by Bruce Alpert, it’s revealed that Melancon has stopped attending meetings of the House Democratic Caucus because the Congressman says he’s fed up with “partisanship” on both sides of the aisle.
One wonders, based on the quotes which follow from the Picayune piece, if Melancon’s stated reason for retiring on active duty from the Caucus actually applies. He doesn’t appear to have a problem with partisanship at all. And given that in the past year he’s withdrawn from a NASA subcommittee in advance of decisions being made affecting New Orleans’ Michoud facility and the House Budget Committee in advance of the Obamacare markup, one might be forgiven for concluding that Charlie-Boy simply doesn’t give a damn about his job anymore.
As evidence, we offer some of Alpert’s offerings from Melancon’s rants following his “no” vote on the tax compromise bill, which polls at better than 60 percent nationwide…
“We tried to create legislation that worked for all the people, and just not for the left wing or the right wing,” Melancon said of the (Blue Dog) group’s efforts to bridge differences between Democratic and Republican leaders. “The amazing thing is that the people are yelling about gridlock and they just voted for more gridlock.”
A politician with over 20 years holding elected office really shouldn’t be this out of touch with the electorate. The voters didn’t oppose gridlock, Charlie. Gridlock – as defined by a Republican House of Representatives and a nearly-even Senate to go with a Democrat President – is precisely what they voted for. But the concept that the voters were upset about gridlock at all is totaly wrongheaded anyway; what the voters opposed was Obamacare, Cap and Trade, the DREAM Act, Card Check and all the other hard-left policies Melancon has strategically voted against unless Nancy Pelosi needed him.
But there’s more.
Melancon said he is opposed to the tax bill because it continues tax cuts for millionaires who, unlike the middle class, aren’t likely to spend the savings in ways that will get the economy moving.
“It doesn’t mean diddly to them,” Melancon said.
We couldn’t find any evidence whether Melancon was supportive of Sen. Tom Coburn’s proposal to eliminate unemployment benefits for millionaires which his Democrat compatriots beat back on Wednesday; Melancon and his Blue Dog buddies apparently didn’t propose anything similar that we’re aware of. It’s interesting to note that he’s on speaking terms with so many millionaires as to know with specificity their plans to use their own money.
And then a particularly interesting bit…
Melancon, who will depart Congress Jan. 3, said he would have gone along with continued tax breaks for Americans making $500,000, maybe even $750,000. But when you get beyond those income levels, Melancon said, there’s just no need for the extra cash.
The arrogance here is breathtaking. A former donut shop owner, sugar industry lobbyist and Edwin Edwards crony from little Napoleonville, Louisiana was appointed Arbiter Of Private Wealth Usage? By whom? If Melancon is supposed to be such a centrist and so disgusted by partisanship, then why is it so difficult for him to endorse a compromise made by his party’s President with representatives from the other side of the aisle?
But there’s more. From today’s Houma Courier…
His spokeswoman, Robin Winchell, had told The Courier and Daily Comet earlier Thursday that Melancon opposed the bill “because it would add almost a trillion dollars to the deficit in order to give tax cuts to people making over $250,000 a year.”
“Louisianians are tired of the endless deficit spending, and we can’t afford to continue adding to the national debt that our children and grandchildren will inherit,” she said.
Now Melancon is a deficit hawk. Bear in mind that he voluntarily gave up a seat on the budget committee earlier this year, when he had a chance to do something about the deficit. He also gave his vote to Obama’s infamous $800 billion failed stimulus package, which represents a huge portion of the current deficit. So when Winchell on his behalf throws out the fact that Louisianians are tired of deficit spending, she unwittingly admits that our voters are tired of Melancon.
Which is good. Because we are. We’re tired of Charlie-Boy’s lies, we’re tired of his ineffective and discombobulated leadership, and we expressed our fatigue loudly on Election Day. It’s time for Melancon to shut up and not trouble us any more. And while that’s an unrealistic request of the Louisiana Democrat Party as a whole, it’s certainly true that politicians like Melancon will have a difficult time on Election Days for the foreseeable future due in no small part to his performance in Washington.