Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Anh "Joseph" Cao and the Joe Wilson Rope-a-Dope

Frankly, I, like E, thought that the House Resolution chastizing Joe Wilson for his idiotic outburst was itself pretty idiotic. It just gave Wilson more of a platform to convert his idiocy into the defiance of a besieged underdog. The man made a pure fool of himself when he had his outburst, and that should have been enough in and of itself. The need to try to stomp on the man even more, and in a way that added no value to the progressive policy agenda in Congress, was petty and ill-advised.

But guess who among the Republicans decided to vote in support of this toothless and meaningless Resolution? Yep, you guessed it: Anh "Joseph" Cao.

Now on the surface, being one of only a handful of Republicans to vote for this Resolution might reinforce the "Resume of a Democrat" characterization of Cao.

But I have a different, somewhat more cynical take on Cao's action. Sure, Cao probably does believe in the need for a more civil nature of exchange and preserving a greater respect for the institutions of our government. That fits in with Cao's demeanor at one level. But I'd bet that Cao is also pleased that he has the opportunity to side with the Democrats and to take on his own party on such a relatively meaningless and purely symbolic resolution. The cynicism I see in this is that Cao gets to play up his "Resume of a Democrat" credibility on this matter to his constituency in Louisiana's 2nd Congressional District on such insignificant matters as a way to deflect from the fact that on the really important stuff, like Healthcare reform, stimulus packages, and bailout legislation, etc., Cao has been less than stellar in representing his constituency and in supporting Obama.

And though I like Cao, I am not willing to give him a break or pat him on the back on this one. He's got to show some courage in bucking the GOP on some of the tough, thorny, big issues before he gets any true kudos from me for representing the desires and interests of his largely progressive and Democratic constituency. Let's see how he votes on the Democratic healthcare reform proposal when it comes up for a vote.

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