view from mars

"Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day."

Thursday, March 16, 2006

virgil spooked?

John Nichols in The Nation has this about Virgil:

Last week, the U.S. House voted on a perfunctory measure authorizing the Secretary of the Interior to designate the President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home in Hope, Arkansas, as a National Historic Site and unit of the National Park System. It is notable that, at a time when Republicans are banging away on critics of the Bush administration for not respecting the office of the presidency, the vote was not the unanimous show of approval that might have been expected.

Republican members of the House forced a roll-call vote -- extremely rare on such matters -- and a dozen of them then voted against so honoring Clinton's birthplace.

The "no" votes came from Tennessee's Marsha Blackburn, Florida's Ginny Brown-Waite, Utah's Chris Cannon, California's John Doolittle, Virginia's Virgil Goode, Oklahoma's Ernest Istook, Texan Ron Paul, Pennsylvania's Bill Shuster, Georgia's Lynn Westmoreland and North Carolinians Virginia Foxx, Walter Jones and Patrick McHenry.


Goode, along with his friend Duke Cunningham, has been linked to the defense contractor MZM – the company accused of bribing Cunningham with millions of dollars in exchange for defense contracts. Goode recently donated $88,000 in political contributions he had received from MZM and its associates to charity. According to a USA Today investigation: "In more than 30 instances, donations from MZM's political action committee or company employees went to two members of the House Appropriations Committee -- Cunningham and Rep. Virgil Goode, R-Va. -- in the days surrounding key votes or contract awards that helped MZM grow."

I wrote the C-ville Weekly about this last bit from the USA Today investigation right after their front-pager last week, and the author replied that he wasn't able to independently verify it. So instead, he created a vague timeline that clearly implies that Wade's contributions were not correlated with Virgil's little indiscretions, while failing to mention anywhere else in the article what USA Today (and others) have found. And then he said it was my fault for misreading it.

But back to the point -- why would Virgil take this stand, with only 11 others with him? How desperate he must be to cling to those particularly wingnutty votes that are surely imperiled by the antics of the GOP over the past four years -- that it comes, to this? I can't imagine that there would be any other reason to not support something like this, other than either spite or false-spite. In the latter case, of course the motivation is political.

Virgil wants us to believe that he is a high-grounder who stands up for the office of the presidency that Clinton allegedly tarnished. The jig is up for him and now it's time for him to explain his record and its results. And, like he's shown he's perfectly willing to do, he's playing on these old fires (Clinton-hating, this time, but also gay-hating, brown-people-hating, slut-hating) to trick us into voting against all those bad sinful things.