Charlie Wilson, Catholic Democrat former pro-life former congressman from my district, OH-6, wants his seat back. He lost in 2010 to Republican Bill Johnson and is sore about it.
In an article in the Wheeling News-Intelligencer (that’s in West Virginia, by the way, across the river from the district… just sayin’) Wilson pretty much lays out the case against himself. So much so that Bill Johnson linked to the article from his Facebook page, basically pointing and laughing.
Wilson took great pains to distance himself from Barack Obama. The headline is “Wilson Says He Also Voted Against Obama’s Issues.” Johnson’s response to this was “Charlie Wilson says he voted against Obama’s issues…and he did…1.8% of the time.”
One of the times Wilson “voted against Obama’s issue” was Cap-and-Trade, which doesn’t count. This is a coal mining-heavy district: voting *for* C-n-T would have been political suicide. Nancy Pelosi didn’t need Wilson’s vote on that bill, so he was given permission to vote against it.
He touts the auto bailout as successful since GM has paid back the loan “with interest.” But they did so in large part with other bailout monies (i.e., taking water out of one side of the bucket to pour it into the other side), the government still owns roughly a third of the company (which is worth less than it was when we collectively bought it), their sales are buoyed by government fleet purchases, and the sale of the Volt is anemic despite heavy taxpayer subsidies. Win!(?)
But perhaps most inexplicably, he maintains that he is proud of his vote for Obamacare, even though that vote is explicitly what cost him the seat. He says he “votes with the district,” but the district was opposed to Obamacare, undoubtedly the most consequential vote he cast in his entire tenure. During the run-up to the Obamacare vote he did nothing but parrot Nancy Pelosi’s talking points on telephone town hall events, and when a friend of mine confronted him days before the 2010 election he persisted in the fiction that Obamacare would not fund abortions, even when my friend pointed out that the bill gave great latitude to pro-abortion HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to write the rules about what procedures would be covered and which wouldn’t. Even Bart Stupak now admits he was suckered and would vote differently if given another chance.
I think since the decision has been made by the Supreme Court (to uphold most of the new health care law), we have to get on with job one – and that’s jobs, getting our economy rebuilt and getting ourselves out of the fix we’re in.
Except that the ruling confirmed that the law is a massive tax increase (as many had already been saying), and as it happens, Obamacare is already costing jobs (unless, of course, you want to be an IRS agent to help enforce that massive tax increase). Business owners say that the uncertainty that the law introduces, along with higher medical costs and increased regulation make them less likely to higher more people.
Charlie Wilson has convinced himself that he lost simply because he was a Democrat during a good Republican year. He doesn’t admit it’s because he voted with Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama better than 98 percent of the time, nor that he voted for the largest tax increase in U.S. history, nor that his vote on Obamacare scuttled his pro-life credibility. Wilson’s was considered a safe seat heading into 2010. It took more than strong national anti-Democrat sentiment to unseat him.
And given that he continues to embrace those unpopular, bad policies, I don’t think he should be given another chance, nor likely will be.