I’m not going to be instantly unfair to the guy and say that Brad Wenstrup’s vote to raise the debt ceiling today was a wrong vote.
I AM going to say that freshman congressman just did what he criticized his predecessor for doing.
Wenstrup today voted to increase the country’s debt ceiling after acting during last winter’s GOP primary as if EVER-EVER-EVER voting to do so is an automatically and unconditionally bad thing.
The roll call vote was 285-144, with Republicans supporting by a 199-33 margin and Dems opposing 86-111.
That breakout seems comforting until you see some of the truly conservative GOP names in opposition:
- Bachmann (MN) — to be clear, I criticized her for her opposition to any form of debt ceiling increase in 2011 (see Update 3 here), but the issue is whether the conditions imposed in the House bill, primarily the pretense that congresspersons’ salaries won’t get paid if there’s no deal, are sufficient to meaningfully rein in the government. If she thinks not, that’s worthy of note. If she won’t vote to raise it for any reason under any circumstance, that’s just unrealistically foolish.
- Gohmert (TX)
- Huelskamp (KS)
- King (IA)
- McClintock (CA)
- Massie (KY, i.e., Northern Kentucky Tea Party favorite who replaced the retiring Geoff Davis)
- Rohrbacher (CA)
One would have expected based on Wenstrup’s huffing and puffing last year that if these seven voted against John Boehner’s latest gambit, he would have voted “no” as well. But he didn’t.
I would suggest that Mr. Wenstrup’s constituents (of which I am not one) deserve an explanation so they can evaluate his thought process, if any (so does Steve Chabot in OH-01, as I am now one of his constituents). “John Boehner said it was a good idea” is not a thought process, and silence is not acceptable.
The big story, though, is that Wenstrup has done something he clearly indicated he would never do a year ago as he was dishonestly tarring his opponent.