Hampton Roads / Local / Politics / Virginia

Nye: time to man up

Glenn Nye2nd Congressional Representative Glenn Nye appears to be afraid of his own shadow. No matter what he does, the Republicans are going to challenge him next year. From where I sit, he might as well man up and do what he was elected to do: represent.

I recall the buzz from the very first debate that Nye and then incumbent Thelma Drake were not very far apart on their stances. The area they differed sharply on was the war in Iraq: Nye’s experience there as a member of the foreign service was a big part of his reason for wanting to run in the first place.  Nye, however, agreed with Drake on such issues as rolling back the Bush tax cuts – neither felt like that was appropriate. At that time, I wrote:

… he wanted to establish that he is of the group of leadership that offers pragmatic, bipartisan solutions to the issues.

It was clear to me that day that our Democratic candidate was no Yellow Dog. His subsequent announcement that he had joined the Blue Dog Coalition came as no surprise.

What I didn’t expect – but should have – was Nye’s complete abdication of any responsibility to the hard-working Democrats who put him into office. Yes, Republicans voted for him, but they weren’t the ones hustling for him from the beginning. Nye, who seems to make his decisions not from a well-centered sense of right and wrong, but rather from the latest poll results, will often say that he votes with the Democrats 81% of the time.  Problem is, he takes a walk on the big issues that are important to Democrats, the latest being health care reform.

Nye won’t be holding a health care reform town hall meeting during this recess. No doubt he’s afraid of getting it from both sides. But just how does ducking constituents constitute leadership? Holding what amount to private gatherings to discuss topics isn’t leadership. In fact, there is another word I’d call it: cowardice.

Take a look at another freshman representative from Virginia, Tom Perriello. Think his district is any bluer than Nye’s? Hardly. Yet Perriello held a town hall meeting. No, it wasn’t fun. But Perriello has shown he’s not afraid of anybody despite his 727-vote landslide victory. He knows the Republicans are coming after him in 2010, just as they are coming after Nye. Not a problem for Perriello – he’s just going to do the people’s business, anyway, re-election be damned.

At the end of the day, what good does it do the people of the 2nd District, myself included, to have a representative who is afraid and whose only concern appears to be positioning for re-election? I say none.

You sought out this responsibility, Glenn. No one forced it on you. Time to man up and actually do something with it. After all, the worse thing that could happen is that you don’t get re-elected next year.

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41 thoughts on “Nye: time to man up

    • What is he wrong about? To my knowledge, he doesn’t even have a plan; he just has some concepts. But conceptually, what do you dispute? That health care costs are on an unsustainable growth path? That we don’t need to do anything for the uninsured or under-insured?

    • Nothing is “clear” in this debate, except that the GOP has followed the usual script of gross misinformation to undermine their opponents. Most polls are incoonclusive at best. Some show an evenly divided electorate, others show solid support for Obama’s general principles. The problema here are:
      *intentional misinformation by GOP
      *timid Dems, incl. Obama
      *a timid MSM
      *poor communication coordination among Dems
      *no one proposal to rally around/explain
      *ill-conceived attempt at bi-partisanship when even Grassley is not likely to agree to anything the right wing doesn’t want
      *lack of tenacity/complacency among progressives

  1. A.M. In your last post you proved you have no grasp of truth or logic. There were NEVER death panels in the legislation. The Hyde Amendment still is law. And there is nothing in the legislation that says healthcare reform wouldn’t cover insects. That doesn’t mean it’s logical to assume they would.

    Geez, A.M., give me an argument a fifth grader couldn’t swat down.

    • The Hyde Amendment is up for a re-vote every year. Furthermore, it is itself only a law, and subsequently passed laws override it.

      The public option would be available to “individuals.” Are illegal immigrants not individuals? Are illegal immigrants no more than insects to you?

      • So you agree that so-called ‘death panels’ were never in the bill?

        Because it was about end-of-life planning, i.e. living wills, and reimbursement for the cost of consultation.

        Can’t help some people, or give them money to help, I guess.

        • No, we don’t agree:

          Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said in a statement. “We dropped end-of-life provisions from consideration entirely because of the way they could be misinterpreted and implemented incorrectly.”…

          Hmmm, dropped provisions you say did not exist?

          Remember, there are several bills out there. We are not talking about just one.

          Now, will you admit that illegal immigrants are “individuals” in H.B. 3200?

          • I am not responsible for Grassley’s mischaracterization of the end-of-life counseling reimbursement. He also said people had a reason to fear these provisions, which they don’t.

            Grassley himself has voted for the same exact thing earlier in his career.

            What’s wrong with reimbursing people for consultation for living wills, DNR orders and such?

            And no, I won’t agree. Just like you are saying that undocumented immigrants could be ‘individuals, they just as like could not be.

            There is no provision for undocumented immigrants at all in the bill.

  2. Vivian, I understand the frustration of having a Dem in office only to have him legislate to your right. However, the 2nd district is still very conservative. If you even hope to make it to term #2 you MUST be an Ownen Pickettesque conservative Democrat. Just the way it is.

    Tank Nye and you tank your party. You lose a leadership vote. Pickett like Nye will, always voted to back the Dem Speaker of the House etc. I find it repulsive, but Nye backed ethically challenged Charlie Rangel and he did vote for the stimulus bill. Sure, as most Democrats pushed for spending programs, politically correct gobbledy gook mind control games of public behavior, and did their darndest to obliterate our military, we could count on Owen to vote the correct way. That’s why he was continually re-hired by a population even more vastly conservative than they are today…….for years and years. Nye knows that this IS A BAD BILL, and he knows if he votes for it and the stuff hits the fan, he’ll be run out of town. Nye knows what time it is. I urge you to be happy with what you have here in the 2nd. It can only get worse(if you’re a Lefty)

    Look, if you like the socialist style of living and you want that horrible excuse for reform, fine. Just be honest about it. This “Misinformation” crap is just projection on the part of Obama and SOME of the Democrats. This idea that Obama on has a “concept” is just games of a semantic and technical nature. They are the ones being deceptive. I have no problem calling the GOP out. As a Libertarian, I do that now and then. In this case it IS socialized medicine. There WERE in effect “Death Panels”, just not in name. You don’t spend money on healthy people, you spend it on the sick. If you cut costs you cut service to the sick and you end up rationing and “selecting” who’s life is more valuable.

    Hey, I feel your pain. Remember, it wasn’t too long ago that “Alleged” conservatives had the House, the Senate, and Supreme Court. They kept telling us, “Just give us all three branches, we’ll get things done. Well, they got nothing done. Nothing good. Had plenty of kook ideas floated and failed. Mostly botched Iraq and spent us into oblivion.
    Think I found any satisfaction in that?

    As you say,Republicans did vote for Nye. In the 2nd district, that is not an option. That is a requirement to win.

    If you want to feel frustrated, be conservative, live in a conservative district where only the ill equipped or nut case right wingers would lose, only to find yourself saddled with a Lefty RINO! At that point, it goes beyond the practical(Nye) and straight to betrayal.

    • So, Republicans mostly botched Iraq, but Democrats are or were ‘obliterating’ our military?

      Death panels is a bastardization of the truth, and has no basis in fact. See my reply to Mouse above.

    • I think it is important to point out that the district when Pickett was the representative was drawn differently from what it is now. Yes, I know Nye is trying to be Pickett-esque. But I happen to think it is the wrong time for that.

  3. Mr. Brooks,

    You seem incapable of realizing that what a law intends to do is rarely what it actually does.

    No one meant to put death panels in (hopefully), but clearly the law could be misinterpreted that way. Your so called bastardization is exactly what it is. The fact that you call it such and that people see it as such proves that it could have been misinterpreted by a doctor.

    Norfolk made a law about motorized skateboards, clear as day to anyone who could read the enlish language properly. The police used it to harrass me on my way to and from TCC every day. I ended up getting a ticket on purpose and humiliating the police in court on numerous occasions.

    Law of unintended consequences. Just because someone meant for it to mean one thing does not mean someone else could make it mean another. When you have people from all walks of life who are not trained in law trying to implement confusing laws; bad things will happen.

    No one is saying the Dem’s concepts on health care are totally wrong, just that the language they are using does not accomplish what they say they want to accomplish. Our country was founded on a document that I can (and do) carry in my pocket daily. Health care reform should not be thousands of pages of confusing regulations. We are Americans we can do better than this. Has no one heard that the best engineers make the simplest machines? What the democrats want to do is not simple. Correct in theory perhaps, but the journey from theory to practice will be excruciatingly painful and cause more damage to the health care system than it will fix.

    • Two things: All in one paragraph, you say that this should not be thousands of pages long, yet you also claim it is not a simple task. Which is it?

      What is there to be misinterpreted? The bill provides for reimbursement for expenses related to planning for end-of-life decisions, and it is not required. The only problem I can see is if the government doesn’t reimburse in a timely manner. There really is nothing to misinterpret, but somehow you and others continue to claim there are provisions which simply do not exist.

    • Mark, I don’t comment on blogs much because you waste your time arguing with people who are not looking for an honest discussion but play rhetorical games by asking things like “so immigrants aren’t individuals”? And they do so under cloak of anonymity, as AM does. I got sucked into this one because I thought Vivian had a particularly good post.

      AM once said he couldn’t identify himself because of what he does. Which means he either is a misinformation operative or has an over inflated sense of his own importance.

      He may be a responsible and smart individual. Which is doubly disconcerting, as he could be someone with a responsible position and an intellectual force who chooses to appear stupid and dogmatic.

      He knows that no where in the bill did anything remotely suggest that doctors or the gov’t could pull the plug on granny, so he plays word games.

      It’s not a good use of my time, and I’ll bet you could be doing more constructive things.

      Until the wackos come out from under the cloak of anonymity, I don’t think we should give them too much of our time, which could be better spent talking to people who are honest and unsure about health reform and willing to discuss it with some sense of intellectual honesty.

      • Bob, I want to make sure and allow people their chance to speak and either prove that they are interested in constructive dialogue or they are troublemakers.

        I think I know now which one of these that Mouse is.

        Shame really, because it is a discussion we very much need to have. I have never been in favor of anonymous commenters, and this person has reinforced that opinion.

        I don’t have time for silly games, we have work to do.

      • “[He] either is a misinformation operative or has an over inflated sense of his own importance.”

        Ah, the false-choice fallacy. No, it is merely that my company (of which I am not an officer, only an employee), has contracts with the federal government.

        Now, I notice that, as MB does, you also resort to ad hominem attacks when you have lost an argument. You cannot dispute the fact that the Hyde Amendment can be superseded, nor can you dispute the fact that illegal immigrants ARE “individuals” under the law. So rather than addressing these issues, you try to dismiss these issues through ad hominem attacks.

        BTW, this is the text of the Hyde Amendment:

        None of the funds appropriated in this Act, and
        none of the funds in any trust fund to which funds are
        appropriated under this Act, shall be expended for any abortion.

        If the public option is not under that act, then the Hyde Amendment does not apply.

        • Does that create a lot of cognitive dissonance for you? That is: working for a company that receives money from an institution you despise.

          • Again with the all-or-nothing false choice. I do not despise ALL of the federal government, nor ALL of its agencies. Both agencies for which I work clearly come under the enumerated powers given to the federal government in the Constitution.

          • Ah! So, government largess is okay as long as it comes from a constitutional power? If that is what you are saying, then if we passed a constitutional amendment that would make OASDI and Medicare constitutional in your eyes, then spending money on that then would have your full support?

            BTW, it was you that was reading the all-or-nothing into my question and basis. I just misrepresented your sentiments and you clarified them for me.

      • I have so far found no-one of less intelligence than you. You cannot even answer a simple question: Are illegal immigrants not individuals under the law? Please cite the appropriate court ruling or legal dictionary.

  4. Mr. Brooks,

    It is complicated, but solutions to complicated problems do not have to be complicated. Read again; the best engineers make the simplest machines. The fewer moving parts the better; less areas where things can break/slow down.

    Our government was designed to be inefficient as a safeguard against tyranny. Why would you want it running for and more things?

  5. Ah! So, government largess is okay as long as it comes from a constitutional power?

    Government spending is not always largess, nor is all constitutional spending good. For instance, the DoD says it does not need more F-22s. While Congress certainly has the Constitutional power to buy more F-22s, it would not be good to do so.

    If that is what you are saying, then if we passed a constitutional amendment that would make OASDI and Medicare constitutional in your eyes, then spending money on that then would have your full support?

    I would oppose the passage of such an amendment; and as I said above, not all constitutional spending is good.

  6. Oh come on.

    Fixing what’s wrong with health care isn’t all that hard. Go to the mall or a shopping center and see how effective the free market can be at bringing you value at a fair price.

    All that is necessary is to remove the distortions to the market signals government has introduced over the last 60 years and health care will be as affordable as cell phones and computers.

    Some care is necessary in disentangling ourselves so as not to leave people with broken promises, but if we are careful and deliberate about it, we can get it done without breaking the treasury or giving up our liberty.

    Tidewater Libertarians have a plan.

  7. As the commenters above surely know, the health care proposals are entirely constitutional. The Constitution gives Congress the right to provide for the common defense and for the general welfare. Programs such as Social Security and Medicare were found constitutional by the Supreme Court decades ago. Much as a few might like, we are simply not going back to the 1930s, a time not fondly remembered, by the way, by those who lived through it.

    • Read carefully, spotter:

      The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States

      The Congress has no more power to provide for the welfare of specific individuals than it does to pay off our credit card debts or provide us with personal bodyguards.

      As for Social Security, the argument of Helvering v. Davis is ludicrous on its face. (The S.C. was inclined to rule against it, and Roosevelt threatened to stack to court — which he had the votes in Congress to do — so they came up with the following inanity:

      The purge of nation-wide calamity that began in 1929 has taught us many lessons. Not the least is the solidarity of interests that may once have seemed to be divided. Unemployment spreads from state to state, the hinterland now settled that in pioneer days gave an avenue of escape. Home Building & Loan Association v. Blaisdell, 290 U. S. 398, 442. Spreading from state to state, unemployment is an ill not particular but general, which may be checked, if Congress so determines, by the resources of the nation. If this can have been doubtful until now, our ruling today in the case of the Steward Machine Co. supra, has set the doubt at rest. But the ill is all one or at least not greatly different whether men are thrown out of work because there is no longer work to do or because the disabilities of age make them incapable of doing it. Rescue becomes necessary irrespective of the cause. The hope behind this statute is to save men and women from the rigors of the poor house as well as from the haunting fear that such a lot awaits them when journey’s end is near.

      So the court admits that for the General Welfare clause to apply, the threat (unemployment in this case) must be general to the States. As such, their reasoning in Stewart is essentially correct.

      However, when one loses his job because of “disabilities or age,” the job does not go away, but is filled by someone young and able. There is no concern that the unemployment will spread from state-to-state. As such, the General Welfare clause does not apply. Essentially, the court argues that, since unemployment payments are constitutional when the cause is the disappearance of a job, they are constitutional for any reason. That is ludicrous.

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