Ben Cline and MLK: A study in hypocrisy

Every January, when anti-voting rights and anti-union politicians like Congressman Cline purport to honor Martin Luther King, it’s important to recall that Dr. King:

• Marched and went to jail to achieve the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which those same politicians now refuse to restore and strengthen. Given the chance to do so, Ben Cline has repeatedly voted NO.

• Was a staunch opponent of anti-union “right to work” laws that those same politicians– including the union-hating Cline– want to impose on a national level.

• Was in murdered on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, where he went to support a strike by members of Local 1733 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Can you imagine Ben Cline even crossing the street to support any sort of labor strike?

Did something happen on January 6, 2021?

You’d never know from Congressman Cline that Thursday was the one-year anniversary of one of the most harrowing events in American history.

Cline’s Facebook page: nothing.

Cline’s Twitter account: nothing.

Cline’s website: nothing.

He didn’t attend a remembrance event at the Capitol. He has never publicly discussed his own experience on January 6 of last year.

I’m reminded of this scene some years ago when the Simpsons visited China.

I suppose if Cline and most of his Republican colleagues had their way, a similar plaque would be placed in the Capitol rotunda.

Ben Cline, culture warrior

Ben Cline and his Republican colleagues in Congress have no positive agenda for the country.

Their only plan is to:

• Oppose legislation to help Americans provide for their families, care for their children, aid seniors, end voter suppression and remove obstacles to union organizing– and hope voters don’t notice.

• Try to distract voters with phony culture-war nonsense and scaremongering. This explains the latest posts on Cline’s campaign Facebook page.

First came this:

According to at least one poll, the vast majority of West Virginians support Build Back Better if it includes raising taxes on the richest Americans and corporations, regardless of Senator Joe Manchin’s position.

Bette Midler spoke (stupidly) for herself and has apologized. Meanwhile Cline’s Republican colleague Paul Gosar posted a video depicting him killing one of Cline’s favorite targets, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and refused to apologize. But that was OK with Cline, who voted NO on a motion to censure him.

It’s easier for Cline to take a shot at that favorite rightwing target, the “Hollywood elite,” than to confront the outrages of his fellow Republicans, let alone the real and excessive power of the corporate elite who help fund his campaigns.

A little later Cline posted this:

In response to a comment asking Cline to define Critical Race Theory and provide specific, proven examples of Critical Race Theory being taught in Virginia public schools, he (or his staff) posted this from the rightwing Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal– which does neither.

Cline’s latest excuse for worker shortage

In an interview with WSLS TV, Congressman Cline blamed the current worker shortage on vaccine mandates.

“I’ve been traveling around to manufacturers all around the area, and that’s the first thing they say is we’re having trouble getting employees, and these mandates will have us lose employees at a critical time. It’ll make it that much harder for our economy to recover,” Cline said.


“Businesses are just struggling to get back on their feet to end they’re having a hard time getting employees to put businesses at the risk of having to lose a quarter or a third of their employees. It might just be enough to put them under,” Cline said.

In fact as of October, only 5 percent of workers said they had quit their jobs rather than get vaccinated. And a lot of major companies have imposed their own vaccine mandates regardless of government requirements.

It was only last June that Cline was blaming the labor shortage on temporary unemployment payments making workers too lazy to take any undesirable low-wage jobs on offer.

But states that cut off these benefits early failed to achieve a major increase in employment, CNBC reported in August. Instead they “fueled a nearly $2 billion cut in household spending, potentially hurting their local economies.”

The data suggests unemployment benefits aren’t playing a big role in hiring challenges and that other factors are having a larger impact — a similar thrust to other recent research analyzing the policy decisions.

The real solution to labor shortages– along with wider access to child care— may shock Cline and others with such contempt for low-wage workers.

The Build Back Better plan in Congress would enable millions of parents to obtain affordable child care and make it possible for them to enter the workforce.

But Congressman Cline calls Build Back Better “an abomination.”

Of course he does.

Fighting back

The following ad, sponsored by the Lexington and Rockbridge County Democratic Committees, appeared in the Nov. 24 edition of The News-Gazette, which circulates in Lexington, Rockbridge and Buena Vista.

Enough of letting Congressman Cline’s evasion, deceit and failures go unanswered!

Feel free use it in any way you can to help spread the word about Cline’s utter inability to stand up for the people of the Sixth District.

Cline shrugs off Gosar’s video threat

The Washington Post reports:

The House voted Wednesday to censure Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-Ariz.) for tweeting an anime video that depicted him killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and swinging swords at President Biden — a move that comes amid growing worries about violent political rhetoric 10 months after a mob of former president Donald Trump’s supporters attacked the Capitol.

The 223-to-207 vote, with one member voting present, marks the first time in more than a decade that the House has censured one of its members. The resolution also removes Gosar from his assignments on the House Oversight and Natural Resources committees.

“Disguising death threats against a member of Congress and a president of the United States in an animated video does not make those death threats any less real or less serious,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said during Wednesday’s debate, describing GOP leaders’ refusal to reprimand Gosar as “outrageous.”

Not outrageous enough for Congressman Cline, who joined all but two of his fellow House Republicans to vote NO on censuring Gosar.

Some Republicans have pointed to questionable comments by Democrats. But as Amber Phillips of The Post writes, “none of them have used social media to depict violence against a Republican colleague.”

Many more Republicans than Democrats in recent weeks have alluded to armed revolution and justified violence. On this Cline has been utterly silent.

But Cline did denounce the FBI on the far-right NewsMax channel for tracking the dangerous increase in violent threats against school boards and teachers over masking requirements and teaching about racism.