Cline opposes bill to fund National Parks

Even though 81 House Republicans voted YES, and even though the Sixth Congressional District includes portions of Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway, Congressman Ben Cline voted NO on the Great American Outdoors Act.

The bill would provide $9.5 billion over five years to pay down the National Park Service’s maintenance backlog and provide permanent funding at $900 million per year for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which supports natural areas and recreation activities. Virginia has more than $1 billion worth for deferred maintenance at its national parks.

Why would Cline oppose a bill that will provide funding for badly-needed maintenance and repairs at our National Parks in Virginia, including those in the district he is supposed to represent in Congress? Wouldn’t improving these facilities help our district economically? I thought that was one of his priorities.

Cline cheers DeVos’s effort to weaken public schools

Another bizarre and out-of-touch Facebook post from Congressman Cline.

Everyone– students, teachers and parents– wants schools to reopen as soon as possible. The sticking point– which Cline and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos seem to ignore– is whether it can be done safely.

It’s absurd to suggest that the challenge of reopening schools is comparable to reopening stores and restaurants. As one commenter to Cline’s Facebook post pointed out, “Going to a restaurant is a choice, attending public school is required.”

Spending an hour or less at a time in a store or restaurant is a lot different from spending six hours a day, five days a week in a classroom.

Congressman: Due to the coronavirus, many public school systems in the Sixth District are starved for funds, which would make reopening difficult even if COVID were to magically disappear. Are you and the other Republicans in Congress prepared to provide sufficient federal resources to help schools reopen safely?

Your vote against the HEROES Act in Congress– which would have provided billions of dollars to help stressed local school districts– suggests otherwise.

Instead you throw in your lot with Secretary DeVos, who is always looking for reasons to undermine public education.

Once again, your devotion to the whims of the Trump administration overrides any concern for the students, teachers and parents you purport to represent.

No more Mr. Nice Congressman

Judging from some of Congressman Cline’s recent posts on his campaign Facebook page, he has decided to throw in his lot with President Trump’s racially-divisive culture war.

Don’t expect any more statements (however weak and selective) calling for justice and supporting peaceful protests in the wake of the George Floyd murder. Instead, look for more posts like this, linking with approval to an article by Ben Domenech, rightwing publisher of The Federalist, complaining that Republican officeholders aren’t doing enough to challenge “anti-American leftists and their enablers in the Democratic Party.”

Domenech writes: “The thirst among Republican voters isn’t even for policy. It’s for seeing the politicians they elected join the fray.”

So, according to Domenech, Republican officeholders should stop caring about secondary stuff like policy– the ostensible reason they ran for office. Instead they should enlist in the battle to protect American history and heritage from Democrats who want the coming election to be a choice “between a party that loves this country and one that views its history with disgust, as racist and irredeemable.”

Excuse me, to which Democrats is he referring? Those who think Confederate generals– traitors to the United States who fought for the cause of keeping human beings in bondage– do not deserve public honor?

Is there room for a nuanced discussion of which monuments and symbols are obsolete relics of another era and which should be preserved despite the flaws of the people they honor?

Apparently taking Domenech’s advice to “join the fray,” Cline posted this about the Lexington City Council’s unanimous vote to change the name of city-owned Stonewall Jackson Cemetery:

Congressman, you can’t simultaneously enslave Black people, as Jackson did, and “bridge racial divisions.” It doesn’t work that way.

After revealing his contempt for Lexington (which voted heavily against him in the 2018 Congressional election), Cline speculates sarcastically about the cemetery’s new name.

I suppose they’ll rename it something like “Lexington Cemetery: Now with Surprise Inside!” Or if they want to be more accurate, something like “Future Democrat Voter Quarry.”

“Future Democrat Voter Quarry?” What are you saying here, Congressman? That Stonewall Jackson and others interred at the cemetery will rise from their graves and vote Democratic? That local Democrats will cheat in future elections by voting on behalf of the people buried there?

Hilarious stuff, Congressman. But not exactly in keeping with your pious recent letter calling for civil discourse and the need to find common ground with our political opponents.

Cline versus the “tyrants”

Is a year-and-a-half of non-stop sycophancy to Donald Trump starting to take a toll on Congressman Cline?

At a moment when the COVID-19 cases are increasing in 40 of 50 states– when states like Texas which ignored warnings and reopened too early are reversing course and imposing restrictions– Cline has approvingly posted on Facebook a report from April about Attorney General Barr’s order to US attorneys to “consider legal action against governors if their efforts to stop the spread of the new coronavirus infringe on Americans’ civil rights.”

In a two-page memo, Mr. Barr directed all U.S. attorneys to “be on the lookout” for local and state directives that could violate religious, free speech or economic rights under the Constitution.

The clear purpose of the order (which as far as I can tell has never resulted in action against any state) was to pander to the small minority of Americans who opposed sensible measures (like mandatory facemasks in public) and to try to intimidate governors whom Trump believed were acting too aggressively to control the virus. Fortunately most of the states that did act aggressively months ago have been able to bring the virus under control and start to reopen responsibly.

You know. The states governed by “tyrants.”