Still got Gaetz’s money, Congressman?

As Ben Cline’s CPAC buddy and benefactor Congressman Matt Gaetz drifts into neo-Nazi territory– endorsing “white replacement theory” and smearing the Anti-Defamation League, which for 108 years has stood against antisemitism and other forms of bigotry– I can’t help wondering if Cline ever returned Gaetz’s generous $2,000 campaign donation.

Cline and Gaetz are fellow members of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, along with such extremists as Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert and Madison Cawthorn.

And that’s not to mention Gaetz’s other, um, problem.

Cline lies again

Congressman Cline joined every other Republican in the House to vote against the the Women’s Health Protection Act, which “would essentially codify Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision guaranteeing the right to abortion before viability, usually around 22 to 24 weeks.”

In trying to justify his vote, Cline repeated two lies:

  1. He did not stand for life. He stood for forced birth. If you want to see how rarely Cline stands for the lives of actual living people, check his voting record.
  2. The Women’s Health Protection Act does not “permit on-demand abortion until birth.” As The Washington Post reports:

Republicans have sought to cast the House measure as extreme and out of step with public opinion, with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Thursday denouncing it as a “really radical bill [that] goes beyond Roe v. Wade.”

In cases where a fetus has reached viability, the legislation allows for abortion only “when, in the good-faith medical judgment of the treating health care provider, continuation of the pregnancy would pose a risk to the pregnant patient’s life or health.”

McCarthy falsely interpreted that part of the measure as allowing “abortion on demand, up until birth.”

As did Congressman Cline, who is always willing and eager to repeat a phony Republican talking point.

Sidney who?

Remember last November when Congress Cline posted on Facebook that he was proud to support his friend, the crazed election conspiracy theorist Sidney Powell, who was too crazed even for Rudy Giuliani?

It seems Cline wants you to forget. The above post has disappeared from Cline’s campaign Facebook page. If you click the link, you get this:

So, Congressman: Is this the end of a beautiful friendship?

And don’t worry. We won’t let anyone forget.

Cline enables COVID

In a Labor Day interview on WDBJ7, Congressman Cline thought it appropriate to take a verbal shot at Buena Vista Democrats for cancelling their traditional Labor Day breakfast this year.

Local Democrats walked in the Buena Vista Labor Day parade and gathered for the speeches at Glen Maury Park. But given the continuing risks of holding large indoor events, and due to the spiking number of COVID cases in our area, they made the prudent choice to forego the breakfast.

In most localities in the Sixth Congressional District, COVID cases have been on the rise since July.

So why did Cline think the Democrats’ decision was something to scorn?

Cline made his comments at the Republican Labor Day breakfast, which went ahead indoors with no masks or social distancing, and no apparent precautions. Buena Vista is one of the localities that has seen a steady increase in COVID cases in recent months.

Now Cline has posted the following on his Facebook page after President Biden announced new vaccination mandates to finally bring COVID under control:

In announcing the mandates, Biden made the obvious point that people who refuse the safe, effective and free COVID vaccines are not just endangering their own health, but the health of all Americans. as well as putting a huge strain on hospitals and other medical services.

There’s nothing unprecedented or oppressive about vaccine mandates. Children are routinely required to be vaccinated for certain diseases before they can start school. As commander of the Continental Army, George Washington ordered mandatory smallpox inoculations for all his soldiers. He didn’t leave it up to each soldier to make the decision that was right for himself.

As for whether vaccine mandates are unconstitutional: the Supreme Court settled that 116 years ago. As Justice John Marshall Harlan wrote, “[U]pon the principle of self-defense, of paramount necessity, a community has the right to protect itself against an epidemic of disease which threatens the safety of its members.”

And Cline’s sudden concern for “workers’ rights” is laughable. The only right he has supported is the right of non-union workers to freeload off contracts negotiated by union workers.

What does all this tell us about how well Cline understands the law and how seriously he takes the still dangerous and deadly pandemic?

And for God’s sake, Congressman, have the simple courage, decency and respect for life to tell people to get vaccinated, not just to “make the decision that’s right for them.” The time for weasel words has passed.

My brief encounter with Ben Cline

Before the Buena Vista Labor Day parade started, I was standing on a corner wearing a Democratic t-shirt and holding this sign when the union-hating Congressman Cline walked past.

Me: “Hey, Ben, this is what it’s all about!”

Cline: “How about getting your party to support a work ethic?”

The implication being, I suppose, that Democrats are lazy welfare cheats always looking for ways to live off government handouts. (In fact it’s low-wage employers like Walmart and McDonald’s that are subsidized by the government.)

Unfortunately Cline was gone before it occurred to me to respond: “How about getting your party to support a living wage?”

So for the record, that’s my response, Congressman.

Cline celebrates repressive Texas abortion law

Congressman Cline is celebrating the passage of a Texas law that effectively outlaws legal abortion in the state (including in cases of rape and incest) to be enforced through a system of paid informants reminiscent of the Taliban and the East German Stasi.

Last May Cline revealed how phony his “pro-life” position is when he voted NO on a bill to protect pregnant workers and their unborn children.

In other words, he’s “pro-life” (or more precisely, pro-birth) as long as it doesn’t interfere with employers’ rights to treat employees as they choose.