Thoughts and prayers?

Congressman Cline: Is this all you have to offer after the mass murder of 19 children and two adults at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas?

No matter how frequent and horrific these tragedies are, we can’t expect anything different from you. Can we?

Going back to his days in the Virginia House of Delegates, Cline has prided himself in standing with the most extreme “gun rights” advocates– far more extreme than most gun owners.

From previous posts at Cline Watch:

Cline on the Virginia Beach massacre

On Saturday– one day after the atrocity– Cline addressed a meeting of the Sixth District Republican Committee in Harrisonburg. He did not mention Virginia Beach at all. But he did restate his commitment to opposing any and all forms of firearms regulation. He said that when he entered Congress this year, he urged Republican leaders to appoint him to the Judiciary Committee and “task me with defeating gun control bills.”

As a member of the Virginia House of Delegates, Cline helped kill virtually every legislative effort to impose regulations of any kind on ownership of firearms or the kinds of weapons and accessories that can be sold or owned in the commonwealth.

In 2018, after he was named chair of the Militia, Police, and Public Safety Committee in the House of Delegates, he bragged about his endorsements by the National Rifle Association (one of the largest donors to his campaigns) and the Virginia Citizens Defense League— which prides itself on being more extreme than the NRA.


“This, after all, is a man who opposed issuing a new Virginia license plate with the message: ‘Stop Gun Violence.'”

Cline toes the NRA line on background checks

Congressman Cline joined other Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday to oppose a bill to bolster background checks for firearms purchases.

By opposing universal background checks, Cline and other Republicans are defying the vast majority of Americans, including those of their own party and gun owners.

Nonetheless the NRA opposes the background check bill. And Cline– a recipient of NRA campaign contributions as a candidate for House of Delegates and for Congress— was pleased to record a spot for the NRA toeing their line.

Cline opposes expanded law protecting women from violence

Cline, who dutifully supports the NRA’s position on every issue, has in turn been generously supported by the the NRA as a candidate for House of Delegates and for Congress.

See also:

Who’s funding and who’s defunding?

For his latest campaign fundraising gimmick, Congressman Cline has posted this ad on Facebook:

The White House recently reported that states and localities throughout the country have so far dedicated $10 billion from the American Rescue Plan approved by Congress in 2021 to public safety and violence prevention, including billions in funding for law enforcement.

Among them is Frederick County, Virginia, soon to be part of the Sixth Congressional District, which “has invested $20 million for provision of a new radio communications system to support mission-critical public safety communications within the county. The communications system will provide enhanced, two-way wireless communications capabilities to all public safety users.”

The irony of all this: Cline and every other Republican in Congress voted NO on the American Rescue Plan. “AOC and the ‘squad'” and every other Democrat voted YES. That is, Cline voted against Frederick County getting this public safety upgrade. “AOC and the squad” voted for it.

So, Congressman: Who is actually funding the police and who is just paying lip service while denying them funding?

Cline votes NO on baby formula funds

On Wednesday the House of Representatives approved $28 million in emergency supplemental appropriations to address the shortage of infant formula in the United States.

Two hundred and nineteen Democrats and 12 Republicans voted YES. Congressman Cline and 191 other Republicans voted NO.

This bill provides FDA with the resources to strengthen and increase the number of FDA inspection staff, provide resources for personnel working on formula issues, help the agency stop fraudulent baby formula from entering the marketplace, and improve data collection on the infant formula marketplace.

The next time Cline claims to be “pro-life,” is it now permissible to laugh in his face? (That is, if he ever shows his face again at a town hall meeting, which he hasn’t held in person since December.)

Will Cline reject “Replacement Theory”?

We shouldn’t be surprised by Congressman Cline’s utter silence on social media about the horrific murder on Saturday of 10 African Americans in Buffalo by a white nationalist.

For one thing, Cline– who rejects any kind of regulations on firearms– would have to confront the inconvenient fact that the 18-year-old shooter was able to purchase the AR-15-style assault rifle he used to gun down his victims.

For another, he would have to address the shooter’s espousal of the “Great Replacement Theory” propounded by many leading figures on the political Right.

[The theory] has two parts: 1) a belief that non-White immigrants are taking not just White people’s jobs but their communities and culture, and 2) a conspiracy that this is all being orchestrated by the left to replace Republican voters with illegal voters of color.

As I reported last September, Cline’s buddy Congressman Matt Gaetz posted on Twitter that Tucker Carlson of Fox News “is CORRECT about Replacement Theory as he explains what is happening to America.” (Carlson is a leading proponent of the theory.) I wondered if Cline had returned a $2,000 campaign contribution he received from Gaetz. I’m still wondering.

Despite Carlson’s longtime advocacy of the racist and antisemitic theory, Cline was proud to be featured in one of Carlson’s misleading reports.

Another believer in the theory is Congresswoman Elise Stefanik. In 2019 Cline helped raise funds for Stefanik’s reelection campaign.

I realize that Cline (like most Congressional Republicans) has absolutely no use for the courage, honesty and integrity of his Republican colleague Liz Cheney. But for the sake of his own soul, he should take her words to heart.

And not just leaders, but pathetic mouthpieces like Cline.

I can’t think of a more urgent question for his constituents and the media to ask him.

What say you, Congressman?

Why isn’t Cline celebrating?

You might think that as an opponent of abortion rights under any circumstances (including rape, incest or protecting the health of the mother), Congressman Cline would be celebrating the news that the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, thus enabling states to once again criminalize abortion.

But as with most self-described “pro-life” (in reality pro-forced birth) members of Congress, that appears not to be the case.

Instead he joined other Republicans to mainly complain about the fact that the news was leaked.

Perhaps Cline has noticed that his extreme position is rejected by the vast majority of Americans– even those who favor some restrictions on abortion.

And now that the end of Roe is in sight, with all that implies, maybe he doesn’t want to call attention to it– especially in an election year.

According to a Washington Post article:

Republican lawmakers are facing renewed internal pressure to support child benefit programs for parents after a leaked opinion on Monday showed the Supreme Court is prepared to strike down federal abortion protections.

Does anyone expect Ben Cline to start supporting laws that help children and families after birth?