Tuesday, August 31, 2010

At Home in the Beltway's Backrooms

Michael N. Castle (R-Del)’s opponent in the special election to be held in September to replace Joe Biden in the senate calls him Washington’s “invisible man,” a career politician, a true “Lord of the Backroom.” In political office since 1966 and Congress since 1992, Mike Castle is a Congressman no one knows, but whose votes affect us all. Christine O’Donnell, also a Republican, continues, “Until he came out solidly against repealing ObamaCare, Castle received almost no media attention. But in the Beltway’s Backrooms, he continually reinforces his credentials as a charter member of the Washington Establishment.” She does have a point in that Castle votes with Obama 60% of the time. In some years, he votes with the liberals half the time. In some years, it’s 75% of the time. He voted for the huge Cap & Trade Tax and against the surge in Iraq.

Rep. Castle’s latest move that got my attention and moved him up as a Poster Boy was his sponsorship of the Puerto Rico Statehood Bill that just narrowly passed the House April 29th. The bill is an attempt by Obama and the Dems to add to their one-party rule majority by adding three more votes –two in the Senate and one in the House. Why a nominally Republican Rep. would sponsor such a bill is a mystery. If Christine O’Donnell is right about her “Lord of the Backroom” description there was backroom deal of some sort. Like our other Poster Children he has been in politics all his life so that makes sense to us. And he is a lawyer.

Castle calls himself a Catholic but is a member of several pro-abortion groups including the Republican Majority For Choice, Republicans For Choice and Christine Todd Whitman's It’s My Party Too. Another contradiction?

Checking him out on our most reliable non-partisan taxpayer groups, we find that Castle is on both sides of the earmark debate as the Club for Growth RePork Card shows him voting for earmarks about half the time and against the other half. The National Taxpayers Union tabulations show that he started out in ‘93 favoring taxpayers 75% of the time but in the last several years he hovers around 50% with the last three years average at just over 40%. Citizens Against Government Waste rates Castle at 57% lifetime and the most recent year 31%. CCAGW rates members on a 0 to 100 percent scale. Our poster boy is rated “lukewarm” to taxpayers’ concerns.

When we see averages like this in the middle of the pack we conclude that the Rep. is trying to be all things to all people to enhance reelection prospects. In a liberal state like Delaware he tries to satisfy his party’s expressed opposition to spending and waste some of the time and then gives in to the spenders and puts in for earmarks to satisfy the liberal voters. Wishy-washy is the term that comes to mind. Others might label him "unprincipled."

Key votes http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/members/C000243/key-votes/

This is your typical career pol that starts out looking out for the taxpayers and then slipping into deficit spending to placate lobbyists and other special interest groups who help insure reelection. Reminds of Ronald Reagan’s description of the guy who goes to Washington to “drain the swamp” and after a bit he discovers it is really a hot tub –and he wants to stay there at all costs. Professional politicians Job #1 is to get reelected and since they are a majority what they do today is for their own benefit which must be paid for in future by our and their own children and grandchildren. Hence, the country’s multi-$trillion debt.

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