[Originally posted at Booman Tribune]
Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania's 8th congressional district had about the most inauspicious beginning to his term that can possibly be imagined. He literally failed to show up for the swearing-in ceremony because he was at a fundraiser with National Republican Congressional Committee chairman Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas. Both of them then proceeded to cast votes and conduct other House business illegally and in violation of the Constitution. Congress actually had to nullify two of their votes. This, of course, brought great shame to the people of Bucks and Montgomery counties he was elected to represent.
Things have only improved modestly since then. I already detailed his atrocious record on women's health and trying to turn Medicare into an inadequate voucher system but there is something else I want to highlight today. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick has something in common with Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. He has contempt for working families.
Hopefully, you have seen the tape of Mitt Romney secretly talking to a bunch of millionaires in Florida where he said that 47% of the people in this country are a bunch of freeloading moochers who he doesn't care about. If you haven't seen it, you can watch it here and you can read the full transcript of his speech here. This is the part that stoked the most controversy:
Romney: "There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. And I mean, the president starts off with 48, 49, 48—he starts off with a huge number. These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn't connect. And he'll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. I mean that's what they sell every four years. And so my job is not to worry about those people—I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
That forty-seven percent includes our military; it includes our working poor and people living on the edge of poverty, and it includes most of our retirees. Mitt Romney doesn't think his job is to care about any of those people. And his running mate, Paul Ryan, is only slightly more generous. He only writes off 30% of the people. Rep. Ryan said the following while delivering the keynote address at the right-wing American Spectator's Robert L. Bartley Gala Dinner in November 2011.
"Seventy percent of Americans want the American dream. They believe in the American idea. Only 30 percent want the welfare state," Ryan said. "Before too long, we could become a society where the net majority of Americans are takers, not makers."
So, here we have the Republican presidential ticket, with both men showing open contempt and scorn for anyone in this country who isn't some kind of "maker." It's a world view that Mike Fitzpatrick shares. Just a few days ago, on September 23rd, Rep. Fitzpatrick spoke to a group in Doylestown called the The Kitchen Table Patriots. Here's part of what he had to say:
"We need to support people who have a history and know what it is like to sign the front of a paycheck, and NOT the back of a paycheck."
There are approximately 252,000 people employed in Bucks County and approximately 467,000 people employed in Montgomery County, and only a tiny percentage of them sign the fronts of their paychecks. Employers are vitally important to the community, but so are employees. A good representative does his or her best to represent all their constituents, and especially the most needy and vulnerable. Having a representative say that he doesn't support the people who sign their own paychecks is ridiculous. Especially when that representative is too busy taking checks from big donors to even attend his own swearing-in ceremony.
As I mentioned before when covering Dean's Dozen for Democracy for America, Rep. Fitzpatrick's opponent is Kathy Boockvar. The people of Pennsylvania's 8th District would be much better served by her leadership. She cares about people who sign the back of their paychecks. She cares about 100% of the people, not 53% or 70% of them. She's been a legal services attorney who worked with the poor. She's fought to protect people's voting rights. She has the correct priorities. You can give her some support by going here and showing her some love. Rep. Fitzpatrick needs to take his condescending attitude and go.