It's election time, and soon we will know if we are stuck with a demented, obstructionist GOP House for another two years. I've spent a lot of time chronicling the foolish comments and destructive actions of specific House members here, and some (Steve King, Allan West, Michelle Bachmann come to mind) have appeared in this series many times.
But with the election less than a day away, it's time to take a look at the larger picture: the collective actions of the House GOP, rather than those of specific persons. There are many issues (health care, reproductive rights, labor, taxes) where it would be possible to demonstrate just how mind-numbingly awful the GOP has been. But let's focus here on two pet peeves of mine: civil rights and the environment.
The ACLU and the League of Conservation Voters voting guides are my references here. I want to highlight their ratings of House members as a "worst of the worst" listing: Representatives that scored a 0 (yes, 0%) on the ACLu score card, and less than 10 on the LCV scorecard (the LCV provides a handy 'short list' of House members in this category, so I got lazy).
The ACLU ratings come from votes on the "Patriot" Act, defunding Planned Parenthood and anti-abortion votes, and pro-DOMA, medical marijuana, and school voucher votes. The LCV ratings are based on a variety of measures related to offshore drilling, clean water protections, clean air protections, pesticides, energy efficiency standards, and other pollution and energy-related issues.
I'm sure I don't have to explain where the GOP has generally been standing on all these issues. So without further ado, here are the Representatives who were the bottom of the barrel on these issues. Surprise! They're all Republicans.
Alabama: Bonner, Rogers
Arizona: Franks, Quayle
California: Dreier, Gallegly, Herger, Hunter, Issa, Lungren, McCarthy, Miller, Nunes
Florida: Miller, Nugent, Posey, Ross, Southerland
Georgia: Gingrey, Price, Scott, Westmoreland
Indiana: Pence, Rokita, Stutzman
Kansas: Huelskamp, Jenkins, Pompeo, Yoder
Kentucky: Davis, Rogers
Louisiana: Fleming, Landry
Michigan: Huizenga, Walberg
Mississippi: Harper, Nunnelee, Palazzo
Missouri: Akin, Hartzler, Long, Luetkemeyer
Nevada: Amodei, Heck, Heller
New York: Buerkle, Turner
North Carolina: Ellmers, Fox, McHenry, Myrick
North Dakota: Berg
Ohio: Chabot, Gibbs, Johnson, Jordan, Latta
Oklahoma: Cole, Langford, Lucas, Sullivan
Pennsylvania: Kelly, Pitts, Shuster
South Carolina: Duncan, Gowdy, Scott, Wilson
Tennessee: Black, Blackburn, Desjarlais, Fleischman
Texas: Brady, Burgess, Canseco, Carter, Conaway, Farenthold, Gohmert, Hall, Hensarling, Johnson, McCaul, Neugebauer, Olson, Poe, Sessions, Smith, Thornberry
Washington: Hastings, Rogers
Wisconsin: Duffy, Ryan, Sensenbrenner
Some names you might have expected don't appear, but that's generally because they had one or two votes (out of 13 listed) that were with the ACLU (for example, Bachmann in Minnesota and Pearce in New Mexico). In general, though, we have a large and deep red (100% Republican) rogues' gallery here - an even 100 names.
Regrettably, after Tuesday many of them will still be around, and as desperately obstructionist and destructive as ever. These are the people trying ceaselessly to undermine or destroy everything put in place in the last 100 years to benefit the 99% against the 1%: the vast bulk of middle- and working-class Americans against the plutocracy. But our good fortune is that President Obama and a Democratic-controlled Senate now appear almost certain to remain in place to block their worst impulses.