I have to tell you in all honesty that until tonight, I thought Representative Lynn Westmoreland was a woman.
Why is that? It’s not because I haven’t been paying attention to congressional affairs. In one form or another, I’ve been writing about the U.S. Congress and congressional legislation for over a decade. It’s not simply because the first name “Lynn” usually refers to a woman, either. I’ve known for some time that Senator Lindsey Graham, Rep. Dale Kildee, Rep. Marion Berry and Dana Rohrabacher are men, even though they have names typically given to women and girls. I know this because for better or worse, Graham, Kildee, Berry and Rohrabacher have a record of consequential legislative action.
Lynn Westmoreland, by contrast, has no record of consequential legislative action. Hold on there; please allow me to correct that. Lynn Westmoreland has no record of legislative action. Period. Although he is a congressional veteran, having been elected to two-year terms in 2004, 2006 and 2008, Rep. Westmoreland has not written a single bill to accomplish or declare anything in the 111th Congress. Westmoreland’s inaction this year does not mark a departure from his overall record; this man has not submitted one single bill to the United States Congress during his entire congressional tenure. He has never introduced a single bill: not to increase spending, not to decrease spending, not to increase regulation, not to decrease regulation, not to shift appropriations or change taxation or solve a problem or create a problem or congratulate a sports team or name a post office after anyone. Lynn Westmoreland’s legislative record is one big, fat gaping hole of nothing.
This is not to say that Lynn Westmoreland has no record whatsoever. Why, during the 2008 presidential election he called Michelle and Barack Obama “uppity… yeah, uppity.” In a TV interview, he declared support for someone else’s bill that would mandate placement of the Ten Commandments in government buildings, but couldn’t name any more than three of them. Then he defended his do-nothing record with the reminder “It’s not part of the job description that you come up here and you have to introduce a bill.”
That’s a pretty interesting media record; if he were to try writing some words down onto a piece of paper and giving it to the Clerk of the House, we could get some pretty interesting legislation, I’m sure. But for now that’s all in the subjunctive. If Barack and Michelle Obama are uppity, in comparison Lynn Westmoreland looks pretty darned downity.