In a recent Facebook posting dedicated to stirring up his base of voters, McGovern mocked Marty Lamb’s position on the Tenth Amendment. He even lowered a legitimate Constitutional discussion to a name-calling contest by using the term “tenther.” Considering Mr. McGovern’s high status in the Progressive Congressional Caucus, it is not surprising that he would not share Mr. Lamb’s views on the issue of the Tenth Amendment. However, one would expect a politician with the number of years of experience of Mr. McGovern to be able to hold an adult conversation about the issue without resorting to foolish belittling of the other viewpoint by creating silly names for it. One would think he would be able to have a rational, intelligent discussion that presents the merits of his position. He could then provide voters with his political points to consider instead of foolish slogans to chant.
Mr. Lamb is presenting a legitimate argument raised by voters in Mr. McGovern’s district. There is a debate in this district over the issue of state sovereignty. People question how far the Constitution allows the federal government to erode those rights. Instead of presenting a rational response to rebut Mr. Lamb’s arguments, Mr. McGovern retorts with a name that categorizes not just Mr. Lamb, but any of his constituents who disagree with him on this issue, tenthers. While the Congressman may not appreciate it, there is a debate on Mr. McGovern’s views. He believes that the Commerce Clause grants Congress a blank check to ignore all the restraints placed upon them by the founders designed to prevent the federal government from usurping the powers of the states. Not all people in his district agree. They are also debating his Facebook comment that the General Welfare Clause also gives Congress unlimited power to legislate regardless of the other restrictions in the Constitution or the will of the people. He owes it to his constituents not to come up with foolish names to mock them, but to act respectfully in answering their questions on these important Constitutional issues.
Voters may not support Mr. Lamb this election, but they should question a Congressman who chooses to mock legitimate debate and argument about how much power the federal government should have over the states and individuals. When the Tenth Amendment issue is raised, Mr. McGovern should be prepared to address this issue seriously, not with childish slogans designed to make fun those who do not agree with his position. The residents of his district deserve an adult who can converse with other adults, not someone who plays playground politics when challenged with a position he finds uncomfortable. Mr. McGovern’s job, as Congressman, is to represent all the people of his district, not just the ones who share his views. Mocking and coming up with foolish names to marginalize their viewpoints does not demonstrate professional behavior. It does come to represent the arrogance his constituents have come to know from him.
Voters have an opportunity in this election to demand respect from their elected officials. Returning a Congressman to Washington who lacks the ability to debate a point of view of his constituents without mocking them and being rude tells the Congressmen this behavior is acceptable. If voters expect respect, they must demonstrate it by voting for it this November.
“Jim McGovern” On the Issues
“Lamb Pledges to Support Radical ‘Tenther’ Agenda” James McGovern Facebook