In the CharO by Walker Lundy:
When he speaks in Mooresville instead of Congress, Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry sounds like he doesn't think much of Congress or Republicans. "Republicans were at the trough" when they held the majority in Congress, he said. "They had power for the sake of power."
He said, for example, that the Department of Education under President Bush has doubled in size and its average bureaucrat now makes $90,000 a year. "There are so many duplicate programs (in the federal government), it's crazy."
"After being in the majority for 12 years, they (the Republicans) were fat and happy," he said. "The American people realized it and threw them out."
Wow! Even Republicans are running against the Republican Party these days.
It made me wonder if aliens had invaded the body of this normally rock-ribbed conservative Republican.
Go read the whole piece but here's some more for when the link dies:
When he spoke to us, he wore the standard conservative blue blazer, blue shirt and wine-colored tie. At his age, he looked more like an insurance salesman than a member of Congress.
He didn't come across as the rabid partisan that is his reputation. Instead, he was funny, charming and down to earth. After an hour's give-and-take, I found I liked him personally, even though we probably wouldn't agree on which hymn to sing in church.
McHenry answered many of our questions by lambasting his congressional colleagues, but he ducked or fumbled a few of the big issues of the day, such as health insurance and Iraq.
Example: Someone asked about some friends who could not afford their prescription drugs. Why couldn't they buy them cheaper from Canada, she asked. McHenry said it was a trade and safety issue.
"You don't want jobs to go overseas, but you want to go overseas to buy products," he pointed out. He did not mention that, according to the Washington Post, China already manufactures $675 million worth of prescription drugs sold in America.
Another example: I asked if he thinks democracy will survive long-term in Iraq. McHenry said he has no opinion, which is perhaps honest but unhelpful. If you don't think the Iraqi people are capable of keeping a democracy after we leave, what is the point of even one more American dying there?
McHenry said he thought people were willing to give President Bush the benefit of the doubt until Katrina. Then they saw governmental "incompetence," and Bush's poll numbers began to plummet.
Back to criticizing Congress, McHenry joked that his colleagues had introduced 46 different bills to change the names of local post offices and federal buildings. He did not mention he rose in the House recently in praise of the Overmountain Jamboree and Barbecue Cook-Off in Burke County.