"My understanding ... is that people are gaining respect for Republicans in general because we're not just a bunch of sheep that follow the same course," said Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest, Maryland Republican. That idea "might not play well with Rush Limbaugh," he said, but is apparent in his district. "
The Washington Times, 11-17-05.
So now there is another important difference between Congressman Gilchrest and his Republican constituency: we are sheep and he is not. The good congressman has been in the news a lot lately mainly representing the "moderate" voice of the Party. And it may be true that Mr. Gilchrest is only being the compassionate Republican trying to change the tone in Washington. And I'll admit, I have yet to hear about monstrous earmark appropriations for District 1 a la Don Young's district of Alaska. I don't know whether Glichrest was one of the 20 GOP congressmen who went begging to the White House, pleading for their seats that the President had placed in jeorpardy with a temporary suspension of the Davis-Bacon Act.
So he may indeed be a different sort of Republican. The Democrats, on the other hand, have not been trying to change the tone. They have, if anything, been force-feeding the tone steroids. And I would like to know what people "are gaining respect for Republicans... ," who vote against each other, contradict each other, and compromise their principles, assuming they had any to begin with, for the sake of retaining their power and influence.
Again, I have no seen evidence political opportunism in Gilchrest's wayward ways. If anything I see him holding up a neon sign blinking "Vote Me Out, Please!" So what's my beef? My beef (or lamb in this case) is that he is a Democrat (or a Green or Independent) in sheeps' clothing. He probably couldn't be elected in Dist. 1 as a Democrat so the Republicans were just tickled pink to have him. We should be more discriminating in the future.
But the sheep comment really steams. We are sheep if we "follow the same course," and respected when we don't, in Gilchrestian theory. In that case, we should all follow Gilchrest since we all want respect. But that would mean we would all be following the same course. Gilchrest presents us Republicans with a dilemma, doesn't he? "Follow Me!"?
He is a shepherd who cannot have any sheep. By his own definition he represents no one with an ounce of respectability. While you ponder that one...consider the spectacle of all congressional Republicans, each going in a different direction. Unfortunately there are only two ways to vote, with the Democrats or against them. Hmmmm so that means, Gilchrest is, or runs the very real risk of being seen as, a sheep at least some of the time!! To mitigate this threat, he would have to vote 100 percent of the time with....the Democrats...to show that, you know, he is respectable, thereby helping the Republicans!
Somebody .... Help!