Recently, Congressman Berry has made some public statements about the leadership in his own party that leaves residents in the First District scratching their heads and understandably so. When President Obama was first elected, he was working under incredibly high approval ratings and a perceived mandate from the voting public that this administration was not going to be politics-as-usual. In just a few short months, all of these euphoric attitudes would shift and shift dramatically.
This shift was not unique to just voters across the country but also to Congressman Berry. Shortly after President Obama’s joint address to Congress concerning the supposed crisis the country was in due to some of the financial breakdowns going on, Congressman Berry issued this press release decrying the previous administration and its excessive spending habits that resulted in record deficits. The tenor of that press release was one of a new era being ushered in and that President Obama was going to be the one who was going to take this country in a new direction.
Soon after this press release was issued, key legislation started to get introduced and we started to learn what Cap & Trade was all about and just how long the proposed legislation was. We also learned, from the speech of John Boehner on the floor of the House, details within the bill that the American people would otherwise have not known about and more than likely what a majority of Congress did not know about as well, including Congressman Berry.
Congressman Berry voted for the Cap & Trade Bill in conference where no Republican voted for it and it was decided along party lines. It gave some indication how it would turn out on the final floor vote. But there were eight Republicans who voted for Cap & Trade and that would provide cover for some Democrats, including Congressman Berry, that could vote no. Congressman Berry was for Cap & Trade before he was against it. Had he and others voted against such a terrible bill in conference, of which Berry stated at a recent town hall in Jonesboro, “Senator Waxman wrote a bad bill” and “Cap and Trade is a bad idea”, and voted in accordance with the values and desires of the people in the First District, maybe Cap & Trade would have met a different fate. Also of note, it was revealed after the June 30th FEC filing period that Congressman Berry received, along with many others, donations to his PAC from Majority Whip Clyburn, D-SC, quite possibly for his work to help get Cap & Trade passed.
Since Cap & Trade, the current health care debate has caused Congressman Berry and many others to reconsider their position on the issue much closer because the average American realizes what this attempted power grab by the administration is all about. Through town halls, which Congressman Berry had none of until the very end of the August recess he appeared unannounced with Senator Lincoln, Americans have made their voice heard and the Democratic Party is having issues internally where representatives of conservative districts are not willing to go along with a liberal congress and administration for fear of losing their seats. Even Congressman Berry was reported to have said to a senior White House official before leaving for the August recess that “your President” was causing problems on health care reform.
Just this year, Congressman Berry has contradicted himself on three major issues and has also contradicted himself to the people of the First District. The real question is how long will the voters of the Firs District allow him to continue to contradict them in Washington? What we need is someone who will represent the people of the First District to Washington, not represent Washington to the First District. Marion Berry has shown time and again how he is not fit for the job of representing the First District and the voters will have a chance to let their voices be heard in 2010.