Thursday, May 1, 2014

A frustrated LaTourette passes baton to Joyce

When former Ohio Rep. Steve LaTourette  arrived in Akron recently for a luncheon talk sponsored by the Akron Press Club and Bliss Instititute he recounted his frustration with trying to get anything done against the right-wing Tea Party fringe contrrolling the fate of most legislation.

They represent 40  or more House members  who come to the office each day, vote no, and go home praising themselves for a job well done.  It was left to  the memory of Groucho Marx to describe such heinous resistance:   "Whatever it is, I'm against it."

LaTourette faulted the Republican Party for failing to invite minorities, women, gays and others to come aboard. And as a reputed moderate Republican from Lake County, he decided to  give up his seat in 2012 after 18 years in the House.  He is now pacing a group, Main Street Partnership, which is supporting GOP moderates against the sweep of Tea Party insanity.  While a noble cause, it does seem to be an attempt to build a sand castle in a windstorm.

LaTourette has also had nice things to say about his Republican successor, Rep. David Joyce, who is being challenged in the GOP primary.  Here, we have shadings of where moderation ends and the ancient GOP texts arise again.  For example, Joyce has put out campaign ads saying he wants to cut taxes and repeal Obamacare.   And ,of course, he  wants the voters to know that he opposes abortion while favoring family, guns and prayers. the Plain Dealer noted in endorsing him.

The  paper had little choice  against Joyce's Tea Party primary opponent, State Rep. Matt Lynch.  It described  Joyce, the former Geauga County Prosecutor,  as "less combative."

But there's nothing in Joyce's campaign spiel to suggest that he is moderate..

Eliminate Lynch from the equation, and you still have a garden variety version of a modern Republican conservative that's not likely change much of the resistance movement in Congress.

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