It can't possibly get much worse than being the lone Congressman holding up the placement of a permanent monument to the crew and passenger heroes of flight 93.
For emotional wallop, there are few rivals to the windswept, grassy field outside of Shanksville, Pa., where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed on Sept. 11, 2001.
But for three years, that field has made do with a makeshift monument while one member of Congress, Rep. Charles H. Taylor (R-N.C.), has blocked a $10 million request to buy the land for a permanent memorial to the 40 passengers and crew members who overpowered hijackers bent on crashing their jet into the Capitol or the White House.
The rest of the story on the flip side..
So what could possibly be the reason that Chuckie T gives for holding up the purchase of the land? He says the federal government already owns enough land and doesn't need to buy anymore. This certainly doesn't sound like the man who was going to put an end to the sale of our national forests. Nope, just the opposite. I think old Chainsaw himself would personally have ravaged every acre if his constituency and the rest of the country hadn't stood up to him.
I don't know about you, but having the reputation of being the only man in Congress holding up the purchase of a grassy field in Pennsylvania where average men and women became heroes doesn't sound like a good plan if you are heading into a touch election year. Then, I haven't heard too many people claiming that Charles Taylor is the brightest bulb in the pack.
The good news for us is that not too many people in Washington are lining up behind old Chuck.
House Republicans worry that Taylor is not doing himself any favors, standing against the memorial fund in the midst of a tough reelection campaign against former Washington Redskins quarterback Heath Shuler.
And the White House has joined the fray. This year, the request -- for the first $5 million installment -- came from President Bush and the National Park Service. Former White House chief of staff Andrew H. Card Jr. has leaned on Taylor, as has his successor, Joshua B. Bolten. On Thursday, Shuster wrote a "Dear Colleague" letter to House members to ratchet up the pressure, offering up a form letter addressed to Taylor.
Did you catch that? George Bush isn't even lining up behind Taylor. With the primary election just days away it will be interesting to see if this takes hold in the mountains of North Carolina.