Majority Back Bencher

This week Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) filed a motion to remove House Speaker John Boehner. This appears to be payback for Boehner's removing Meadows from a subcommittee chairmanship earlier this year. Meadows is also largely credited (or blamed) for the 2013 government shutdown. In the disastrous wake of that move, Meadows has vehemently denied any credit.

Meadows is in his 2nd term serving the extremely gerrymandered NC-11 mountain district. You will recall that the heart of Asheville was extracted from the 11th district, and placed instead in the extremely conservative 10th district which stretches to Gastonia. Heath Shuler read the tea leaves and chose to leave Congress rather than face certain defeat.

Meadows, along with South Carolina's Joe Wilson, Texas' Louie Gohmert, and several others, appear to be the ultimate back benchers in the majority party in the House. They are safe against challenges in their districts, but must gain attention through outlandish statements and outrageous actions. Meanwhile, their constituents suffer in those "safe" districts, as their attention-getting antics simply result in swift and sure legislative punishment.

I wish there were some challenger with a reasonable chance of unseating Meadows, but the best we can hope for is redistricting reform and changing demographics to bring back even a blue dog to represent the mountains.



Slight correction

You're right that he vehemently denied his role in the shutdown after the true costs were tallied, but earlier he had preened and strutted quite a bit showing off his letter or petition or whatever the hell you call it. He had no idea how much trouble a shutdown would cause, which makes him unfit for the job.

Meanwhile back in the mountains

The people of the 11th district will continue to suffer from the inevitable retribution that Meadows faces and will face for his attention-grabbing antics. And they will still vote for him against some "godless liberal."


The measure of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. - FDR