Shuler upset with Colleagues

This story appeared in the Knoxville, TN paper on 6/28 - sorry if already posted.

Shuler upset with cohorts
N.C. Dem says many play politics instead of doing best for country
By Michael Collins (Contact)
Saturday, June 28, 2008

In surprisingly blunt language, U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler complained this week of "a lack of maturity" in the U.S. House.

The North Carolina Democrat accused some of his fellow lawmakers of thinking they're "Hollywood stars" and said many of them spend more time playing politics than doing what's best for the country.

"It's quite embarrassing," he said. "I mean, I wish all constituents could sit sometimes in the gallery and just see what goes on on the House floor."

Shuler, of Waynesville, N.C., who is serving his first term in Congress, said he knew of Washington's reputation for fierce partisanship before he was elected.

But he said he has been frustrated and disappointed by the degree to which some lawmakers put political gain above what's in the country's best interests.

"I was hoping that the two political parties would work together for America instead of (emphasizing) political differences," he said. "But, in fact, what I keep seeing is this continuation of working for the political parties first and (for) power here in Washington.

"We need to do what's right for America first."

"Whether it's in the committees or on the House floor, I see a lack of maturity, quite frankly, in this house of Congress, where members are actually fighting against one another for their own political posturing or political game of power," he said.

In what appeared to be a rebuttal to Chabot, Shuler said oil and gas companies already hold leases on nearly 68 million acres of federal land that could produce an additional 4.8 million barrels of oil and 44.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas each day. That would nearly double total U.S. oil production and would increase natural gas production by 75 percent, he said.

"But yet we stand on the House floor, and people kind of think they're Hollywood stars because of C-SPAN, and we talk about (drilling in Alaska) and talk about it when we haven't even united together as a body, the people's House, and said what can we do to better our country," Shuler said.


Dayum......the boy sounds like he

actually has an ounce or two of common sense. Imagine a congressman pointing out shortcomings of oil and gas companies. What are they doing with that 68 million acres?

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

OK...he's not a boy....he's a man

I got carried away with that whole southern thing like I tend to do. :D

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Glad to hear him standing up.

I know we aren't always on the same side of the issues, but I can respect a person that stands up for open and honest debate. Even if he comes down on the wrong side, what he is calling for is open and honest debate of the facts. Can't ask for anything more than that.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

Could he be

a statesman and not just a politician? Wouldn't that be great!

I'm a moderate Democrat.

Indeed it would.

So far, so good. Here's hoping it sticks ... but more than that ... here's hoping his words make a difference.

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." - Harry Truman

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

I hope Shuler continues to be so principled,

but then he is a Freshman. Wait a couple of terms. Wait 'til he has to vote for this and that to get some funding for a project back home. Outspoken mavericks tend to get coopted if they want to get anything accomplished or consolidate power. Just ask McSame.

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

I think he will stick to his guns

and will be a credit to NC. I may not agree with him on everything, but he votes with the Dems most of the time. If we can add Larry Kissell to a principled and strong Dem delegation the likes of Price, Miller, Watt, and Shuler, the NC delegation in Congress will be very impressive.

I agree Todd

and if we work hard to keep a majority in the House, Shuler will enjoy many more opportunities to vote with Democrats than he has opportunities to vote with Republicans. Some issues will either never come up or will never make it out of committee. It makes it easier to allow him his personal views without worrying they will have a negative impact on our civil liberties.

I'm not putting him on a pedestal because of one comment, but the fact that he asked a basic question of the oil/gas industry that others should have been asking a long time ago tells me he isn't just another pretty face or...uh...dumb jock. (Sorry...but I heard so much of both during the campaign that I just had to go there......)

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Don't forget

Bob Etheridge in the 2nd!

I'm a moderate Democrat.

If I'm not mistaken, Shuler is anti-choice

and while I do admire a person who exhibits principle, even when I disgree with that person from time to time, the matter of whether a woman is granted this rather significant choice is, to me, a matter of paramount principle.

If she cannot be trusted with a choice, she cannot be trusted with a child.

I also understand that many people on this blog dislike the idea that anyone should be a "one issue" voter.

I'm not.

However -- the idea that this issue should be back-shelved because it is a distraction or otherwise divisive upsets me greatly. Whether a woman has this right or doesn't have this right goes to the heart of what kind of society we want.

That's why I find myself respecting those who disagree that a woman should have this right more than I do those who insist that the question itself be shunted aside.