Monday, April 5, 2010

Artur Davis Seems to Have Lost His Sense of Irony

U.S. Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL) recently chastised members of the Alabama Senate for their votes on a constitutional amendment that would allow the state to ignore major portions of recently passed national health-care reform legislation.

While making a valid point about the shamelessness of certain Alabama state senators, Davis revealed that his own irony meter could use an adjustment.

The heart of Davis' message? States cannot pick and choose the federal laws they wish to obey--and that's a point worth making. But here's a question for Davis: Why are you standing up for constitutional principles on one hand, while seeking financial support from the Alabama business interests who have butchered those principles on the other?

If we were to pose that question to Davis in public, we suspect much throat clearing would commence from the congressman--and Democratic candidate for governor.

Here is the key portion of Davis' statement:

"Twenty-three Alabama Senators of both parties made a mistake last night when they voted for a constitutional amendment that would allow Alabama to ignore major portions of the health care reform legislation. I say that as a Congressman who voted against the legislation, and who has criticized some of the same business mandates this amendment would overturn.

My opposition to the State Senate's action is based on a simple constitutional value that I stated when the issue of state-based repeal first surfaced: Americans and the states we live in do not have the luxury of picking the laws we obey and ignoring the ones we don't like. If we did, our country would fracture overnight into a patchwork of competing, contradictory laws. There is nothing conservative or principled about a strategy that would undercut our national unity and the stability of our legal standards.

Davis makes an excellent point, and we applaud him for it. But it's a shame that this thoughtful statement reveals Davis as a colossal hypocrite.

Why? Davis is saying, correctly, that the Supremacy Clause and the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution mean the health-care law applies to all states--even those, like Alabama, with numerous boobs in their legislatures. But Davis also has been known to seek financial support from Alabama business interests who have repeatedly shown disregard for minor constitutional principles, such as "due process of law" and "equal protection of the law," as outlined in the 14th Amendment.

It's well established that Davis has sought the support of William Canary, president of the Business Council of Alabama and a man identified by Alabama attorney Jill Simpson as a key figure behind the political prosecution of former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman. Davis also has accepted support from Dax Swatek, a Montgomery-based GOP political "consultant" and one of Canary's prominent lackeys.

Canary and Swatek, in essence, stand for the proposition that a Democrat should be prosecuted for a federal "crime" he clearly did not commit, while a Republican is more or less above the law. By seeking the support of sleazebags like Canary and Swatek, Davis seems to be willing to throw some constitutional principles to the wind.

So what gives, Artur? You correctly portray certain Alabama senators as bozos for seeking to pick and choose the federal laws they intend to follow. But in your arrogance, you seem to pick and choose the portions of the U.S. constitution that are to be observed.

This is the kind of problem you run into when you choose to keep bad company with the slimy likes of Bill Canary and Dax Swatek--and it's probably going to come back to bite your gubernatorial campaign in the fanny.

Alabamians are smart enough to know a two-faced politician when they see one. And that's exactly how you are coming across these days.

How far you have fallen from your days on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, when it appeared you actually cared about matters of justice. You once appeared to be a substantive figure, someone who could become a major force on the national stage. Now, you don't appear to be much different from the goobers you criticize in the Alabama Senate.

What a waste of potential.


Unknown said...

Hey Dawg, apologies for the late post. I'm wondering who you consider to be the best candidate for Governor of Alabama at this time and what do you think of the recent mudslinging against Troy King in the paid ad endorsing Strange for attorney general? Also, is this the same Strange that used to be in the "car business". I find the ad as a tool to garner support from the "moral majority" of Alabama as a tactic to bring down Troy King because he stood up against the corrupt "Riley Mafia" who allegedly took money from Mississippi and Indian casino's for protection from competition (pay for play).(and) Could Artur have been naive about his choices you mentioned in your excellent article? Is he trying to play both sides of the fence for political advantage? It's disturbing to me that politicians feel forced to take this strategy, but it seems there is no way to get to the Governorship or any political office without being two-sided about something. Your opinion / analysis is appreciated.

legalschnauzer said...

You raise a number of interesting questions. Right now, my best candidates for governor would be Ron Sparks on the Dem side and Bill Johnson on the Rep side. Artur Davis has been one of the biggest disappointments ever. He apparently feels you have to play to the corporate power structure to win a statewide race--and maybe he's right. But he sure looks bad doing it. Not sure if Luther Strange has been in the car business or not. He's a lawyer now, I believe. I've never been a big Troy King fan, but you have to admire the way he has stood up to the Riley mafia. And that's an apt term to describe them.