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Give Cao a break

November 9, 2009

There is understandable frustration on the part of Republicans about Rep Cao’s (R-LA) break with the party to vote for the health care bill Saturday night.

Remember the GOP’s elation that the first Vietnamese-American elected to Congress is a Republican?  As recalled by the Washington Post today,

When Republican Anh “Joseph” Cao won a stunning victory in a heavily Democratic district in New Orleans last December, the GOP was so thrilled that House Minority Leader John A. Boehner sent a memo to his colleagues headlined “The Future is Cao.”

But now conservatives have jumped on the bandwagon denouncing the vote, some saying we ought to dump him.  I think that’s wrong.  Yes, it is regrettable that the left can claim the bill was “bipartisan” but only a total moron and the White House–and those might not be two totally separate categories–could seriously consider 1 vote bipartisan support.  All the Republican and 39 Democrats who voted against the bill: that’s bipartisan opposition.

Cao says he was reflecting the wishes of his constituents.  Isn’t that what we’ve been complaining about for the last six months or so?  That our representatives in Congress, whether Democrat or Republican, don’t reflect our views?

I personally want to see him stay in the GOP and provide an entree into his district for conservative values.   As a Catholic ex-seminarian he’s anti-abortion and that makes him a social conservative at least.  His vote didn’t make or break the bill.  All it did was allow Betsey Markey (D-CO) to vote against it.  We’re not fooled by that, either.

Yes, we’re disappointed and I think he was a bit naive.  More importantly, though, we should not be about ideological purity.  That’s the province of the leftists in the Democratic Party.

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