10,488 Hour Plan Off to Rocky Start

Methinks Rick Goddard should invest in a new Magic 8 ball, preferably one that gives out more answers than just “Go For It!” 437 days (10,488 hours) or so out from his 2008 matchup with Rep. Jim Marshall (D – 8th), Goddard should be backing away from his moronic criticism of Marshall’s fact finding mission to Afghanistan (where he was embedded on the front lines with our brave men and women). But instead he seems to be digging a deeper hole for himself.

Goddard’s ridiculous claim is that because Marshall was in Afghanistan and not on the House floor when the Farm Bill was voted on, Georgia’s farmers somehow lost out. First of all, I think most residents of the 8th district are pleased that they have a member in Congress that has been waiting for four years to visit with our troops on the front lines in the war on terror and don’t mind that he missed a few votes where his vote wasn’t even needed.

But more importantly, they’ve got to be thrilled that their member of Congress serves on the Agriculture Committee, where the real action on the farm bill takes place. If Goddard is reading, I’ll give him a free lesson on how Congress works. Bills are introduced and then go through various committees of relevance. The farm bill, being about agriculture, goes to the Ag Committee, where it is rewritten by the members of the committee. After that, it goes to the floor where it gets an up or down vote. For the past year, the Ag Committee has been altering this bill to get it to where it is now, and since Jim Marshall serves on that committee, he’s had greater influence on this bill than all but a handful of the other 435 Congressmen.

Just thinking about this, it’s really hard to dumb it down any further for someone like Goddard. Presumably Goddard wants there to be a farm bill and guess what — it passed the House! He doesn’t even appear to have any criticisms of the bill save for Marshall’s absence during the vote. He seems to be saying: Hey 8th district, your Congressman is ineffective because…well…a bill you wanted passed on his watch after he helped write it. Next time Goddard and his campaign have a great idea on an attack on Jim Marshall, maybe they should throw out the aforementioned Magic 8 ball and call someone with a brain to see if the line of attack even makes sense to a rational person. Even Jim Whitehead’s campaign wasn’t this embarrassing.

General Goddard, I salute you. I didn’t think anyone could make Mac Collins seem like a breath of fresh air, but you sir really have outdone yourself.


  1. rugby_fan says:

    We salute you Mister Don’t Know How Congress Works but I’m Running for Congress Anyway.


  2. LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

    Chris, are you sure he was on the frontlines and not hiding in his hotel reporting “hearsay”?

  3. I Am Jacks Post says:

    Chris said, “The farm bill, being about agriculture, goes to the Ag Committee, where it is rewritten by the members of the committee. After that, it goes to the floor where it gets an up or down vote.”

    Hey smart ass, a bill goes to Rules Committee before it goes to the House floor for a vote. Make sure you know what you’re talking about before you presume to lecture us all.


  4. Hey, if Goddard’s criticism was that Marshall wasn’t at the Rules committee meeting, I’d have addressed that. Was I simplifying things a bit, sure. Am I correct and Goddard wrong, also sure.

  5. Demonbeck says:

    Your entire diatribe doesn’t change the fact that Marshall didn’t vote for the Farm bill.

    Members make trips to Afghanistan and Iraq all the time. IIRC, Isakson has been to Iraq four times now. If the Farm bill were important enough, he would have been there.

    Frankly, neither point is worth arguing. It’s all politics as usual. Marshall missed a vote. Marshall was in Afghanistan. Goddard points out that Marshall skipped town during the Farm bill vote. The Sun rose. The Sun set.

  6. Demonbeck says:


    Why is it OK for you to speak in generalities, but when Goddard does, you write a diatribe about how stupid you think he is?

  7. Jmac says:

    So I may be splitting some hairs, but Goddard seems to be completely incorrect …

    I’d venture to say that he was also lacks the ability to understand how Congress actually works.

  8. steelfist says:

    Chrisishardcore – You are the one that is wrong, not Goddard, and needs the lesson – so take notes.

    Goddard’s beef with Marshall had nothing to do with the farm bill vote on the house floor, but had everything to do with Marshall not being in the committee where, according to your civics lesson, the real work in Congress gets done. If you check the record, Marshall was not present and accounted for during part of the mark up on the farm bill in Ag committee. He left to go to Afghanistan to tour a base instead of helping craft the farm bill in committee that only comes around every 5 years. So therefore, Jim Marshall let us down and wasn’t there. He clearly had less influence on the legislation then you are leading Georgians to believe.

    It appears your criticism should be focused on Marshall, not Goddard, since he wasn’t in the committee to “alter” the legislation.

    Get your facts straight and you owe all an apology for your stupidity.

  9. DMZDave says:

    Actually the real work gets done by committee bu not necessary in committee. The staff drafts, circulates, redrafts, recirculates long before anyone ever sits down in a committee room to “mark up” and any changes you may want at that point are largely driven by the Chairman and anything brought to a vote will be normally handled on a party line vote. If you are a Democratic Congressman from a republican leaning district facing a tough race, the Chairman will normally go to great lengths to protect your interests. In short, Marshall really can literally mail it in. His interests and the interests of his constituents are of great interest to the Ag Chairman who wants to keep that title.

    Now if General Goddard can point to some way in which Marshall’s absence actually harmed his constituents, he should make that case and I’d be willing to listen but I”m not willing to accept that Marshall harmed his constituents by going to Afghanistan leaving his able Chairman and his staff to look out for his constituent’s interest.

    Jim Marshall, who is in the Army Ranger Hall of Fame, apparently went to Afghanistan to see first hand what is what. I don’t like all his politics and don’t like his party much, but he was definitely once a real soldier with none of the “John Kerry” purple hearts and he knows a whole lot about what it means to be soldier on the ground with politicians in DC selling you out. For his part, General Goddard knows a great deal about what it takes to fly over those troops on the ground and support them from the air but he can’t hold a candle to Marshall’s muddy boots experience. Goddard’s criticism makes me more favorably disposed toward Marshall.
    So, good on Ranger Jim for going to Afghanistan. That’s dangerous duty and he gets a “hooah” from me for making the trip and supporting the troops. Now let’s talk about the vote for Speaker Pelosi.

  10. Bill Hagan says:

    You can say many things about Jim Marshall but he does not miss votes or debates without a good reason. His research trip to a combat zone is fully in line with his duties in Congress.

  11. Bill Hagan says:

    Toddrob as I said “without a good reason”. When Marshall misses a vote he will be able to give you a good reason why he missed it. I ‘d love to see someone be able to hit Marshall on this issue but I’m afraid this is one thing Jim is not guilty of.

    The reality of this subject is that Rick made a comment during an interview without having all the facts. It happens to everyone in the public eye. However once he had the facts, he decided to continue with this foolish attack. There are many good areas to hit Marshall on but this is just making Rick look foolish. You win some and you lose some. Marshall won this round and Rick lost. If Rick is smart he will take the punch and move on to the next issue.

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