I missed posting this yesterday, but Reason had a well-written piece on Congressman Paul Broun. And although the article made no mention of the scandal regarding his alleged swearing-in (or lack thereof), it was highly complimentary:
Broun, a self-described “strict constitutionalist,” believes that the income tax should be abolished, that civil liberties degraded since 9/11 should be restored, and that fetuses deserve American citizenship […] There are two reasons why Broun’s career is worth examining closely. The first is Broun himself. He compares himself happily to Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), the anti-war libertarian presidential candidate: Both men are physicians who carry pocket Constitutions and often find themselves on the losing side of congressional votes. (Broun likes Paul, but he doesn’t share Paul’s views on Iraq and won’t make a presidential endorsement.) The day he was sworn in, Broun joined just 13 other Republicans (and 150 Democrats) in supporting a bill to call off raids by the Drug Enforcement Administration on medical marijuana distributors. He was one of only four congressmen to oppose the Drug Endangered Children Act, which allocated $20 million to take care of children living among drugs and drug dealers, and one of three to vote against establishing a new registry to keep track of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (“Lou Gehrig’s disease”).
Asked about both votes, Broun hauls out his Constitution and flips it open to Article I, Section 8. “We don’t have authority to create things like that,” he says. “This lists the functions of the federal government, and it’s about a page and a half long. I’d say most of the things this Congress does, we don’t actually have the authority to do.”
It also mentions the current attempt by Georgia’s Republican establishment to unseat the Congressman:
Back in Georgia, Broun’s own party is plotting to replace him, beginning with the July 2008 primary for his seat. State Rep. Barry Fleming (R-Harlem) entered the race soon after the runoff and has out-fundraised Broun by about 9 to 1. Local pols expect Fleming to win.
“I wouldn’t be running if I thought there was sufficient leadership being exhibited by our congressman,” Fleming says. “I’m offering voters a choice: someone who’s sharp, well-spoken, and can articulate conservative ideas and then walk the walk in Congress.” The implication is that Broun is none of those things, and that his lonely votes against popular programs are a waste of a perfectly good Republican seat.
Congressman Broun doesn’t get a lot of credit for what he does in Washington. He is not the Porker-in-Chief. He’s not being investigated for violating campaign laws. No, he’s just a simple statesman who believes in the Constitution. This has not sat well with the Republican establishment, particularly because Republicans have no use for someone who believes that this country’s greatest danger is Congress’s lack of understanding of the Constitution, rather than the vastly overstated “threat” of “Islamofascism”. I’m sure once Mr. Fleming gets to Congress, he’ll insure that all of this “respecting the Constitution” nonsense is done away with, and the 10th district can get down to the important business of doubling the size of the federal government, interfering in the personal lives of consenting adults, building bridges to nowhere, and nation-building in every corner of the world.
For what it’s worth, Congressman Broun, the few of us who still believe in the Constitution think you’re doing a fine job.