Bob Marshall announces he’s retiring, and other headlines I wish I could write

I will break out the champagne the day I can write that headline on Bearing Drift.  Instead, I get to talk about yet another  federal race Bob Marshall is going to lose.

It’s time for Bob Marshall to go away.  To finally retire from public life and allow the Republican Party in Virginia to heal the damage he and his terminal foot-in-mouth disease have done to the Party.  He turns 70 years old this year and has spent 11 terms in the Virginia House of Delegates.  It’s time for fresh blood in Prince William.  Anybody who cares about their constituents and about their party would be ready to hand off the reins to the next generation.

So that’s why Bob Marshall is, instead, throwing his hat into the ring in the 10th Congressional District race.

Did anybody expect anything less of him?  I know I didn’t.  This is a man who is a pariah in Richmond, who his own colleagues shun, who routinely skips hearings (he’s been to almost no Counties committee meetings, and almost no Science and Tech meetings) and party meetings so he doesn’t have to talk to the rest of the Republican delegation who are trying to actually accomplish things in Richmond.  I guess that gives him more time to work on the ridiculous pieces of legislation he introduces, like creating a Virginia currency, creating our own incandescent light bulb regime (that even AG Cuccinelli opposed), and refighting the Civil War with his incessant anti-Obamacare bills relying on the discredited and unconstitutional doctrines of nullification (which has the blood of hundreds of thousands of Americans on it) and interposition (which has the blood of Civil Rights heroes on it).  Or this little gem from this session, HB 90, a worthless bill designed to ensure that federal employees don’t have their power shut off in the event of a Federal Government shutdown.

Great work, Bob.  That’s going to really help with job creation in Prince William.

Bob Marshall’s political career has been one long, self-aggrandizing ego trip.  He’s never satisfied with simply being the Delegate from the 13th District, and has spent the last 6 years trying desperately to find a way to Washington.  None of those attempts have been successful.  He lost in a convention(!) to Jim Gilmore in 2008, who went on to be destroyed by Mark Warner in the general election.  If Bob had been on the ticket, we can all guarantee the thumping Jim got would have been even worse.  Then he runs again in 2012 against George Allen, winning a whopping 6% of the vote, coming in third, behind Allen and Jamie Radtke.

Bob has demonstrated over his career a fundamental inability to raise money.  In his 20+ years in the House, he hasn’t raised in total over a $1 million.  In his last campaign, he was outspent by his Democratic opponent, and almost lost his seat.  In his Senate primary race – where he was the first candidate to announce – he raised $76,391.  I raised more than that for my House race in 2011.

He has demonstrated an ability to win races in Prince William, and he does it using a style that isn’t uncommon in the House of Delegates.  95% of the time, he spends ginning up crazy nonsense in the House, saying ridiculous things to get himself in the paper, and to generally make a nuisance of himself and embarrass the Republican Party.  The other 5% – usually the last few months leading up to election day – he reverts to being a standard Republican politician, focused on jobs and the economy, and on his pet issue, transportation.  On that issue, unlike every one else, he actually has a few accomplishments, and that’s what many voters in the 13th remember him for and keep electing him for.

That’s not going to work in Congress.  When even the slightest misstep can end your career and put a target on your back (ask Mike Grimm), his inability to keep offensive things from spewing from his mouth will make our Virginia embarrassment a National embarrassment.

That’s what Bob is, folks.  A Virginia embarrassment.  This is a man who, while claiming to be pro-life, said that disabled children were punishment from God for the sins of their parents.  Ignoring the fact that most of these disabled kids are born to pro-life parents, it was one of the most fundamentally demeaning and idiotic statements made by a man whose entire career has been bouncing from one demeaning and idiotic statement to the next.   The man makes Todd Akin look reasonable.

The worst part, especially for those of us who are pro-life, is that the Democrats and the mainstream media portray Bob – who represents the stereotypical old, white guy – as the largest champion for life in Virginia.  Why do they do this?  To discredit the entire movement, and to paint us all with the same brush.  “Oh, you’re from Virginia?  And you’re pro-life?  You must be Bob Marshall.” Get ready to spend millions of dollars trying to correct that record.

Hopefully, when Barbara Comstock crushes Bob in the 10th District in May, he will see the handwriting on the wall and decide it’s time to finally get out of the legislating business and into something where he can’t cause Republicans in Virginia any more damage.

I’d recommend law school.