Virginia’s Most Useless Congressman Strikes Again

It’s been a rough month for Rep. Dave Brat, who apparently views human worth in terms of Twitter followers:

When I asked the Freedom Caucus members how they would respond to Levin’s argument that the party had grown too nostalgic, too Reagan-centric, the room crackled.

“We’re supposed to respond to this guy? How many followers does he have?” David Brat asked incredulously. There was silence for a moment; it was difficult to discern whether he meant Twitter followers or policy acolytes.

“He’s actually a pretty smart guy,” Labrador finally said.

“Well, you can be smart, but does he have any followers?” Brat asked. “A lot of people at Harvard are smart, but they don’t have any followers.”

“I don’t disagree,” Labrador said to me, turning back to the original question. “I gave a speech about Ted Cruz, and I said, ‘A lot of people are saying that Ted Cruz is the next Reagan.’ And I said, ‘I hope he’s not, I hope he’s the next Ted Cruz because I want to make sure that we look forward.’”

“That’s a good one,” someone murmured approvingly.

Brat was sticking to his guns, though. “I totally disagree. It’s not time to move past Reagan. Reagan stands for something, for a positive America.”

But I digress — Dave Brat would rather talk about salad bars this week.  To wit, everyone’s favorite leftist-leaning purveyor of truth, justice, and the American way– Politifact:

“The Department of Education for starters, right?” Brat said on June 29. “A few weeks ago, (the) education committee in Congress is deciding what’s going to be in your local salad bar. For real. You can’t make it up.”

Our thoughts went to the salad bars at local groceries and restaurants, and we wondered whether the education panel really is deciding their contents. Lettuce tell you what we found.

For starters, Brat’s statement was overly broad. Barbara Boland, the congressman’s press secretary, said Brat was referring to salad bars in schools.

Whoops.

I mean, it’s not as bad as Brat as claiming that America is about to be overrun by 2,000 ISIL-inspired Syrian refugees dancing across our borders only to find out the batch you were talking about?  Were vetted Syrian refugees who hadn’t even come into the country yet — to a Washington Post reporter who was obviously going to fact check that…

…but lettuce stick to the topic at hand:

But only one sentence in the 180-page House bill addresses salad bars. It instructs the USDA to create regulations that would give free-meal schools “flexibility” in setting up and running salad bars. That’s contrary to Brat’s claim that the education committee was “deciding” what’s going to be in any salad bar – school or otherwise.

Salad bars came up for only two minutes during a five-hour debate the committee held on the bill on May 18. That occurred when Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif.,withdrew an amendment that would have required the USDA to draw up a plan to expand the use of salad bars in free-meal schools and offer one-time federal grants to pay for their purchase and installation.

“There is nothing in the House bill that regulates what schools can serve in their salad bars,” we were told by Lorelei Disorga, vice president for the United Fresh Produce Association, a lobbying organization that monitors school lunch legislation.

I mean, damn son.

Stay awake during those committee hearings…

You have to feel bad for Brat’s press secretary, who is trying her very best to explain a principled position through a mouthpiece (Brat) who can’t get his facts straight:

Boland, Brat’s press secretary, also told us in an email that the congressman is concerned by the rising cost of the free breakfast and lunch programs. The price is about $16.5 billion this year and is expected to reach $31 billion in 2025, according to projections by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Boland said Brat thinks the programs would be run more efficiently by states.

“EXTRAORDINARILY VALID POINT!!!  WHY NOT JUST SAY THAT!” screams every press  secretary, PAO, and press official in America.

So on we go with the Politifact verdict:

The congressman misspoke.

You don’t say?

At some point in time, folks are going to realize what an empty suit Dave Brat is — at least, when a guy who claims to be for free trade not only votes against free trade agreements, but supports the anti-free trade policies of Trumpshevism — all the while getting bored before Brat has even finished is first term in office and speculating on a 2018 U.S. Senate bid?

For a guy that claims to be a genius in the soft science of economics, you would figure that facts and first premises would be utterly essential to this guy.

On second though, thank God he’s not teaching college students anymore… think of the countless minds saved from intellectual weakness, right?

How many Twitter followers could they possibly have, after all?

UPDATE:  Delegate Nick Freitas’ office offers a bit of inappropriate criticism

080216_christian_heiens_nick_freitas_brat

You be the judge.  The backtracking is humorous at least… but par for the course.

  • ALEXANDRA BOURNE

    Let me begin with this question: Why does the term “salad bar” have to be written into any legislation? Stop the madness, I mean, government expansion.

    • Now if we could just take that thought and put it into the heads of others… 😉

  • Christian Heiens

    Seeing as Shaun decided to take a page out of Salon.com when it comes to peddling fake outrage and poor journalistic ethics, I have to publish the full conversation myself.

    Difficult to let readers “be the judge” when you only let them see half the story. This is beneath you Shaun.

    • Fitzgerald Chesterfield

      sooo, you didn’t say “that time of the month”?

  • notjohnsmosby

    Shaun, you’re so wrong, yet again. Brat isn’t Virginia’s most useless Congressman.

    He’s America’s most useless Congressman.

    • MD Russ

      No, that would be a tie between Debbie Whatshername Schultz and Charlie “Rent Control” Rangel. Dave Brat is a distant third in that race.

  • Peacemaker

    We know Brat is a total idiot. Unfortunately, some people just miss the forest for the trees.
    But the single most direct way to guarantee a generation of kids that can’t learn is to send them to school hungry. If the states can fund the Free and Reduced Price Meal Program, wonderful. My concern would be that some states would under-fund it for something else.

    • MD Russ

      Like health inspections for out-patient clinics that perform a legal procedure called a D & C. Far better use of taxpayers dollars than feeding hungry children, many of whom were born because contraception services by Planned Parenthood were not available.

      I am sure that make sense to somebody.

      • Peacemaker

        Yep.
        They tell you you no pill…no abortion…and no food for the child you could not afford in the first place. What was that line about individual freedom?

    • RINO!

      • Peacemaker

        And damn proud of it at this point in time. 🙂

  • Curt Diemer

    Shaun Kenney is America’s most useless blogger.

    • John Harvie

      But it takes up space so those who are paying for ads can see there is something there besides an empty page.

    • Peacemaker

      Yet here you are, reading every word he writes.

      You go Shaun!

  • Jerel C. Wilmore

    Perhaps he meant “minions” or “men at arms,” you know, like “Game of Thrones.”

    • I have this vision of Jon Snow staring down a horde of Bolton horsemen to the strings of violins in the background…

  • Little Drummer Boy

    La de da de de, La de da de da …

  • mezurak

    Why don’t Virginians throw brat on the barbie? Have a dem replace the worst congressman in America. That would be an improvement wouldn’t it?

  • Nick Freitas

    Please consider this and this alone to be the only “official correspondence” from my office regarding the topics today.

    An interesting thing happened today. As I was leaving the water-park with my family prematurely due to an unanticipated rain storm my wife looked over at me and wondered why Shaun Kenny was “coming after me” on Bearing Drift. She then showed me the portion of his blog post where he claimed that “Delegate Nick Freitas’ office offers a bit of inappropriate criticism…” As this was the first I was hearing of Shaun’s blog post, you can imagine my confusion that my office had somehow issued any statement much less “inappropriate criticism”. It turns out that my legislative aide Christian Heiens had made a comment to Shaun from his private Facebook account. I have never considered Christian’s, or any legislative aides, comments from their personal Facebook pages to be official correspondence from a legislator’s office. Reading through the comments I never once saw Christian advertise himself or his comments as being representative of my office, so I think the most appropriate and honest interpretation of Christian’s comments is that they were from him.

    Perhaps the cause for Shaun’s actions today in involving my office is the fact that I am a very strong supporter of Dave Brat. I voted for Congressman Brat. I did not vote for him out of any hatred or disdain for Congressman Cantor. While there were many votes that Congressman Cantor made that I disagreed with, I still remembered many times when I saw him standing up to president Obama and the media fighting against Obamacare or trying to get younger conservatives more involved. So it was only with a great deal of consideration that I decided to vote for Dave Brat. Ultimately Dave’s defense of conservative principles convinced me that his voting record would more closely align with my own philosophy of limited government. Since elected I think that Dave has been a man of his word, and has stood by the principles he ran on. This does not mean that Congressman Brat and I agree on everything, but I have been very encouraged to see Dave stand up for the principles he ran on under incredible pressure, stay involved with his constituents and because of this he has earned my loyalty.

    After reading Shaun’s comments today I could almost hear some of my friends say “I told you so Nick”, because on more than one occasion I have told some of my fellow Brat supporters that while I certainly don’t agree with Shaun’s analysis and especially his tone, with respect to his articles on Congressman Brat, that on a variety of topics I have found him to be an incredibly well read, insightful author and conservative thinker. I encouraged them to get to know Shaun personally like I did. I’ve had several conversations with Shaun in person, on Facebook, through email and in my office in Richmond and I truly believe him to be an important member of the Republican Party here in Virginia. I consider him a friend, and although now it may have proven to be presumptuous of me, I would have assumed the sentiment to be mutual.

    For my own part, none of my beliefs about Shaun will change based off of this article or the subsequent comments. I do not encapsulate a person’s entire character or contributions based off of limited actions to which I disagree.

    I would also like to note that I am very proud to have Christian Heiens as my legislative aide. It is encouraging to see someone of Christians youth so excited about conservative principles and so eager to advocate for them. Christian, as anyone who knows him or has worked with him in either Richmond or the College Republicans knows he does not have a misogynist bone in his body. While Shaun may not know this about Christian, he certainly has had enough interaction with me to know that such an accusation directed against me would be absurd. Having said that, I am frustrated that should I receive a Democrat challenger next year in my district, they will most likely use this blog from a fellow Republican against me; despite the fact that this has been my sole interaction with it and represents the entirety of my comments.

    Ultimately, I will continue to be proud to have Congressman Brat as my representative in the 7th District, I will continue to be proud to have Christian as my legislative aide, and remain proud to be in a Republican Party that features both them and Shaun Kenny as members.

    This political season has seen its share of friendships strained and lost over comments made in the heat of the moment, and as far as it is within my power I will not contribute to it. As for this episode, I will offer no further explanation or comment. Shaun, you have my number. I would appreciate it if in the future, rather than engaging in speculation as to the official positions or comments of my office, you would extend me the courtesy of contacting me directly.

    Thank you,
    Delegate Nick Freitas

    • Don’t hold your breath Nick.

    • Peacemaker

      This is a very well thought out statement. You seem to be a genuine individual, so my only thought would be to reconsider your position on Brat. Standing up for principle is one thing. That isn’t what he is doing. It is not unlike Brat touting 12 year term limits…that have now turned into 20. And he has made himself so unpopular among his peers that he can not actually represent your district, and (as if that isn’t bad enough) he refuses to acknowledge and/or represent that the district is more than 40 people. It’s over 700,000.
      And now he thinks his meager experience is enough to serve in the Senate. Wow. That is arrogant.

      You seem to be more considerate than he has proven to be. I don’t know you, but I do know the 7th. Please don’t tie yourself too tightly to Brat.

  • Rob Blackstone

    I thought this article was going to be about Barbara Comstock.

  • Peacemaker

    Oh my…
    In the video you posted, Brat says infrastructure doesn’t cause economic growth. What is so sad is that he doesn’t seem to understand that without adequate infrastructure, there can be no economic growth. Or maybe he thinks we need to go back to goods transport via horse and buggy?

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  • Crprod

    I would imagine that his academic colleagues are relieved by his absence from departmental faculty meetings.

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