At Bearing Drift, we allow our writers to have differences of opinion and we certainly do not all agree. Today was a perfect example of this. My colleague, DJ McGuire, wrote a post that stated that he was not happy with the actions of Congressman Ben Cline. While Mr. McGuire can pontificate and stick his nose up in the air (so much that if a rainstorm came he would drown), I want to give you a different perspective by someone who is actually represented in the United States House of Representatives by Congressman Cline.
I’ve known Ben Cline for six years now. Back then, he was the calm, collected Delegate who only threw political fire when necessary. Congressman Cline brings a whole new meaning to “keeping your powder dry” until the right moment.
You see, he learned that perspective from a man of great political stature and character, my former Congressman Bob Goodlatte. As the Bible expects of Christians, Congressman Goodlatte was slow to anger and slow to speak. Congressman Goodlatte was not a reactionary man; he didn’t jump the gun at everything. He was a calculated mind on politics and policy who led both the Agriculture and Judiciary committees of the US House with wisdom and integrity.
Ben worked for Congressman Goodlatte, then became a prosecutor, then became a powerhouse in the Virginia House of Delegates — and then November 2017 rolled around. The day after the election came in 2017, where Virginia Republicans were swept in a “blue wave.” That was the day we also got the news of Congressman Goodlatte’s retirement.
Panic swept the district. Right-wing provocateur Cynthia Dunbar announced her campaign in less than 20 minutes of Goodlatte’s retirement announcement. The district scrambled for cover, fearing that political doom might be headed our way.
Then Ben Cline stepped forward. With his calm demeanor and his experience as a legislator and a prosecutor, then-Delegate Cline was ready for a fight. The thing that no one wants to admit was that the convention was rigged in Dunbar’s favor; that made Ben the stronger candidate and politician. Ben was persistent, hiring a strong team and making the inroads in the 6th District necessary to win the convention.
He won that convention. He then went on to win overwhelmingly in a year where the Democrats flipped three seats in Virginia US House districts.
However, much like Bob Goodlatte, he didn’t just shrink into the background. He found himself on the House Judiciary Committee and the Education and Labor Committee. The more important of those was the Judiciary, because if the Democrats made good on their threats to impeach the President (which they did) the impeachment would go straight through the committee that freshman Congressman Ben Cline was appointed to.
Time and again, Ben Cline has been a voice of reason on a committee that has no reason. Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler lets the committee run like a three-ring circus, but on the side of the minority, sits that calm voice of reason, just like Bob Goodlatte.
Also like Congressman Goodlatte, Ben gets things done for our district. He has had more bills passed by both houses and sent to the President than any other Republican freshman in the House caucus . He has passed important legislation to help veterans and help Virginia families. More importantly, he has been helping our President advance his agenda that helps western Virginia create jobs and grow the economy.
The other thing that Congressman Goodlatte had that Ben Cline also has, is a strong bullsh*t meter. That’s a southwest Virginia way of saying that when someone on the other side of the aisle starts spouting nonsense, Ben Cline is going to get up and give a rebuttal. It’s going to be carefully thought out, it’s going to be commanding of the attention of everyone in the room, and most importantly, it will be factual.
You may think I’m mentioning Bob Goodlatte a lot, and you would be right. But that is what I wanted as a Sixth District Republican. I wanted another Bob Goodlatte when I sent Ben Cline to Congress. I wanted another prosecutor, a great legal mind, and a Virginia Gentleman. I wanted a hero for my district and her people. Ben Cline has done that.
That’s why I believe that Congressman Cline joined his colleagues to storm the Democratic Committee hearing room — because the stuff the Democrats are spouting is nonsense! If Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff had a credible whistleblower, he would let that person speak on television every single night. However, the whistleblower is not credible, nor are the accusations against the President of the United States.
That is why Congressman Cline protested and stormed that committee room. Sure, it’s to make a scene. Also, it’s to remind the Democrats that they cannot just fly under the radar without any sort of transparency.
I trust Ben Cline as a legal scholar, as a prosecutor, as a legislator, most importantly as my friend. I am so proud to call him my Congressman, and I hope he continues to fight for the Sixth Congressional District of Virginia.