What is it about politicians named Scott that they seem to get a leg up on the competition when it comes to elections? It’s not that a name beginning with the letter ‘S’ has the same “first-in-the-alphabet; first in line” advantage that’s accorded to the ‘A’s and ‘B’s. Maybe it’s just a matter of familiarity that’s derived from Scott tissues and Scott bikes and archery equipment, that accounts for the relative ease with which a Scott Walker, a Scott Brown or a Rick Scott can jump to the head of the line. Of course, in the latter’s case the electorate went for notoriety, instead of common sense.
Anyway, in the process of putting together what I’m going to call the “Barney Fife Brigade,”* members of the House whose cluelessness pretty much demands that they be replaced, I came across yet another Scott whose antics might just make voters think twice about what’s in a name. This one’s from Georgia, Austin Scott, who came in with the Tea Party crowd in 2010, squeezing out a moderate Democrat because, just maybe, voters confused him with the other Georgian Scott, David, who’s been representing parts of Atlanta since 2003.
What’s getting Austin noticed now, even by Dana Milbank at the Washington Post, is a one-sentence bill he submitted on August 1st to do away with the Legal Services Program that guides Americans of modest means through the thickets of the civil courts.
According to Milbank,
Scott introduced the bill abolishing Legal Services exactly three days after it became public that Legal Services had won a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission determination that Georgia’s Hamilton Growers “engages in a pattern or practice of regularly denying work hours and assigning less favorable assignments to U.S. workers, in favor of H2-A guestworkers.” Hamilton also “engages in a pattern or practice of discharging U.S. workers and replacing them with H-2A guestworkers,” the EEOC determined.
That is, legal migrants — not the “illegals” Republicans typically rail against. But, while Milbank thinks it’s a matter of Scott, after having spouted the anti-immigrant Tea Party line, pandering to corporate desires to hire more malleable Mexicans, I’d say he’s just grand-standing with this and his other one-sentence bill to rescind all unobligated funds from high speed rail projects. Legislative proposals that are designed to fail will give Scott the excuse he needs to plead for just one more chance to try again–a strategy that seems to come naturally to conservatives. Maybe that’s how they get noticed in the first place, by pulling on voters’ heart strings and reeling in the “tea and sympathy” vote.
Lacking in empathy and looking for sympathy about covers it for the Barney Fife Brigade.*
* Louie Gomert, Joe Wilson, Michele Bachmann, Paul Broun, John Culberson, Phil Gingrey,
Clif Stearns, Frank Guinta, Charles Bass, Allen West, Daniel Webster, Tom Graves, Austin Scott