Tim Huelskamp, Tea Partier, and Why He Should Go

22May14

Congressman Tim Huelskamp, of Kansas’ first district, has a long record of opposition towards, well, anything with common sense. He’s anti-environment, anti-common man, anti-LGBT, and anti-choice, among other things. His stance and voting record indicate that he’s so far to the right on a lot of issues that it’s presents a problem.

Perhaps, however, his biggest problem is that he wants to identify the constitutionality of every bill before Congress, according to On the Issues. However, he was among those who wanted to impeach Attorney General Eric Holder for refusing to enforce DOMA. Here’s the problem with that: If a law is unconstitutional, the government actually has a duty to refuse to enforce it, once they become aware of that fact. It’s not like the Justice Department just suddenly decided it didn’t want to do its job anymore. It’s not unheard of for lawmakers and enforcers to look deeper into an existing law when public opinion on an issue begins to shift, and when new facts come to light. At the time, cases challenging DOMA were heading towards the Supreme Court, and it was looking more likely that they would strike DOMA down. From a Constitutional point of view, it actually makes a little bit of sense for Holder to refuse to continue enforcing DOMA when he did.

So Huelskamp wants laws to be constitutional, but he wants to impeach those who refuse to enforce unconstitutional laws, because he thinks they’re supposed to enforce the law no matter what. What this really shows is that his idea of what is and is not constitutional is heavily biased towards his own ideology. It’s not based on an understanding of the Constitution.

To add to that, he supported making the first weekend in May “Ten Commandments Weekend,” which further muddies the picture of what he considers “constitutional.” That’s not constitutional in any way, shape or form, unless we’re going to officially designate other weekends for recognizing the main tenets of other religions. It’s highly doubtful that members of the Tea Party movement would be willing to allow that, though.

Even better than that, though, is that he wants Chief Justice Roberts to stick to his Catholic roots in deciding the Hobby Lobby case. According to the Topeka Capital-Journal, he said:

“I issue a strong challenge to Chief Justice Roberts to honor his Catholic roots and convictions,” said Huelskamp, a Kansas Republican. “As a fellow Catholic, I hope that Justice Roberts would choose to protect the first principle of the First Amendment — the hallowed freedom of conscience.”

And this man, who actually wants the chief justice of the highest court in the land, the court whose sole job is to interpret the Constitution, to follow religious teachings when deciding that case?

Huelskamp is facing a primary challenge in August, from conservative Alan LaPolice. LaPolice seems to be willing to work with others and reach compromises to best serve the interests of Kansas’ first district. While LaPolice’s positions on many issues leave much to be desired, he believes in compromise, which means he might not engage in the obstructionism that the Tea Party has become so famous for. That quality in a politician, regardless of party, is always a plus.

There might also be a Democratic challenger in November, so Huelskamp, if he makes it past the primary, isn’t likely to run unopposed like he did in 2012. LaPolice is working hard to get Huelskamp out in the primary, though. So, people of the 1st district in Kansas, if you’re voting in the Republican primary, vote for LaPolice instead of Huelskamp. Huelskamp is part of the problem in Congress. He’s not the solution, and he seriously needs to go.

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