Blackburn, first elected to the House in 2002 to replace Ed Bryant (who lost to Lamar Alexander in a bid for the Senate), is not nearly as well-known as those three ladies, but it isn't for lack of trying. Having cut her teeth in the state Senate during the late 90s by being a key player in the "Tennessee Tax Revolt" against then GOP governor Don Sundquit's proposal for a state income tax, Blackburn came storming into the House with impeccable right-wing credentials (including insisting on being called "congressman" - kind of telling, isn't it? - and being a member of the infamous C-Street "Fellowship") and hasn't disappointed, especially since Obama's election as President. Among her highlights (or rather, lowlights) include:
- Being named one of the 24 most corrupt members of Congress by CREW in 2008 for her repeated failure to file accurate campaign-finance reports.
- Being one of the co-sponsors of the "Birther Bill" aimed at questioning Obama's eligibility to be President.
- Opposing EPA efforts to regulate greenhouse gasses on the basis of taxing "cow farts."
Since cows produce a certain amount of methane. And methane would be regulated under The Clean Air Act, then cows and pigs would be suject to a tax. Blackburn said projections she has seen suggest that for dairy cows the tax would be about $175 a head, $20 per pig and $88 for beef stock.
Plus, a tax on farmers would also mean something to consumers. Blackburn said, "the cost of milk is going to go up and all of your dairy products."
So let the cows and pigs blow wind!
- This infamous exchange between her and Al Gore at a 2009 hearing on cimate change, where she suggested Gore was profiting off of his climate change crusade, prompting this smackdown from Gore:
"Congresswoman, if you believe that the reason I have bee working on this issue for 30 years is because of greed," Mr. Gore said, "you don't know me."
Note he called her "Congresswoman." That had to piss her off. So did the audible laughter in the audience at her transparent partisanship. Should have thought of that before tangling with Gore, Marsha.
- Losing her mind over the passage of the ACA (not unique, as a lot of Republicans joined her) and attacking Social Security on the foor of the House and then trying to forget she ever said it.
- Refusing to not call Obama a "socialist" when subjected to some hard questioning on whether she disapproved of Tea Party rhetoric.
Gary Flake, an employee of Microsoft and the person who posed the question, kept at it. Will you, he asked, "no longer endorse the words and language of socialism and evil and tyranny and things like that."
"What I will tell you -" Blackburn replied, carefully choosing her words.
" - Is a crisp answer?" chimed in Flake.
"What I will be happy to tell you is that the America people are very frustrated," replied Blackburn, getting a bit flummoxed. "And what I can speak t is for me. And what I think to do is to represent my consituents in ways that are going to honor the fact that they have elected me and that they have sent me here. They want to see action...They are frustrated with Washington D.C. as a whole. And what we need to do is make certain that we as representatives coming here are able to sit down and work on these issues and work these problems out."
If you can figure out anything that had to do even remotely with the question she was asked, you're better than I am.
- Opposing gun control because "hammers and hatchets" kill people too. Oh yeah and that cursed Call of Duty.
- Saying we shouldn't "cry emergency every time we 'have a Katrina'" as an excuse for a balanced budget, a shameful comment she quickly backtracked over.
- In the wake of Mitt spokeswoman Andrea Saul's Romneycare gaffe, she appeared on CNN and simply refused to acknowledge Romneycare, despite host's Brooke Baldwin's best efforts:
But in response to a direct question about Saul's comment, Blackburn changed the subject. "I didn't hear the full interview, and I haven't seen the tweet," she said. "But I can tell you what I know about the Obamacare plan. I know that it has already doubled in cost."
Blackburn continued to roll out anit-Obamacare talking points as Baldwin tried multiple times to interrupt her and steer the conversation back to Romneycare. "With all due resepct, Congresswoman, we're talking about Mitt Romney," Baldwin said. "We're talking about a Mitt Romney spokespersona and specifically asking you to react to her cmment. We played the sound bite where she is basically saying had this man gone to MAssachusetts where he would have had health care, perhaps this would have prevented his wife's death. This has nothing to do with Obamacare."
"But the point remains that Obamacare is what's on the table," Blackburn responded. "And that is what is going to affect Americans. It is what has increased the cost of insurance for all of our small business employers."
If nothing else, the woman is good at stonewalling.
- Being very casual about the possibility of a government shutdown this year, saying "it's an option." Yeah, a bad one.
With a record like that, it's a testement to the craziness of the likes of Bachmann and Foxx that she's not better known. But as to fitting in with her colleagues on the right, she's working overdrive.
Keep up the good work, Marsha! You'll make a great Congressman yet!
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