Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Nugent sounds reasonable but his vote sure wasn't

U.S. Rep. Rich Nugent cast a vote to keep the government shut down that will allow him to pander to tea party constituents.

OCTAVIO JONES | Times

U.S. Rep. Rich Nugent cast a vote to keep the government shut down that will allow him to pander to tea party constituents.

For a guy who helped lead his country on a wildly reckless, politically radical journey to the brink of financial disaster, U.S. Rep. Richard Nugent can seem pretty reasonable.

Let's just talk this thing over, the Spring Hill Republican said, for example, in a statement posted early last week on his House website (nugent.house.gov) called Debt Ceiling Mechanics Explained.

Title aside, it's actually pretty engaging, kind of like a friendly, old-fashioned, George Bailey-style banker sitting down to explain that you have just a little problem with your checking account.

After all, the federal budget works pretty much the same way, Nugent wrote, and this time of year there isn't a lot of money coming in. And not raising the debt ceiling (this was before Wednesday's deal) would mean we'd have a harder time getting money into the account and, so, "not all of our bills … will necessarily get paid on time."

Now, that won't "usher in Armageddon" the way "people on the other side" would have you believe. But, sure, it's not good, Nugent allowed. He even said it was a "sad time" in this country.

So sad, in fact, that he's fed up. That's been a theme of his since this government shutdown thing started. He knows how we're feeling and he feels the same. And by the time a deal was reached, he'd had more than enough of the whole mess, according to a statement from his office on Thursday:

"To say this has been a frustrating period for this country is a masterpiece of understatement. Everybody is angry and nothing material has been done to move this country in a better direction."

And that's the reason he voted "no," he said. Not because he still thought the Republicans had a chance to defund Obamacare, but because the deal "doesn't reform anything — nothing. It simply leaves the nation's finances in the same sorry state they were before."

Sounds sensible, doesn't it? Sounds almost like good, old Sheriff Nugent, whom you'd see in Publix and yak with for a half-hour.

Until, that is, you remember what this legislation did do. It got the government running again. It opened parks, put federal researchers back on the job and Head Start teachers back in classrooms.

It ended a strategy so harebrained and destructive that the our biggest creditor, China, suggested it's time to end global reliance on the dollar and that left even people in Greece — Greece! — feeling pretty good about their own national financial affairs.

It ensured solvency and averted default.

And Nugent voted against it. He voted against ending this craziness and for letting it carry on indefinitely.

So, no, Nugent didn't put himself on the fringe of the fringe. He didn't grandstand like Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, or speak the pure idiocy of Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Gainesville, who said that not raising the debt ceiling could be a good thing.

But Nugent peddled some of the same nonsense, such as that this mess was Obama's fault. He faked the same outrage over embarrassing scenes (vets, wheelchairs, World War II monument) that he'd helped create.

And, most importantly, he cast a vote that will allow him to keep on pandering to know-nothing tea party constituents.

Yes, Nugent sounds reasonable enough. But last week, he had the chance to do something reasonable. And he didn't.

Nugent sounds reasonable but his vote sure wasn't 10/18/13 [Last modified: Friday, October 18, 2013 7:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle town

    Water

    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.
  2. Registered sexual predator charged in assault of woman in Brooksville

    Public Safety

    Times Staff Writer

    BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County deputies arrested a registered sexual predator Thursday after they say he attempted to assault a woman and fled into a storm drain.

    Lee Roy Rettley has been charged with attempted homicide, attempted sexual battery and home invasion robbery.
  3. Honda denies covering up dangers of Takata air bags

    Autos

    With just a third of the defective Takata air bag inflators replaced nationwide, the corporate blame game of who will take responsibility — and pay — for the issue has shifted into another gear.

    Honda is denying covering up dangers of Takata air bags. | [Scott McIntyre, New York Times]
  4. Former CEO of Winn-Dixie parent joining Hong Kong company

    News

    The former CEO of the Jacksonville-based parent of Winn-Dixie grocery stores, Ian McLeod, has landed a new leadership role in Hong Kong. He is joining the pan-Asian based Dairy Farm International Holdings Ltd. as group chief executive.

    Ian McLeod, who is stepping down as the CEO of the parent company of Winn-Dixie, has been hired by Dairy Farm International Holdings. 
[Photo courtesy of Southeastern Grocers]
  5. Eckerd Kids: Teens in group foster homes must be allowed to keep phones

    News

    TAMPA — For many teens still reeling from being taken into foster care, a cell phone is a lifeline, child advocates say.

    Eckerd Kids, the agency that runs child welfare in Tampa Bay, will in January require agencies that run group foster homes to allow children to use cell phones. Some group homes are concerned that children may use phones for unathorized contract with their parents or other adults or to post pictures of other foster children on social media