Just Couldn’t Bring Themselves to Do It?

by Dan Quinn

UPDATE: Austin American-Statesman reporter Jason Embry finds that 10 House Republicans voted against the resolution.

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Why did three Republicans in the Texas House of Representatives on Monday refuse to support a resolution congratulating President Obama, intelligence personnel and members of our armed forces for the successful operation against Osama bin Laden in Pakistan?

The overwhelmingly Republican Texas House of Representatives passed HR 1694 on Monday. But right-wingers  Will Hartnett, R-Dallas, Dan Huberty, R-Houston, Randy Weber, R-Pearland, asked that their votes be recorded as “no.” (See page 2574 of the House Journal.)

The resolution reads in part:

“(T)he president’s patience, leadership, wisdom, and determination have led directly to the demise of the most wanted man in the world, and have hardened this nation’s resolve to defeat the forces of malevolent fanaticism, and by destroying the mastermind behind the worst terrorist attack on American soil he has struck a significant and historic blow against Al Qaeda.”

It continues:

RESOLVED, That the 82nd Legislature of the State of Texas hereby congratulate President Obama on his proven and successful policies in the war on terrorism and in homeland security; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That the 82nd Legislature of the State of Texas hereby commends the intelligence personnel who diligently and quietly toiled for years to uncover the whereabouts of Bin Laden, and whose achievement, while historic, may never be fully known to the public;

RESOLVED, That the 82nd Legislature of the State of Texas hereby commends the members of the armed forces who successfully and heroically carried out an incredibly sensitive mission with no military losses and with a minimal loss of civilian lives

State Rep. Jim Keffer, R-Eastland, rose above partisanship in supporting the resolution and called on his colleagues to do the same:

“I’m hopeful, like I said, that every state will do this. And I’d be proud to add my name to your resolution and I hope that every member, and I won’t speak for every member, but I know that some, their politics under this dome, prevents. But I hope, and I pray, every member of the House of Representatives will add his or her name to this wonderful resolution, and support our country, our Commander-in-Chief, and military as we go forward.”

But Representatives Hartnett, Huberty and Weber refused Rep. Keffer’s plea. Why? Was congratulating a Democratic president so offensive that they wouldn’t even vote for a resolution that also commended our intelligence personnel and members of our armed forces involved in the mission? Have we really come to this?

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