Saturday, July 28, 2007

Paul Broun shames John Barrow, John Barrow shames Georgia.

Speaking of placing one's morals ahead of others' lives.

Having voted for my share of less-stupid Republicans out of fear of the election of more-stupid Republicans, only to see those less-stupid Republicans elected to even higher office on the strength of a victory won with my vote - I'm thinking of Jim DeMint specifically, although I doubt he's the only one - I viewed the victory, won with the votes of Athens Democrats, of Paul Broun over Jim Whitehead with ambivalence. Paul Broun may not have been the favored son of the Georgia Republican Party, after all, but he was still a Georgia Republican.

But this, from Political Insider, gives me some cause for hope:

In one of his first votes as a congressman, Athens physician Paul Broun has given fulsome indication that he doesn’t intend to run with the Republican herd.

As midnight approached on Wednesday, hours after he was sworn in, Broun declared himself in favor of a measure sponsored by U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.) to bar the U.S. Department of Justice from prosecuting those who use medical marijuana for medicinal purposes.

In doing so, Broun bucked his House Republican leadership and split with all six of Georgia's other Republican congressmen.

"To me, it was a state's rights vote, and a constitutional powers issue," Broun said early this morning.

Democrat John Barrow also opposed the measure. Democrat Jim Marshall did not vote. Democrats John Lewis, Hank Johnson, Sanford Bishop, and David Scott voted yes.

I'll whatever his federalist excuse, since I doubt it's any more sincere than that of any other Republican. But the right vote is the right vote, so bravo to Paul Broun and stopped clocks everywhere.

Otherwise, boo to John Barrow and Jim Marshall. If Paul Broun can find an excuse to vote for this, why can't they?