More on Rep. Patrick McHenry

Grist’s Dave Roberts provides some more background on Rep. Patrick McHenry, the North Carolina Republican Congressman who ridiculed bicycling as a "19th century solution" during debate over the "Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2007." The House bill, which passed on Aug. 4, included a $20/month tax break for bike commuters:

That was him on TV claiming that Rep. Mark Foley’s years of sexual advances on young Congressional pages was a Democratic plot. That was him who signed on to Tom DeLay’s un-ethics bill, which would have exempted the Speaker from Congressional ethics rules … and then went on TV to defend DeLay when the latter was busted taking vacations funded by lobbyists. That was him whose 2004 election field coordinator was indicted for voter fraud. That was him whose campaign manager and chief of staff racked up 21 convictions in court. That was him advocating a military strike on Iran. That was him comparing Congress to high school, complete with "the nice guys that everybody likes, the jocks, the geeks, the bullies."

Right. That guy. A special kind of dimwit. A pipsqueak Terminator of party hackery. The id of today’s Republican party. The reductio ad absurdum of the Bush era. If the dude had any less gravitas he would float into orbit.

Probably not a guy you’d go to for advice on energy policy.

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    Metafilter just linked to a blog pointing out that the first of Jason Jent Deans (McHenry’s former chief of staff)’s convictions was for Death by motor vehicle in 1995. After that, the great state of North Carolina let him stay on the road and rack up 20 more offenses before McHenry hired him.

    With friends like that, it’s not surprising that McHenry is such a jerk about transportation.

  • susie

    bicycling for a vast majority of americans is not an option. patrick simply stated bicycling is not the answer to our problem. his statement has been blown out of proportion. i guess the special interest group of “bicyclists” was insulted. how ridiculous can you get?

  • Angus Grieve-Smith

    You sure can’t get any more ridiculous than McHenry.

    I don’t think that bicycling is a panacea, and for lots of people, switching to a bike all by themselves is not an effective alternative.

    But if the “vast majority of Americans” made up their minds to try bicycling, to give cyclists safe road and parking space, and to stop harassing them, you’d find that it’s an option for quite a lot of people.


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