Four years ago we hired Dave Brat to carry out one job–to be our Representative in the House of Representatives. Now, Dave is back asking us to rehire him for two more years. As with any job you have ever held or, if you’re in business, with any employee you’ve ever hired, the main question in determining whether you keep your job, or whether you keep that employee on the payroll, is how well they have done that job.
It is clear that Dave Brat has NOT done a good job at being a legislator. Of the legislation he has sponsored, only one bill has become law, and that one was to name the arboretum at the Richmond VA hospital. Most of the legislation Dave has sponsored or co-sponsored has not even gotten out of committee. Even members of his own party don’t support his legislation: six of his introduced bills have not been cosponsored at all; seven bills have been cosponsored by only one other member.
Apparently, Dave Brat didn’t read the job description when he ran for Congress. He does not view the House of Representatives as a legislative body, but as a pulpit for espousing his vision of a free-market society in which everybody gets rich, free from government control. He has spent far more energy in Congress trying to block things from getting done than legislating.
Dave Brat is a true believer. He thinks that compromise is a show of weakness and he will not compromise. And it makes him particularly unqualified to be a legislator. Accomplishing anything in a legislative body requires you to argue strongly for your position, and then to bargain and compromise to get the best enacted law you can get.
It’s up to you and me to decide if Dave Brat gets rehired. Whether you are an Independent, Republican or Democrat, when you vote in November you need to ask, “what has Dave Brat done for me”. If you’ve been paying attention, you will realize that Dave Brat has done nothing for you, and vote accordingly.
Editor’s note: this letter originally appeared in Richmond2day, and has been re-posted with the author’s permission.