“A Constitution should be short and obscure” – Napoleon Bonaparte
I caught a fantastic story the other day about one Steve Driehaus, former Congressman from Ohio’s 1st district. The story is ridiculous … and ridiculous on more than one level (perhaps more than two). First, the backstory.
Driehaus is a ostensibly a pro-life Democrat. Back during the Obamacare debate, Driehaus was one of those pro-life Democrats who chose to vote for Obamacare anyway, despite its clear allowance (mandate?) for publicly funded abortions. The claim, back then, was that the meaningless “executive order” from the president actually had some meaning (which, of course, it didn’t – being meaningless as we’ve already noted). That somehow, it was OK to vote for publicly funded abortions as long as the president said there wouldn’t be any … until there were.
A pro-life group, the Susan B. Anthony List, called Driehaus out on the issue. They called out other “pro-life” Democrats too. Many of these folks, including Driehaus, subsequently lost their re-election bids in 2010 and exited the halls of Congress. What makes Driehaus interesting is his response … he’s suing. (You can find stories here and here.)
Now, let’s start unwinding the weirdness, shall we?
First, there’s the Constitution, which clearly gives freedom of speech to the people, including the good people over at the Susan B. Anthony List. It’s not like Driehaus can point to an error in their reporting – he did vote for Obama care. Nonetheless, he is suing them.
It gets weirder. He’s suing for what, exactly? Defamation of character? Slander? Well, I suppose those may be in there, but the line that keeps jumping out of the reporting is “loss of livelihood.” WOW!! He is suing a group that spoke freely against him, in a country where free speech is allowed, because their words contributed to his loss and thus the loss of his job. That’s chutzpah. I mean, this is the grandest entitlement mentality ever seen.
Is Steve Driehaus somehow entitled to his congressional seat? Is he owed this seat? Has the SBA List defrauded him of his rightful place?
Worse still, the judge in the case is a former director and president for the Planned Parenthood Association of America. Hmm, congressman loses over abortion issue, sues pro-life group for loss of income, ardent pro-choice judge allows case to move forward. Conflict of interest, anyone?
This case should be tossed. Driehaus should be mocked mercilessly by the evening news and everybody at the Daily show.