I don’t often comment on members of Congress who aren’t in leadership. Quite frankly, most members of Congress are useless—ranging from merely useless to you wonder how they can walk upright useless.
Virginia Foxx is beyond useless, bringing utter disgrace upon the whole of the US Congress.
The North Carolina Republican (of course) was speaking against the H.R. 1913, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, and blatantly and openly lied about the murder of Matthew Shepard, calling it “a hoax”. You may recall that the facts, established in court, were that the murderers selected Matthew because they knew he was gay, lured him away, beat him nearly to death, then left him tied to a fence to die. Then they faked a robbery to try and throw police off the trail.
But this cow Foxx decided that lying about a murdered gay man was just the right thing for a US Representative to do in order to try and stop a bill she doesn’t like. Since she’s a Republican from the South, I assume she’s a fundamentalist Christian (NB: turns out, she's Roman Catholic), so I would’ve thought that she’d know her Bible orders her to never bear false witness (it’s number nine on that list that politicians of her ilk try and forcibly display in public places like courthouses). Since she and her fellow Republicans spend so much time wallowing around in the Old Testament, I would’ve thought she’d be aware that lying was a big no-no.
Worst of all, Foxx isn’t alone, and many of her fellow Republicans are in full froth mode. An Iowa Republican said the bill will “protect” pedophilia (another lie), and a Texas Republican literally waved a Bible and quoted from it. Apparently he doesn’t realise that Congress is not a church, and the US has no established religion, no mater how much he and his caucus want there to be one.
So far, Foxx is among the worst. If she wants to blatantly lie to raise money or on the campaign trial, that’s between her and her god. But when she openly and deliberately lies on the floor of the US Congress, it’s an utter disgrace, one that should not be allowed to fester. She must resign. When Foxx goes, she can take those other wingnuts with her? No one would miss them—that’s kind of the definition of "useless" for politicians after all.
Update: The actions of the religious bigots were in vain: The US House passed HR1913 by a vote of 249-175. 17 Democrats voted against it, and 18 Republicans voted in favor.
Update 2 – 1 May 2009: Foxx’s staff whined to Fox 8, her local Fox TV station, that “they've received hate mail, angry calls and even death threats” since her speech on the floor of the US House of Representatives. At a guess, I’d say that most US Representatives get such responses at one point or another, and wingnuts always exaggerate such things to try and portray themselves as victims. She now says “the word 'hoax' was a poor choice of words”. You think, you stupid moron? She says she “relied on two news reports for her comments”. Yeah? Two wingnut websites, I bet, because her remarks are consistent with the way they falsify gay-related news.
Even North Carolina’s loopy US Senator Richard Burr (a Republican, of course, and the man she succeeded in the US House) condemned Foxx’s dumbass remarks to the same Fox channel: "I am disappointed in the comments of Congresswoman Foxx in regards to the murder of Matthew Shepard. I find these comments to be inaccurate and insensitive. I hope that as debate continues on this legislation we can focus on the facts and not the emotions associated with it." Fox 8 then goes on to say “This is not the first time Foxx has used what many consider a poor choice of words. Earlier this month, she used the words "tar baby" to describe the federal bank bailout as a problem weighing heavy on democrats.” Her homophobic remarks have also been documented. For a former English professor, she sure has trouble with words.
In contrast to morons like Foxx, many Democrats spoke forefully in support of the bill. Rep Rush Holt (D-NJ-12) delivered what was probably the best line of the debate. He said it was “patently false” that HR1913 would criminalise thought, declaring “this is no more about criminalising thought than the anti-lynching laws were about criminalising knot-tying.” That was so simply and clearly put that perhaps even Virginia Foxx may have been able to understand it. Then again, based on her record, I’d guess not.