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Opinion/Editorial: Good's lousy bipartisan rank betrays district

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Congressman Bob Good, R-5th District, toured schools in Stanardsville with four school board members, a supervisor and school administration before coming into the William Monroe High School library for a roundtable discussion on Friday, April 30, 2021

Whether Republican or Democrat, residents of Virginia’s Fifth Congressional District deserve better than they’re getting from Rep. Bob Good. The first-term Republican represents Albemarle, Charlottesville and a big swath stretching down the middle of the state. He appears happy to be an embarrassing legislative do-nothing in league with an all-star cast of gun-totin’ grifters and election fraud liars who happily put obstructionism ahead of anything that serves their constituents.

More proof arrived last week as the Lugar Center, a group dedicated to getting members of Congress to work together, named the most and least bipartisan members of the U.S. House and Senate.

Good ranked 431st in the 435-member House, fifth worst. The Lugar Center rated Good less cooperative with Democratic colleagues than Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar, who attends White supremacist pep rallies, and North Carolina Rep. Madison Cawthon, who has been caught twice with guns by airport security and who called Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky a thug in a speech on the House floor.

Good ranked just ahead of Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Colorado Rep. Lauren Bobert, two of Congress’ most notorious nut jobs.

This is how little Good seems to care about his constituents.

The Lugar Center is not liberal think tank. Indiana Republican Sen. Richard Lugar formed the center after he left the Senate because he recognized the disaster that partisanship portended for the nation.

“The performance of the United States Government and the security and economic well-being of the American people have suffered because of the intensifying partisanship that has afflicted political processes and societal debates in recent years,” the center explains on its website. “This partisanship frequently has had the effect of subordinating good governance to political combat and locking leaders into inflexible positions. We have seen innumerable examples of both parties failing the most basic tests of governance, including the 2013 government shutdown, the inability to enact a long-term deficit reduction program, reliance on the fiscal cliff sequester, the near abandonment of a bill-by-bill appropriations process, and repeated failures to pass an annual budget resolution.”

Members of the House and Senate who wall themselves off as inflexible ideologues serve no one, least of all the people who elected them. Yet this is exactly what Good has done.

He stands alone among members of Virginia’s Congressional delegation in his ineptitude and intransigence.

Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger of the Seventh District, covering parts of Orange County, tops the state House delegation, ranking fifth most bipartisan. Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria is 26th.

Democrats Jennifer Wexton (79) and Gerry Connolly (72) from Northern Virginia are among the top 20%.

Republican Morgan Griffith ranks 154th well into the top half.

Democrat Reps. Bobby Scott (240) and Don Beyer (231) and Republican Rob Wittman (203), Democrats Don Beyer (231), Bobby Scott (240) and Republican Sixth District Rep. Ben Cline have scores in the middle.

Good stands out beyond them all. Unfortunately, he is anything but outstanding. His partisanship leaves his constituents with no effective voice in policies and funding. In other words, he has betrayed them.

Behavior like Good’s is one reason the Lugar Center started to monitor bipartisanship.

“We acknowledge that adversarial political parties, contentious elections, and policy disagreements are unavoidable elements of the American political system,” the group said on its website. “Indeed, the Founders were realists who understood the power of factionalism, parochialism, and personal ambition. They understood that an effective government could not be based on good intentions. … They knew that it would require most elected officials to have a dedication to governance, and they trusted that leaders would arise in every era to make their vision work.”

Every day he sticks with his hidebound extremism, Bob Good proves he is not one of those visionaries the Founders counted on. For whatever reason, he doesn’t seem to understand the fundamental charge of American democracy:

A call to bipartisanship does not represent a call to ideological capitulation. It represents a call to common sense.

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