Newly elected Congressman Brian Babin (R-TX) choked on his first opportunity to vote as a member of Congress. In the recent election for Speaker of the House, the very first vote a congressional member makes, Babin chose to vote “Present.” He was the only member present to not cast a vote on a candidate for Speaker.
Voting “present” was a ploy often used by President Barack Obama when he was a member of the Illinois State Senate. FactCheck reported that then Senator Obama passed the buck and voted “present” 129 times.
When the voters of the Texas 36th Congressional District voted for Babin, it is doubtful they anticipated they were electing someone who would follow Obama’s playbook right out of the gate. One must wonder why he would cast such a vote on this important occasion. It certainly didn’t win him any favor with the Speaker because he didn’t vote “for” the Speaker. But it also didn’t help him with the grassroots.
The Obama similarity was not lost on Babin’s constituents. On his Facebook page, several people made comment about the “present” vote. Dwight Klovstad posted, “Way to show your supporters that you lack a spine. “Present” votes are for the weak. Way to go Obama, Jr.”
Amber Scott wrote, “It didn’t take you long at all to turn into Obama! I’m sure you know that Obama consistently voted ‘present’. Shame on you for not taking a position.” And Linda Borshay followed that with “Present? You vote present? Taking instructions from BHO?”
Kate Turner also weighed in with the Facebook bashing of Babin. “I thought Barack Obama was only coward to vote present,” she wrote. “I was wrong.
One significant grassroots leader, JoAnn Fleming, spoke with Breitbart Texas about her displeasure with the Babin vote. “I endorsed him in the election,” Fleming stated, “but a present vote is not acceptable.” Fleming has been a leader in the constitutional conservative movement for over twenty years. She is chair of the Texas Legislature’s Tea Party Advisory Caucus. She is also a Breitbart Texas commentator.
Fleming said we are trying to avoid a constitutional crisis and need leaders in Congress who will stop the President and his illegal and unconstitutional actions. “Dr. Babin did not vote for that today,” she said. “I am very disappointed.”
“I have heard from many of his constituents today and they are not happy,” Fleming concluded.
“Sometimes you have to stand up and be counted,” said Babin’s former opponent, Ben Streusand, in a phone call with Breitbart Texas. “’Present’ doesn’t cut it and there are a lot of tough votes ahead.”
Finally, another Facebook reader, Terry Holcomb, Sr., posted the photo above and wrote, “So… Dr. Brian Babin breaks his campaign promise and his word on his very first vote. I will make sure to have that discussion with him when I see him.”
Somewhere between East Texas and Washington, DC, Dr. Babin’s “loud and clear message” appears to have been forgotten.
Bob Price is a senior political news contributor for Breitbart Texas and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.