Time was, Baron Hill was best known for his jump shot and tenacious defense when he was starting at guard in the heartland of basketball mania, the Hoosier state. He was successful in parlaying that notoriety, a good persona and “Blue Dog” political philosophy into a multi-term stint in the Congress, representing his home district, the 9th.
For about a year, I was on his schedule for a weekly radio interview on my daily show in Indianapolis, and the conversations were pretty even-keeled and we all thought, above-average radio. Then he disappeared. No explanation, just poof, gone. But what was evident in those days was that he was a pretty independent guy, conservative on public spending and possessed of a plain-talk style that fit well in his coal country district. That was then; this is now.
Hill lost his seat 5 years ago to a conservative patriot named Mike Sodrel, a truck driver-turned transportation magnate, but got his seat back the next election (2006). And something happened in the interim. Gone were the old Midwestern values and all that plain talk, replaced with a remarkable and unmistakable ugly streak of wacko liberalism that has resulted in actions by the old point guard that put him closer to Karl Marx than to any Hoosier.
A few months back he got the rush from the Obamaniacs to vote — first in committee and then on the floor of the House — for a cap and trade scheme that the Holy One himself has oft promised would bankrupt the coal business and cause utility bills to skyrocket. Yup, Baron Hill shucked his Midwestern values for a fundraiser by Kid President and a ride on Air Force One back to D.C. following the required sellout of his people.
Now he appears to be on the road to supporting socialized medicine, too, babbling out the statist media’s talking points and the spew of terrified invective the administration has resorted to in its panic-stricken effort to blunt the rebellion they face all over the country. Only a few days back, he told the Washington Post he would host no town hall meetings unless he could control them and their content. Said he wouldn’t permit any of those hated “political terrorists” who with such temerity insist on speaking out against the Messiah. No really. That’s what he said. Political terrorists.
Well there have been a couple of Baron Shill sightings since the August recess began; one with some friendlies in the People’s Republic of Bloomington (home of Indiana University — need I say more?) and there was one “closed” meeting of the Columbus Rotary Club where no one was permitted in unless invited — and also a Rotarian. We just happen to have had a patriot in the room, one not from Columbus but a Rotarian nonetheless, who after initially being denied access was admitted upon proof of Rotarian bone fides.
Now Columbus is no hotbed of socialism of any kind, so even with the hand-picked audience strictly limited, his efforts to convince the locals of the horrors of the best health care in the history of mankind were less than enthusiastically received. My Rotary guy reports that Hill repeatedly attempted to gin up a sort of divide between the audience and their health care folks, made several references to our “broken healthcare system,” demonstrating a good grasp of Obama-speak. He used the “Blue Dog” moniker at least 16 times by my man’s count while extolling the virtues of the most expensive and intrusive assault on human liberty since the Stamp Act.
Fact is that Hill has sold out. Maybe the price was a cabinet post later on or a chance to replace Joe “gaff-o-matic” Biden on the ticket next time. Maybe it was that ride on the big plane with the Chosen One or the cigarette they shared afterward that rubbed off the last of the old dog’s blue luster.
Can’t really say, but this much is clear from out here in the cheap seats: These Blue Dogs have lain down with the fleas, the snakes and the other vermin who inhabit the Left, and whatever they may have been once upon a time, all that is left is a bunch of worn out old wind bags no longer capable of fidelity to those they represent or the constitution they swore to uphold and defend. The Baron is off to shoot some hoop in the White House gym with his new best friend, his feckless behavior and the knife in the backs of his constituents lost in the warm afterglow of that big glass of Kool-Aid he so eagerly drank.
Nice shot, Baron Shill, nice shot indeed.