Standing Up for the Wrong Principles

August 27 2007, 3:12 PM
Football star Michael Vick pleaded guilty today in a Virginia courtroom to dogfighting charges before publicly apologizing for "using bad judgment and making bad decisions." Back here in Colorado, Rep. Doug Lamborn should be making the same apology. Last spring Lamborn, the Colorado Springs Republican serving his first term in congress, was one of just 38 members of the House to vote against a bill to increase penalties for dogfighting -- a bill that was co-sponsored by Colorado Sen. Wayne Allard. As The Canyon City Daily Record reports:
Lamborn was criticized for being one of only a handful Congressmen to vote against the federal Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act. The act -- which garnered overwhelming support in Congress on the heels of charges that Atlanta Falcons Quarterback Michael Vick was involved in a brutal dogfighting operation -- upgrades penalties for illegal transportation of fighting dogs from misdemeanors to felonies. Lamborn, along with 38 other House members, voted against the bill. It cleared the Senate unanimously, and Bush signed it. "48 out of 50 states already criminalize dogfighting and Colorado is one of those states, I don't see that the federal government needs to step in. "Whether I'm in the minority or the majority, I don't agree with expanding the federal government when it doesn't need to be expanded. I ran on that in my last election and I'm just carrying out my campaign promise."
It sure is nice to know that Lamborn is a man of such strong convictions. It's just too bad his convictions are backwards. By Lamborn's convoluted logic, it is more important to be a "champion" of limited government than to support legislation that might prevent others from engaging in the brutal sport of dogfighting. Of course, this is the same "limited government" Lamborn who supports the Army's efforts to expand Fort Carson in Colorado Springs through the use of eminent domain -- essentially taking the land of private citizens because they need more room to drive tanks. The way he talks in the interview with the Daily Record, you get the sense that Lamborn is truly proud of his decision to vote against the dog fighting bill, which was signed into law by President Bush. Lamborn may think of himself as a champion of limited government, but I'd rather think of myself as a champion of common sense and decency.