5 18 2011 - OW Brunch

Oh, Andy Harris. Why do you have to be so lame?

Yesterday, the House of Representatives handled a bunch of no-brainer votes, including assigning names to several U.S. post offices. For example, there was a measure to name the post office in Winston-Salem, North Carolina after poet, civil rights leader, professor, Pulitzer Prize nominee, and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom Dr. Maya Angelou. Sounds like a no-brainer, right?

Not according to Rep. Harris, apparently. The Maryland politician was one of only nine members of Congress — all Republicans — to vote against honoring Angelou. (Despite Harris’s principled objections, the measure passed handily.) “Congressman Harris voted against the Maya Angelou post office naming because she was a communist sympathizer,” Harris’s spokesman told NBC.  “His parents escaped communism and he feels that he cannot vote to name a post office in the United States in honor of someone who supported the communist Castro revolution in Cuba.”

While Angelou expressed approval of the Cuban Revolution early in her career, she was hardly an ardent Communist sympathizer. Nonetheless, she has become a favorite target of far-right anger in recent years.

If your memory needs a refresher, Harris is the guy who tried to block marijuana decriminalization in D.C., was the only member of Congress to endorse Ben Carson, and repeatedly winked at his mom on CSPAN.