Rep. Daryl Metcalfe abuses his chairmanship
A photo taken after the funeral for former first lady Barbara Bush circulated widely on social media recently. Surrounding former President George H.W. Bush were his son and daughter-in-law, former President George W. and Laura Bush; former President Bill Clinton and his wife, former Sen. Hillary Clinton; former President Barack Obama and wife, Michelle; and current first lady Melania Trump.
It was a striking nod to the respect the former presidents hold for one another, regardless of party affiliation.
It carried the message that although we may disagree politically, we are all Americans and want what's best for our country and its citizens. And the way we get there is by working together, not by tearing one another down.
Contrast that to the rant against Democrats, liberals and the gay community that state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-12, Cranberry Township, posted on his Facebook page.
Metcalfe referred to Democratic Rep. Brian Sims of Philadelphia as a “lying homosexual” in a post in which he went after several Democrats.
Metcalfe told The Associated Press he mentioned Sims' sexual orientation because Sims is openly gay and Metcalfe believes it is “immoral behavior.”
There's nothing new about Metcalfe's disdain for the gay community. He and Sims have clashed repeatedly.
What was particularly troubling from a legislative standpoint is something Metcalfe added in his post: “I block all substantive Democrat legislation sent to my committee and advance good Republican legislation!”
That one sentence is perhaps the epitome of what's wrong in Harrisburg and damning evidence that Metcalfe deserves no leadership position in the Legislature.
At a time when discussion, debate and compromise are so badly needed in state government, Metcalfe has made it clear that he believes only he and Republican leaders are in the right, and that Democrats have no say in the state's future.
Metcalfe has used his chairmanship of the House State Government Committee to effectively gut a bipartisan proposal to establish a citizens commission that would recommend drawing congressional and legislative districts. In fact, his proposal would put the party in power in nearly complete control of redistricting.
He's one of 12 Republicans seeking to impeach four Democratic state Supreme Court justices over the most recent redistricting. Even state Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Saylor, a Republican, called it an attack on an independent judiciary.
Metcalfe is abusing his chairmanship and makes no secret of his intent. If Republican leaders won't remove him, it's time voters in his district made a different choice.
— Beaver County Times