Anti-Regulators, Mount Up

Rep. Mike Kelly is an under-used Republican force. Elected in 2010, at 62 years old, Kelly had made his money as a car dealer, dabbled a little in city politics, then gotten so angry at the “cash for clunkers” program that he decided to try for Congress. Philip Rucker, who’s now slumming it on the Romney beat,* profiled Kelly as the purest example of genuine what-happened-to-this-country Tea Party anger.

Still seems right. Kelly’s office has clipped and promoted his speech on the regulatory freeze bill introduced by Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Ark. Among the features: Preventing any new regulations from going into effect until unemployment hit 6 percent, preventing a lame duck administration from issuing new regulations, new restrictions on regulations that would cost $100,000 or more. (That doesn’t cover as many rules as you’d think.) It’s a clever brake on the Affordable Care Act and Dodd-Frank, basically. But give the mic to Kelly, and he can explain how it’s all in the service of small businessmen.

The line that really sings out starts with “a guy named Tom Bernatowski – veteran!” You wonder why the discussions of Barack Obama and his hatred of business so often start with mangled quotes, when the homespun Marty stories work so much better.

*All I mean is that the Romney campaign doesn’t exactly reward the beat reporters with a ton of access.