What’s Really Behind the Left's Recent Attacks on Congressman Palmer

The election of Donald Trump has created hysteria among the far left members in the Democratic Party. With the repeal of Obamacare on the near horizon, the left has focused their energy on disrupting GOP town halls. Our congressman Gary Palmer was recently a major target of this effort, which begs the question: why did the left organize specifically against Gary Palmer? Some background on Gary Palmer's life and history will shed light on why the Left is focusing so many resources to take him down.

Before being elected to represent the 6th Congressional District of Alabama, Palmer was famous for advocating for conservative solutions to help reform Alabama’s government. In 1989, he founded the Alabama Policy Institute, a think tank that played a pivotal role in defeating a $1 billion tax increase proposal in 2003, which was proposed by a Republican Governor. Palmer demonstrated that he was willing to stand up for his principles even if it meant challenging members of his own party. In 2014, most political analysts believed that Palmer had little chance of winning the GOP primary due to the fact that his opponents were better funded and organized. But what Palmer had was a powerful message that he would not abandon his principles regardless of the cost. Palmer won both due to his command of the issues and because he pledged to the voters that if elected, he would not vote for John Boehner as Speaker of the House. Unlike many politicians, Palmer actually stuck to his promise and famously told then Speaker Boehner that he could not in good conscious vote for him, which took Speaker Boehner by surprise because most freshman congressman wouldn’t challenge the leader of their own party. At first, Palmer was threatened with being sidelined, but in time Boehner actually respected Palmer for being a man of his word, and Palmer was put on some very influential committees.

Now in his second term in Congress, Palmer has also made attempts to curb the out-of-control deficit spending looming over the country. Last year, he proposed an amendment prohibiting bills costing more than $500 million from being brought to the floor for a vote under suspension of the rules. Currently, the rules often allow for bills to be passed quickly while House rules are suspended, which limits debate and encourages the frivolous spending seen over the last 8 years. While this amendment was voted down at the time, it is more likely to pass now that a Republican is in the White House.

Despite the fact that Palmer was aware that the Left was going to disrupt his town hall on Feb 25th, he still attended because he is willing to listen and respond to any constituent regardless of political ideology. Palmer not only fielded every question posed to him by the Left at the town hall, he even made a point to step outside and speak to the protestors who were unable to enter due to the fire code because he wanted to give them a chance to voice their concerns as well.

However, despite Palmer working hard to listen to the concerns of his constituents on the Left, he will likely be a target because he has obtained a significant amount of influence through his appointment to the Budget Committee and the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.  Congressman Palmer has also been appointed to the Republican Policy Committee as Vice President and to the Steering Committee of the Republican Study Committee. These committees are often tasked with working out the details of major pieces of legislation, and Congressman Palmer will have the ability to work behind the scenes on transformative conservative legislation. That is why the Left is so determined to take him down. My grandfather, a WWII veteran, always used to say that you only take flack when you're over the target, which means the closer you are to achieving your goal, the more opposition you will have. Palmer is up to the challenge of continuing to promote conservative solutions to the problems American face.

Mr. Reid is general practice attorney in Birmingham Alabama. He has worked for Republican leadership in the United State House of Representatives in Washington, DC, and was a health policy advisor to the Governor of Alabama. You can contact him by email at chris.reid@reidlawalabama.com or by phone at 205-913-7406. A description of his practice areas is available at www.reidlawalabama.com. Article co-written by Chris Simmons who is a law student at Cumberland school of law and can be reached at csimmon2@samford.edu. Our firm practices the following areas of law: wills, trust, and estates, divorce and family, DUI and drug offenses (only first and second time offenses), and car accident cases. We also handle business law, including formation of business entities and drafting contracts. Additionally, I co-host Yellowhammer News every Monday during lunch from 11-12 on 101.1 fm Birmingham (but our show is broadcast throughout most of the state).