But now, he's going to lose his seat.
Why? Not because he voted against Health Care Reform last night (which he did).
Because of the rhetoric he used in defending his vote.
New Orleans Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao, who was the only Republican in either house of Congress to vote for the overhaul in November, joined the rest of his party in opposition, citing concerns that it would lead to federal funding of abortion.
"Right now I'm pretty much a tormented soul," said Cao, who noted that the legislation would benefit his district with its many poor and uninsured. He said he understood from his family's own experience -- a brother and father with kidney disease and a sister with lupus -- the crushing burden of health costs and the difficulties of securing adequate insurance.
Cao said his younger brother, who had a kidney transplant, called him a few days ago to plead with him to vote for the bill. "That was one of the toughest conversations I've ever had in my life," he said.
But Cao said he could not vote for legislation that included the Senate language that he, like the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the National Right to Life Committee, say would lead to public dollars subsidizing abortions, a view disputed by Congressional leaders, the White House and some Catholic groups including the Catholic Health Association and leaders of many orders of Catholics nuns.
"Modern society has become desensitized to the issue," Cao said. "When you speak of abortion many people push it aside without really thinking about it."
But, he said, many Americans also once turned a blind eye to the crime of slavery.
"For me abortion is such a moral evil, at a par with slavery, that I cannot in good conscience support a bill that seeks to expand it," Cao said.
Joseph Cao represents a majority black (and Democratic) district in Louisiana. He is in Office because, frankly, he wasn't William Jefferson.
His constituents understand something that apparently he doesn't.
Slavery is not on a par with Abortion.
Slavery is on a par...with slavery.
Come September, his challenger (what do you want to bet a Black Man) is going run ads, over and over and over again, reminding (black) people of his final vote on Health Care, and the appalling lack of racial sensitivity he showed in defending it.
Good luck on with your new job Former Congressman Cao!