Tim Riggins: An open letter to GOP senators
Senators, we are tired of your spineless inaction. We are tired of your insider politics. And we are tired of your broken campaign promises.
It is becoming increasingly apparent that your actions don’t support your rhetoric. You are more concerned with meeting the approval of the Washington elite and the media than you are with the needs of your state.
You constantly seek approval from the mainstream media by going along with the so-called “popular” positions they create. Yet the media’s approval is never given. You are like the puppy seeking approval from a person who constantly kicks it away. Eventually, though, the puppy learns. You apparently do not. That makes you dumber than a dog.
Your dishonesty has never been more apparent. When the House had a GOP majority and the Senate did not you cried that you couldn’t get anything accomplished without a majority in the Senate. We, the voters, took you at your word and gave you a majority in the Senate.
You still didn’t accomplish anything meaningful. Unlike the Democrats, when you are in the majority you still surrender to a unified Democrat opposition. You then said you couldn’t get anything done without a GOP president. We gave you a GOP president, albeit one you don’t “approve of.” You still can’t accomplish your promises.
A case in point is Obamacare repeal. Twice you gleefully approved bills to repeal Obamacare, knowing full well that President Obama would veto those bills. With Trump as president, you ignored the option of straight repeal and then dealing with replacement issues on a case by case basis that might have gotten some Democrat support as well. No, when you no longer had that cover, you proposed an all-encompassing bill that you knew would never get a full GOP consensus because of all the issues involved. “Gee, we tried but just couldn’t get it done.”
You then managed to take the longest summer recess in recent history. Returning, you haven’t attempted to deal with producing a budget before Oct. 1. You have ignored tax reform. You don’t want to touch building the wall or immigration reform. Trump abolished DACA as an illegal and unconstitutional executive order, saying it was up to Congress to pass any law of that nature. You don’t want to deal with that, either. You have a long list of presidential appointees you won’t even bring to the floor.
Trump recently made an agreement with Democrats to raise the debt ceiling and to fund government through mid-December. Some say he defected from the party. I say he tried to send a wake-up call to you. I suspect you won’t pay attention.
Then heed this. The country’s philosophy outside of Washington is center-right. There are 33 states with GOP governors. Thirty two of those also have GOP legislatures. Nevada is a good lesson in ignoring the public. In 2015, Nevada had for the first time in decades a GOP legislature and governor. They squandered that by passing the single largest tax increase in Nevada history. They no longer have a majority either house of the legislature.
Will you learn that lesson? I doubt it. Your disconnect with the voting public is overshadowed only by your arrogance. To be fair, there is a handful of you who are diligently trying to fulfill your promises. Sadly, you are a distinct minority who are being swept aside as irrelevant.
You think that once elected, you are immune to voter wrath because your term is six years and voters have short memories. I suspect that you are misreading your constituency. We are tired of your petty politics and personal grudges.
Donald Trump is president today because he was seen as a doer, not a talker. His approval rating is 46 percent despite 91 percent negative news coverage. His approval rating is nearly four times that of yours. There is a reason for that.
Trump spent 20 percent of the campaign money that his opponent did. He rewrote the campaign “rule book.” Do you really think that someone fed up with your performance won’t apply the same campaign model in your state?
Trump promised to “drain the swamp.” With a small handful of aforementioned exceptions, your recent actions lead me to conclude that you, senators, are the swamp. Your leadership is failing you. Act like the party in charge instead of whining about the Democrats. Wise up and listen to us, your voters, or you might just find yourself “drained.”
Tom Riggins’ column appears every other Friday. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.