For whatever reason, I somehow ended up on Jim Risch’s mailing list. Now, don’t get me wrong about the title of this post. Begging for money is far more honorable than stealing it through taxation. All the same, it’s a fat chance that I’ll hand Risch anything voluntarily.
As you may know, I’m no fan of Jim Risch. I’ve written in the past about his support of the drone assassination program. When I wrote to him saying that the president should be impeached (as killing Americans without trial, I would think, be an impeachable offense), he responded that
The Constitution describes the crimes for which a president may be impeached as “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Mere political policy disagreements do not reach those standards. At the current time, the president has not been accused of any such misdeeds or charged by the House of Representatives.
I guess thinking that murder is wrong is a “mere political policy disagreement.”
But regarding his fundraising mail, what I found impressive was the sheer amount of arrogance his return letter displayed. This is the “Pledge of Support to James E. Risch” supposedly from me:
Thank you for your extraordinary record of public service to Idaho families and patriotic Americans like me. Like, you, I believe the rugged and worn path of American exceptionalism is still worth the fight.
But I know President Obama and the Democrats will say or spend almost anything to prevent you from casting another conservative vote in the U.S. Senate.
To help you preserve the well-worn path of American exceptionalism for our children and grandchildren, please accept my most generous gift of:
Humble guy, isn’t he? He also seems to really like the phrase “path of American exceptionalism.” With the included letter, he uses it no less than six times. Also in the letter is the fact that he’s a career politician, being elected to prosecuting attorney a couple of years out of law school, then was state senator for 11 terms (I don’t like to use the term “serve” for these types of things), then was elected lieutenant governor for two terms, then governor, and US senator.
All those years living at taxpayer’s expense and these are what he lists as his achievements:
During my years in office I rolled back property taxes by 20%, helped build up a $100 Million rainy day fund for schools, and continued my long-standing commitment to protect family values.
Of course, lower property taxes is a good thing. It is a tax I find extremely offensive: you have to pay the government for simply surviving. But why is it that politicians, no matter what label they put on themselves, think that your money is theirs, not only to do with as they please, but for them to claim credit for? Apparently, Jim Risch “helped build up a…rainy day fund” rather than simply take other people’s money and act like he’s generous and responsible. And I have to ask anyone who generally finds “family values” to be a desirable thing: do you really want politicians to think that without them you would have no family values? Despite the rhetoric of “conservatives” about personal responsibility, doesn’t it seem like they want to be personally responsible for your life?
To be complete, he also lists these things he did in the US Senate:
- Voted against Obama’s $787 billion dollar stimulus package
- Opposed Obamacare
- “Stood firm to protect law-abiding gun owners from arbitrary European-style gun grabs”
- Opposed the fifth debt limit hike of Obama’s presidency
Though these are all well and good, Jim should not receive full points for the first point. From his other letters to me, it’s pretty clear that he accepts the Keynesian paradigm that government spending improves the economy, such as when he states that he wants to “minimize the negative effects on our economy” of “automatic spending cuts to certain federal programs” or says he’ll “cut spending while maintaining a strong labor force.”
He then spends nearly the whole second half of the letter how he needs money or the Democrats are going to outspend him and take over “GOP territory”.
As a whole, I don’t find the letter very inspiring. All the things he opposed (with the possible exception of the gun grab) has come to pass. I suppose this isn’t exactly a fair criticism; a more principled person like Ron Paul voted against so many things that passed anyway. But unlike Paul, Risch has no problem with a mass murdering foreign policy, nor does he give any notion that he would make any major changes to the status quo. He’ll just be another reliable Republican vote in the Senate.
Perhaps what would be best for Risch, and the people of Idaho, would be for him to not get re-elected and actually produce a good or service people want to buy. Then he could quit begging me for money.