My congressman, Mick Mulvaney, keeps in regular contact with his South Carolina constituents, mostly via social media. He is accessible, articulate, and sharp – a conservative / libertarian / pragmatist who seems to really enjoy doing the people’s work.
As a by-product of his accessibility, Mulvaney wears his heart on his sleeve, and doesn’t do a good job of hiding his frustration with the “system”. That frustration was one of the reasons he was a founding member of the rebel Freedom Caucus.
Because we have such remarkable access to him, we pepper him with our own frustrations, hoping that since he actually hears our concerns, usually agrees with us, and seems to give a damn, he might actually be able to do something.
Today Mulvaney spent an hour or so on Facebook in an open question-and-answer session, something he does frequently. Frustrated questions, frustrated answers:
Bob: “Can someone please tell me how we are going to survive, as a nation, with a $19 trillion federal deficit? It seems no one is concerned. We have entrusted our country to Congress and NO Congressperson is taking a stand against spending.”
Mulvaney: “The House Freedom Caucus is pushing exactly that. But as the debt isn’t a sexy issue right now, we get almost no media coverage.”
Micheal: “The Pentagon has been required by law to be audited since the 90’s but has failed to do so. How can we give them more money when we have no idea how they are already spending the money they’ve received?”
Mulvaney: “I’ve been fighting against the OCO [Overseas Contingency Operations] slush fund since I got to Congress. I just wish more people cared about how badly we waste money in the Pentagon.”
Me: “Mick, have you followed the land grabs out west? I’m originally from Montana you know, and my friends back there are pretty worried. Between the EPA, the BLM, and taking land for “national monuments” it seems like the federal government is hell bent on owning or micromanaging every acre west of Nebraska. What’s going on?”
Mulvaney: “We push reforms every year, but they don’t rise to the level of getting much media attention.”
$19 trillion is not “sexy enough”? Nobody cares about wasted taxpayer funds? Not enough media attention to stop the federal government from acquiring 80% of the land west of Colorado, and torturing (or murdering) the few citizens who own the other 20%?
What happened to the idea that the people set the objectives for their representives? When did we start relying on the media to decide which issues are “sexy enough” to get attention? If Congress is waiting for the media to set their work priorities and schedules, we have a big problem.
Congressman Mulvaney and the Freedom Caucus are the ‘good guys’. We don’t need them to be ‘nice guys.’ What we need are some ‘tough guys’ who will take charge and get the important work of the people done.
Tom Balek – Rockin’ On the Right Side
Nothin’ I’d do for you that’s too tough for me
I’d put out a burnin’ building with a shovel and dirt
And not even worry about getting hurt
Ain’t that tough enough?