It has been suggested recently that the president was using the Sandra Fluke flap as a political tool. It has also been suggested that by choosing to use some of his personal time on a passion of his, college basketball, the president was wasting time that could have been better spent on more pressing issues. I tend to believe that both of these ideas are off base but nevertheless, they are out there because someone thinks they have merit.
With this in mind I recently read an op-ed piece that Tim Walberg penned for the Daily Telegraph in Adrian, MI, to assure his constituents that he is working hard to defend them. One of the ways Representative Walberg is accomplishing this goal is by fighting tooth and nail to defeat the evil empire known as the EPA from implementing a new regulation that could adversely affect local farmers.
To defend his constituents from this impending regulation, Walberg voted for The Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act. You may ask yourself what EPA regulation does this act prevent? Well there is no impending regulation from the EPA regarding farm dust. As a matter of fact more than a month before Tim Walberg voted for this act, an EPA assistant administrator testified before the Energy and Commerce subcommittee that, as the government body in charge of coarse particle pollution, they were keeping existing EPA standards in place. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson later reaffirmed this decision by stating that the agency’s regulation of coarse particulate matter would be retained with no revisions.
If the president taking an hour our two out of his day to fill out an NCAA bracket is a waste of time then what do you call writing, debating and voting on a bill that solves a problem that doesn’t exist?
Of course just voting on the bill won’t let all of Tim Walberg’s constituents know about the important work he is doing in Congress, so his staff put together an op-ed piece to let everyone know about his accomplishment. So not only did Walberg vote for an act that prevents the EPA from doing something they had no plans on doing, he is publicly bragging about it.
If the president making a private phone call to a U.S. citizen is political grandstanding, then what do you call writing an op-ed column extolling your own virtues?
If the complaint is that politicians waste time on unnecessary endeavors and focus too much on getting reelected, then I agree, but acting like these problems only exist on one side of the aisle or only in the oval office is practically the definition of playing politics.