Clearing up what must be an oversight...right?

Curt Nettinga of the Plainsman
Posted 8/22/23

In this Through Rose Colored Glasses, the writer questions a recent statement from a SD Congressman

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Clearing up what must be an oversight...right?


When I read through the story last week regarding our Congressional delegation at a forum in Mitchell, I transparently fess up to reading it several times to make sure I understood exactly what Dusty Johnson was saying.

Well, not the whole thing, but this was Johnson’s response to an audience member suggesting that South Dakota’s elected Washington representatives be more aggressive and confrontational.

“Have we gotten everything done? No,” Johnson said. “But I gotta tell you, the loud guys, your Cory Bookers, your AOCs, your Rashida Tlaibs, your Ilhan Omars, they get nothing done.”

He led into this by saying being loud doesn’t always produce results. So, unless I mis-read our good Congressman’s quote, he is stating that, off the top of his head, these are examples of loud legislators who are holding up the legislative process.

What do they all have in common?

Not surprisingly on a panel of Republican officials, with what was likely a partisan crowd, Johnson singled out one Democratic senator, and three Democratic Representatives. He also added Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. No, don’t bother checking, they’re Democrats too.

That can’t be right, I thought to myself. Dusty must have just forgotten.

Because, wasn’t it a handful of Republican Representatives who held up the election of a Speaker of the House for 15 rounds to leverage their agenda?

Yeah, I am pretty sure it was.

Lauren Boebert. Matt Gaetz. And the space-laser believer herself, Marjorie Taylor Greene (MTG).

Now, the same core group is threatening to hold up a budget resolution to get a few more wishes achieved.

Representative Johnson obviously has a front row seat to the Washington DC circus, but dropping some names - or even initials - of a few Democrats seems somewhat disingenuous.

I will see your Senators Warren and Sanders and raise Senators (Tommy) Tuberville and (Mitch) McConnell. Tuberville is actively holding up hearings on hundreds of senior military promotions - including the heads of the branches of the armed forces - in protest to the Pentagon’s abortion access policies.

Granted, Tuberville is doing this very quietly, no shouting at all. No conversation whatsoever, actually.

McConnell is the epitome of a silent actor. By holding up dozens of federal judgeships for the final two years of the Obama administration, then pushing through an ocean liner-sized Trump appointees, he achieved his stated goal, to alter the balance of the judicial system.

By doing so, he completely politicized the third branch of government, the only branch that was intended to be non-political. And his completely dishonorable handling of nominations for the Supreme Court was simply the cherry on top.

Dusty Johnson’s comment may have been simply reading the room and telling people what they really wanted to hear. He is, of course, fewer than 15 months from facing re-election and in reality, U.S. Representatives kinda begin campaigning within days of taking their oath of office.

Dusty will almost certainly be re-elected, partially because he is a Republican running in a solidly Republican state. At the same time, it is difficult to argue that he has been a good representative for South Dakota in Washington.

So pointing the finger of blame in only one direction is beneath you, Dusty.