Remember when Cory Gardner was campaigning and he said he was going to focus on the economy and not talk about those "hot-button social issues." His spokesperson said, "The only person in this race talking about social issues is Rep. Markey. Cory is focused on jobs, the economy and reigning in spending." Of course he wasn't talking about social issues. He knew his views are way out of touch with voters' views, and he wanted to distract them with talk of the economy.
Well, now that he is Representative Gardner, we can see pretty clearly where his priorities lie.
As of February 8, Rep. Gardner has been a Congressman for more than a month. Regarding those pesky social issues he wasn't talking about, he's already an original cosponsor of not one, but two bills severely hurting a woman's right to choose. I suppose he had to do something to pay back the National Right To Life PAC that spent money so generously on his campaign. Of course, while Gardner was accepting their money, he was careful not to talk about them, because he wouldn't want to distract from non-social issues.
One anti-choice bill Garder has cosponsored is H.R. 3, which has been roundly criticized for it's distinction of "forcible rape" as opposed to, um, I guess, "regular" rape. Since the early 90s, federal law allows for exceptions on public funding of abortion in cases of rape, incest, or a threat to the life of the mother. Apparently, that wasn't quite enough for the GOP, including Cory Gardner.
After many groups rallied against this offensive distinction, the Fort Collins Coloraodan reported that Gardner "supports changes to the wording." The only statement about the issue is from Gardner's spokesperson (I wonder if Cory himself too distracted by all those social issues to make a simple statement) saying:
“The intention was never to change the definition of rape. Rep. Gardner added his name as a co-sponsor because he believes in banning taxpayer- subsidized abortions.”
Clearly the intention wasn't to change the definition of rape. I think Gardner either didn't read the bill, didn't understand the words, or may he just thought that if rape wasn't forcible it wasn't that bad: no sense providing choices to those women whose rapes didn't seem to Cory to be that traumatizing. I don't know. But it seems his social agenda clouded some good judgment on that one. I really find his released statement unsatisfying. "Oh, sorry guys. That's a mulligan. I support whatever the authors of the legislation want to put in there now. Now let's keep not talking about it."
Of course, now that he's been elected, he might want to talk about social issues to distract from his lack of action on other important matters.
What else has been up to? In the past month, he's managed to find the time to cosponsor 17 pieces of legislation. Of those, two are anti-choice, six repeal all of or parts of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and two are balanced budget amendments to the constitution. Apparently for Mr. Gardner, any bill worth cosponsoring is worth cosponsoring in 2 or 6 different versions.
The remaining seven bills are a mish-mash of this or that (reduce spending on elections, destroying the environment, you know, regular GOD talking points), but I don't see any relating to increasing jobs or fixing the economy. Apparently he wanted to not about his social views and instead talk about the jobs and the economy because that's all he's capable of: talking about them. I thought he said he would bring new ideas to fix things.
Apparently there're not a lot of ideas coming out of Rep. Gardner's head. Not only has he failed to introduce a simple piece of legislation, he hasn't even taken the time to find other Representatives' ideas to piggy back off of.
"I thought he had a plan." Oh, you're thinking of the 2010 Plan, that epic tome of half-baked thoughts, regurgitated party rhetoric, and meaningless but pithy slogan. I'm pretty sure he just drove around reading bumper stickers to come up with that one. But he liked to talk about it.
Cory Gardner wouldn't talk about social issues because they were distraction; he will, however, cosponsor every anti-choice, rape-redefining bill he can find. He was talking about jobs, which is ironic considering his work history; he hasn't, however, lifted a finger to do anything about improving the economy. Maybe he'll get around to that later, when there aren't so many anti-choice bills waiting for him to cosponsor.