After a year, it's still just as frustrating to follow Cory Gardner...
One year ago today, Cory Gardner was sworn into office as the Representative for Colorado's Fourth District. Exactly 11 months ago today, I registered the domain GardnerPath.com to offer my own thoughts on his (mis)representation of the District. I thought today would be a good time to look back on the last year.
Thinking back, I'm not sure what it was exactly that caused me to start blogging, something I had never attempted before. I was certainly frustrated that Gardner had won the 2010 election, but politics has always been frustrating and never caused me to form the bad habit of blogging before.
With Gardner, there is some almost undefinable thing that annoys me. I love to call him a hypocrite, a word I think that well defines him, but that's not what really drives me nuts. I would love to simply call him an idiot, but that's not really true. Gardner is exceptionally smart at one thing: being a politician. He can speak without saying anything and always avoids specifics, which could actually be fact-checked or contradicted later.
Gardner's chief strength lies in his ability to speak with non-stop platitudes and have the GOP's drones give a standing ovation as if he had actually said something. And the media prints his quotes as if they were the gospel. That's what really got to me and made me start writing.
During his campaign, when asked specific questions, he would always just utter some trite talking point. "What specific cuts would you make?" "Uh, the list of things to cut is so easy! We need to cut and it's easy to, um, you know, cut stuff. Next question." He never once answered a question straight, but as long as he ranted about cuts, Obama, Pelosi, and liberty he got a free pass.
In just his first month in office, I noticed he was going to continue to get a free pass until someone stepped up to campaign against him. That meant he likely would have more than a year of saying whatever he wanted, really defining his image however he wanted. Tea baggers can say what they want about the liberal media bias, but every news outlet was writing gushing articles about Gardner, never questioning the non-substance that came out of his mouth.
And that continues after a year.
"It's time that we unleash the innovators and entrepreneurs of our economy," Gardner said, quoting a Northern Colorado business owner he met on an innovation tour last year. "That ought to be the model for Congress."
Fostering a business climate conducive to solar, wind and natural gas energy development in Northern Colorado is a priority, Gardner said, noting that a six-year holdup of one particular project that would replace Saudi Arabian imports means 50,000 jobs also are held up.
"Unleash the innovators." Can you imagine saying anything of such little substance? To the reporters on that story, did you ask how he thought that should happen? "Foster a conducive business climate." What does that mean? Colorado leads the nation in solar and wind and those industries are growing. What legislation has he promoted that would help them more? Oh right, the bills to increase oil and gas drilling with less protection for people and the environment.
Gardner talks about renewables, but only cares about one kind of energy: fossil fuels. That project he is referring to has nothing to do with Northern Colorado. It's about drilling for oil in remote north Alaska and the 50,000 jobs claim comes from Shell's lobbyists, so it might be a little exaggerated. Why wasn't he asked how many of those jobs would help his constituents?
And the Denver Post is hardly better. The Post's Allison Sherry has a nice little blog article about Gardner wanting to "be for something."
“Leadership’s gotta get the Republicans fighting for something, in terms of a positive agenda,” Gardner said to the Washington political news website [Politico]. “We need to fight for specific ideas of job creation.“I think we need a positive jobs agenda that goes out and says ‘Hey, here’s our package for small business’ —a proactive agenda to give the Republicans in the House something to fight for and push back on this president.”
I forget, so maybe Ms. Sherry can clear this up: Isn't Gardner a legislator who claims to be a leader for Colorado? Why does he have to wait for Congressional leadership to tell him what to do and what to say? What does Cory Gardner think would be a "positive agenda?"
And what, specifically, is Gardner doing for small businesses?I'm sure he would respond by ranting about his Small Business Savings bill, but I would like him to explain how much that will increase the national deficit. Ask what he would do instead of reporting what he wants Looten Plunder Boehner to tell him to do and say.
Why not ask him about these things instead of reporting his whining as if it were meaningful information? It would be nice if journalists would actually try to get Gardner to say something meaningful.
That's what frustrates me about Gardner and that's why I started blogging: Trying to point out the things about Gardner and his plans that are not being "reported" elsewhere.
Has my time been well-spent? I'm sure it hasn't. I've spent too much time making silly pictures (which I do love) and too much time obsessing. I could have used this time to learn to knit maybe. Or actually learn to write better. Instead it's been a year pretty much being frustrated.
But it's also been fun. Even though I look forward to Jared Polis becoming the representative for my home, I intend to keep at Gardner in this next year. I'm rather annoyed that his one opponent in the 2012 race hasn't been a bit more aggressive, but maybe that will change. For now, I'll try to keep hitting Gardner for being a typical politician.