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To our delegation, it’s all gloom and doom

by CHUCK MALLOY/Special to The Press
| March 14, 2022 4:07 PM

President Biden’s State of the Union address is long behind us and everyone is well past analyzing the details of his speech.

What stands out to me, above anything the president said, was the jaded and cynical views of our congressional delegation regarding the state of our country.

The presidents of my lifetime — from Harry Truman to Donald Trump — all went out of their way to talk about the strength and greatness of America and Biden’s speech was no exception. For Idaho’s congressional delegation, apparently, America can be great only with Republicans in charge.

They will criticize Biden at the drop of a pin, but stay stone silent when their party’s president encouraged a riot at the Capitol — then sat in the White House apparently enjoying everything he saw on television.

That’s Washington-style politics, of course. Democrats give the silent treatment when Biden falls on his face as well. But despite our differences and flaws, I go back to the old school. The United States still is the greatest country in the world.

You’d never know that from reading our congressional delegation’s response to the State of the Union address. It’s all gloom and doom — and that’s what we’ll get with three more years of Biden.

So, here’s our delegation’s “state of the union:” Inflation is out of control; gas prices are disgustingly high; the nation’s foreign policy is broken; the southern border is a mess; crime is running rampant; Second Amendment rights are being blown away; and the list goes on.

As the delegation sees it, there’s one man responsible for the nation going to hell in a handbasket, and that’s Joe Biden — with the help of his Democrat friends in Congress.

According to Sen. Jim Risch: “From gas to groceries, the price of everything is skyrocketing after Democrats’ spending binge. Illegal migrants are overwhelming our sovereign border by the millions. The administration’s historic failures and Russia’s deadly invasion of Ukraine are not the hallmarks of competent leadership.”

Says Congressman Mike Simpson: “President Biden attempted to defend some of his administration’s failures over the last year. At the end of the day, the American economy is suffering from the highest inflation levels in 40 years, and we still have a supply chain crisis thanks in part of President Biden’s policies.”

Says Sen. Mike Crapo: “While the president attempted to portray optimism … the challenges of the present time require an immediate shift in focus away from far-left policies that weaken America’s economy, national security and foreign policy strength. Americans are experiencing the sting of the highest inflation in 40 years, a record-breaking crisis at the southern border, out-of-control crime rates, drastic attempts at federal government overreach and the left’s attacks on American oil and gas and our energy independence.”

Says Congressman Russ Fulcher: “President Biden said what everyone wanted to hear during his speech. He was going to lower prices, increase police funding and secure our border. Really? Well Mr. President — I don’t believe you … because your actions speak louder than your words.”

Also weighing in this feel-good party was Tom Luna, chairman of Idaho’s Republican Party. “Joe Biden stated that the last two years have been some of the hardest times in American history. In that case, we agree with you, Joe. The last few years have been some of the most difficult times courtesy of your failed leadership.”

Of course, Biden has been in office a little more than a year, but who’s counting?

Maybe I’m just lucky, or maybe my thinking isn’t so far off. I’ve liked some presidents better than others over the years, but my life does not revolve around the person sitting in the White House. And my values are not dictated by what party holds a majority in Congress.

I have known the four members of Idaho’s congressional delegation for many years — and they are good people and capable leaders. But in these troubled times, it would be nice to see a bit more inspiration and less finger-pointing.

It’s not as if Democrats will be taking their seats anytime soon.

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Chuck Malloy, a longtime Idaho journalist and Silver Valley native, is a columnist with Idaho Politics Weekly. He may be reached at ctmalloy@outlook.com.