Adrian Smith: Worst of the Worstby Kyle Michaelis
When pressed aggressively...Adrian Smith falls back on sound bites and slogans....Hard to believe that it was only a little more than three months ago when those words were written. But, from what we've seen of Smith in his first three weeks in Congress, he's more than lived up to his reputation ("lived down" would probably be more accurate).
Smith is not known as a skilled lawmaker. He is not known for an ability to build constructive coalitions for complicated legislation. He is not known as a skilled public speaker. He has no reputation for making substantive issues the subjects for his priority bills. He is not a lawmaker whom backers seek out to be the prime sponsor of major legislation.
He is not known as a leader.
The record of Nebraska's Republican Representatives in the first 100 hours of the new Congress has been pretty dismal. But, it really says something about Smith that, in just a few weeks, he's already earned distinction as worst of the worst, contributing nothing but partisan-driven vote after partisan-driven vote against an agenda with the over-whelming support of the American people.
Even First District Rep. Jeff Fortenberry and 2nd District Rep. Lee Terry learned enough from the last election to recognize that the days of the Do-Nothing Republican Congress are dead and buried. Although both have so far managed records that would still fail any test with the voters, they at least knew better than to vote in lock-step opposition with the most extremist faction of the Republican Party.
Surprise, surprise....Adrian Smith did no such thing, putting himself in the same league as Iowa nut-job Steve King, who claims Joe McCarthy as a hero and calls the Iraq War a success. Smith and King, clearly birds of a feather, voted against every popular measure brought forward by the Democrats (1) implementing the 9/11 commission recommendations, (2) restoring pay-as-you-go budgeting, (3) raising the minimum wage, (4) expanding federal funding for stem cell research, (5) cutting student loan interest rates, (6) rolling back tax subsidies for oil companies and channeling the savings into alternative energy development, and (7) authorizing Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug prices.
Of these, Terry only had the sense to vote for the rate cut on student loans. Fortenberry voted for the 9/11 recommendations, pay-go, and for the reforms in energy policy. Smith, on the other hand, just voted as told on every measure - as if the man were not even capable of an independent thought.
Adrian Smith: not known as a skilled lawmaker; not known as a leader. And, thanks to his choice to represent the most extremist wing of the Republican Party rather than the common sense people of central and western Nebraska, he never will be a skilled lawmaker or a leader.
One more line stands out from that World-Herald's desription of Smith three months ago:
[I]n terms of qualifications, the 3rd District deserves more...That's more true now than ever. The 3rd District still deserves more and deserves better than Adrian Smith.I just hope someone will have the courage and faith to give voters the opportunity to correct their mistake before too much irreparable damage is done by Smith's unthinking Congressional incompetence.