How did Columbia's Congresswoman end up "somewhere to the right of Attila the Hun?"
By Ken Midkiff
COLUMBIA, Mo 8/7/13 (Op Ed) -- “All politics are local”. So said then US Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill.
With local politics in mind, I took a look at the voting record of US House of Representatives member Vicky Hartzler, who represents the City of Columbia and Boone County in the United States Congress.
I was appalled (to put it mildly). Vicky Hartzler represents us?
Typical of college towns, Columbia and much of Boone County trend Blue, i.e. Progressive, Democrat, liberal. To adequately represent a majority of her district, Hartzler -- a Republican -- would need moderate tendencies. She might be more conservative on some issues, more liberal on others, like her Congressional predecessor, conservative Democrat Ike Skelton.
Instead, she has staked out a political position somewhere to the right of Attila the Hun.
Hartzler never deviates from the commands of her party, the GOP, now known in Congress as the "Party of No." For that reason, she is the embodiment of why our purely-partisan Congress is held in esteem so low that on a good day, it is barely above that of sewage. If the Republican leadership says “jump”, she asks "how high?" on her way to vote "NO."
Most distressing to local constituents known for being pro-environment, Hartzler opposed measures to provide the US Fish and Wildlife Service appropriations for endangered species and critical habitats, and the EPA to regulate cement plants.
More generally, Hartzler has voted against EVERY bill the Obama Administration supports, even when it is sheer political folly to do so.
Knowing full well the US Senate would never consider it, Hartzler has nonetheless voted multiple times to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act (known somewhat deridingly as “Obamacare”). Even if it somehow reached the President’s desk, Mr. Obama would doubtless veto such a repeal.
Don’t take my word for all this – look it up. Enter “Vicky Hartzler voting record” in any search engine. The record of her votes starts shortly after she defeated Skelton (the pro-military former chairman of the House Armed Services Committee she claimed was "too liberal").
We get it that Hartzler doesn’t like Obama. We get it that she doesn't like women's issues, farmers, malnourished children, military victims of rape, immigrants, NOAA, and anyone to the left of Michelle Bachmann.
But what we don't get -- and we're a smart constituency -- is why our Congressional representative insists on representing only a small, hard right minority here in Columbia and Boone County.