Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Rep Gowdy sees his term in office as a lost opportunity

Most of my readers probably don't know Rep. Gowdy. He's one of the congressmen swept into office last year on a conservative wave. He represents my part of SC, a traditionally conservative area, and beat out Rep. Bob Inglis in the primaries. I can't be certain who I voted for in the primaries, but I know I voted for Gowdy in the general election.

Earlier this week, Gowdy said he saw his first six months in office as "a lost opportunity." (Source: Greenville News). Gowdy acknowledged that be "really did not have a frame of reference because [he'd] never served in the Legislature before." And he noted that "There’s more civility in a criminal trial (his former job was a prosecutor) than there is in politics."

Well, Rep Gowdy, I guess I see this as a lost opportunity too, if you decide to give up. Let me remind you that there was a lot less civility in the primary fights in your discussions about then-Rep. Inglis (and most of it was deserved). Part of the reason I and others like me voted for you is that you had never been in legislature before, we were tired of the ever compromising status-quo.

That's not to say I don't believe in compromise, I do. But I also know (as do you) that we will not fix our budget problems simply raising taxes on one group of people. "Shared sacrifice" needs to actually be shared and that means cutting spending.

I'm going to trust that the Greenville News caught you on a bad day, after a budget battle that left everyone unhappy. And, having a deal that no one likes, is not necessarily a good solution (some people call that compromise - I call it a mess). Instead, I look to you and others like you to lead, to look ahead to what's coming and take the necessary action to really resolve matters, not just make it easier on some politicians until after the next election.

I sympathize with how hard your job is on a day-to-day basis. I know you don't "like the travel between Washington and [your] home in South Carolina, where [your] family is living." But as you said, you knew the job was in Washington when you ran for election. There is certainly "a role for a fact-centric ... hopefully persuasive, argument" in Congress like you dream of. Unfortunately, sometimes it will be uncivil. You knew that too, back at election time.

I hope you will take this as helpful criticism and go back and finish the job you started, the job you were elected to do. It will be hard, as we expect you to hold ground on reducing spending and many will paint you in a bad light because of that. But we are depending on you.

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