Congressman Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado Springs) is finishing up his seventh term in the House of Representatives. He will almost certainly be re-elected for an eighth term in November. Because CO-5 has long been centered in the conservative city of Colorado Springs, winning a Republican Primary is pretty much the whole enchilada (just like winning a Democratic Primary in Denver virtually guarantees a General Election victory).
Lamborn earned his ticket to Washington D.C. with a narrow win in a 6-way Republican Primary in 2006. Because 15,126 Republican voters checked Lamborn’s box in August of that year, he gained the power of incumbency in a heavily-partisan district that won’t likely be rid of him until he decides to do something else (Lamborn’s predecessor, Joel Hefley, is the only other person to have held this seat in its history; he served 20 years in Congress before retiring).
The point of this history lesson is to explain the very low bar that Lamborn must clear every two years in order to remain in office, and to help you understand how a sitting Member of Congress could be responsible for authoring something as spectacularly stupid as the Op-Ed you’re about to see. If you were ever able to hold a contest to identify the dimmest bulb in Congress, Lamborn would be a strong betting favorite; just a few months ago, for example, Lamborn declared that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was pushing for another coronavirus stimulus package because she secretly wanted to secure the release from prison of the infamous drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
Now that you’re all caught up with that bit of history, we can comfortably look ahead to the future. According to Lamborn (or, more likely, someone on Lamborn’s staff who can spell big words), the United States of America will be a smoldering ruin if Democrat Joe Biden is elected President in November. The ultra right-wing newspaper The Washington Examiner published a very gloomy Op-Ed signed by Lamborn that predicts all of the terrible things that will happen in the first year of a Biden administration.
As a public service, we decided to break down Lamborn’s argument point-by-point so that Colorado Pols readers can fully understand the dark ages ahead. If you’ve been anxious to read an unabashedly racist, sexist, factually-inaccurate and fear-mongering editorial from a sitting Member of Congress, then (WHOO, BOY!) you came to the right place!
Let’s get to it…
It is now November 2021, one year after Joe Biden was elected president after a razor-thin election. We have been given a glimpse into the future to see Biden’s America.
Summer 2021 was another scorcher. The rolling brownouts California suffered in 2020 spread throughout the West. Record demand for air conditioning combined with the ongoing closures of coal, nuclear, and even gas-powered electric plants have left millions powerless in these heat waves.
If you want to grab a reader’s attention, it’s generally a good idea to make a bold statement at the beginning of your Op-Ed. Instead, Lamborn kicks things off with a warning about “Record demand for air conditioning.” Apparently, President Biden will have managed to shut down most of America’s electric capacity after just a few months in office…which is really kind of impressive if you think about it.
“Razor-thin election” is also the most optimistic thing you’ll read in this Op-Ed.
Energy Secretary Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, with the support of President Biden, has permanently extended the airlines’ drastic curtailments of flights, first seen during the late pandemic, in keeping with the Green New Deal they both support. Taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel have shot up to European levels “to discourage internal combustion engine use and to promote jobs in the alternative transportation industry, especially the manufacture of bicycles.”
First off, this part about airlines cutting service “during the late pandemic” is complete nonsense. Airlines cut flights by more than 90% starting in early April because nobody wanted to be on an airplane during a pandemic. Airlines made this decision, not the government, and they did so in the early stages of the pandemic.
If you weren’t aware that the possibility of a dramatic increase in fuel taxes was on the horizon, you are not alone. But according to this chart from the U.S. Department of Energy, the United States could probably stand to increase a fuel tax somewhat:
One more thing…AOC has never been a Biden cheerleader and in fact was a prominent supporter of Bernie Sanders for President. But, sure, Biden will make her his Secretary of Energy.
The Ferguson effect, where law enforcement pulls back in the wake of hostility, lawsuits, and violent crime increases, and seen in 2020 in certain cities such as Seattle, Portland, Chicago, and Minneapolis, has extended to hundreds of major cities. Attorney General Lori Lightfoot, former mayor of Chicago, has called for a blue-ribbon commission on how to best spend the mandatory 30% diversion of police funds to social service agencies that the Democratic U.S. House and Senate mandated.
According to Lamborn’s crystal ball, Democrats will have majority control of the U.S. Senate in 2021. But Lamborn seems to have more trouble understanding the past than he does the future. “The Ferguson effect” presumably refers to the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO…which took place in August 2014. Quite a lot has happened around the issue of law enforcement accountability since that date.
Although Biden said during the 2020 campaign that he did not support defunding the police, he never denounced violence and rioting in the aftermath of the George Floyd protests. This was seen as a green light by progressives in Congress to divert money from law enforcement nationally, or else state and local governments would lose federal funding.
So, let’s make sure we get this straight. According to Lamborn, a Biden administration will need just a few months to shutter power plants and jack up fuel taxes in the United States, but Biden will be helpless to prevent massive diversions of funding away from law enforcement departments?
The last sentence above is worth its own discussion. Congress will threaten to cut off federal funding for state and local governments…by cutting off federal funding for law enforcement? If you “threaten” to cut off funding by actually cutting off funding, then how is that still a “threat”?
Because Biden has been making fewer and fewer public appearances, his ability to impose his will on Congress has diminished. Rumors have circulated, but his advisers remain tight-lipped about his medical and mental condition.
Ah, okay. Biden isn’t able to do more than gut electricity generation and raise fuel taxes because he’s mostly-dead at this point. Carry on, then.
The economy has never recovered from what was hoped to be a temporary pullback during the pandemic. Even liberal experts agree with conservatives that the reversal of President Trump’s tax cuts by the new Congress did serious damage to economic investment and job growth. The difference between the two camps, though, is that liberal economists see a benefit to the lower standards of living. According to Treasury Secretary Elizabeth Warren, “When everyone’s income goes down, as long as the income of those who are wealthier go down more, the result is more equality.”
The 2017 Republican tax plan never increased “economic investment and job growth” in the first place. It’s hard to crash a car that didn’t have wheels.
We’re almost impressed with the rhetorical suggestion that when Democrats talk about “income inequality,” what they really mean is that they want everyone to be equally poor. This is probably something that Lamborn legitimately believes, however.
Identity politics has expanded. Vice President Kamala Harris, who was chosen by Biden because she checked three boxes as a progressive woman of color, was designated by him as the czar in charge of “remedying historical grievances.” The 1619 Project, claiming that America was founded to promote slavery and first pushed by the New York Times, has been adopted as mandatory reading by the majority of public school districts in the country. This was after a guidance letter went out from her office to school districts nationwide, telling them to incorporate the 1619 Project or face liability exposure on civil rights grounds. The fact that the 1619 Project is opposed by liberal and conservative historians alike, and also ignores the abolition movement, are not considered significant by the Biden administration.
Wow. There’s a lot here. “The 1619 Project” was a special issue of The New York Times magazine intended to provide more historical context about the role of slavery in the construction of the United States. But according to Lamborn, Vice President/”Czar of Remedying Historical Grievances” Kamala Harris will implement these teachings in schools nationwide within the first few months of the Biden administration. Things are happening fast under President Biden, God rest his soul.
In foreign affairs, Biden has attempted to resurrect the Obama-era agreement with Iran to keep it from developing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. Reversing all the Trump sanctions as a unilateral peace gesture to the regime did not work — Iran has ramped up its 20,000 uranium enrichment centrifuges, which mostly had been in storage prior to the election.
National security adviser Adam Schiff has stated publicly that “Iran must curtail its nuclear efforts or face the consequences.” But when pressed, he could not say what those consequences would be. He said he hoped that discussions with the European Union, Russia, and China about how to deal with the Iranian crisis would find common ground for the first time.
The Trump administration prevented Iran from building nuclear weapons? Does this happen sometime between today and 2021?
The new Democratic Congress has cut funding to the Department of Defense under pressure from the newly empowered progressive wing of the Democratic Party. The Joint Chiefs of Staff have been reacting to the painful cuts by triaging their defense priorities. Adversaries have shown signs of challenging U.S. interests abroad to exploit new weaknesses in American forces.
Who wants to tell Lamborn that President Trump refused to even ask Russian President Vladimir Putin about intelligence reports that Russia was placing bounties on the heads of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan? Or that Congress has repeatedly tried to prevent Trump from withdrawing U.S. forces from Afghanistan, Syria, South Korea, and Germany?
The one bright spot in Biden’s America over the last 12 months has been in healthcare. When the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed led to a vaccine in record time, Americans, for the most part, decided they were tired of seclusion and took the vaccine. Even Democratic governors lifted coronavirus restrictions, employees went back to work, schools and universities reopened for the spring semester, sports teams played in front of fans, and the atmosphere of fear went away. Defeating the pandemic is now acknowledged by pundits on both ends of the spectrum as Trump’s finest hour. The vaccine came out two weeks after the November election.
“Defeating the pandemic is now acknowledged by pundits on both ends of the spectrum as Trump’s finest hour.” That’s one hell of an ending. Lamborn may not have kicked off this Op-Ed with a bang, but he sure knows how to bring it home.
The future looks grim, according to Lamborn. It is, at least, reassuring to know that Lamborn will still be in Congress amidst all of this chaos.