For almost three years now, we’ve called the 8th District of Missouri home.
It’s a big district, land wise. Home to 749,444 people (2010 census), of which 92.36% are white. It’s the poorest district in the state. Median income is a whopping $36,965.
The largest city in the district is Cape Girardeau, with a population of 37,941. Which makes me smile, as that is a pretty small city. But only 38% of the population lives in a city in this district.
So, of course, poor whites vote republican. And they voted overwhelmingly for Jason Smith for Congress. He had 70% of the vote in 2016. This district went solidly for Donald Trump.
I googled Jason Smith and his accomplishments. He was best buddies with Aaron Schock, of Illinois, who is no longer in Congress since his lavish spending became an issue. Aaron’s the guy who decorated his office in Downton Abbey. No wish fulfillment there.
Jason and Aaron went to Brazil together.
So, you might be aware of the flooding that has taken place here in Missouri (or Misery, as I’m learning it could be called). Not that any elected governmental official gives much of a damn, but lots of people lost their homes and property in two separate flooding events in 17 months time.
Jason’s Facebook page has been loaded with pictures of him looking grave and concerned, with sleeves rolled up, at various points along his tour of the devastation. He’s not so grave and concerned to actually do anything, except for pose for pictures and offer prayers. He’s not asking for FEMA help, for instance. And neither is Eric Greitens, our new Navy Seal governor.
Jason is not interested in climate change, of course. He’s a big believer in rebuilding. I love that. He supports his constituency so much he’s urging them to rebuild in flood prone areas. He admires that kind of perseverance, which I call stupidity.
He hasn’t held a town hall since before the election, so I’ve not met the man. I’ve seen one video of him. It’s a suitably snarky one, of his pontification against a proposed tax on tanning salons. Jason uses google, and he found out that more women than men use tanning beds, and he felt that taxing them would be an undue burden on women. He said we might as well tax the sun, since it too, causes skin cancer.
He voted for Trumpcare, so that tells you how much he cares about women. Or children. Or poor people. Or people with disabilities. Or veterans (despite his strong strong strong words about vets…he loves vets, he admires vets, he regularly goes on and on about their sacrifice for our freedom. He just doesn’t care enough to make sure they can get health care).
I think I’ve mentioned that his mother is a puppy miller and that Jason’s name was on the business early in his career. Frankly, that alone is enough to make me hate the man with a passion. I hate anyone who hurts animals. That tells me he has no compassion or empathy at all. His mother isn’t an average puppy miller. She was selected by the Humane Society as one of the Dirty Dozen…the worst of the worse. Mary Ann Smith sued for defamation of character and lost.
When he was a member of Missouri’s state house, he lead a repeal of Proposition B. Proposition B passed, was voted on by the citizens of Missouri, to offer some minimal protections to dogs being bred. Awful regulations like, being allowed to leave a cage for a few minutes a day. Jason made sure it got repealed, because he hates regulations and government. He doesn’t care about conflicts of interest, though.
Of course, he’s been a member of government pretty much since graduating from law school.
So, I’ve been giving him some thought. Is he stupid or venal? Is he an ideologue?
He loves Trump. He’s featured in the various selfies taken at the GOP celebration of passing Trumpcare, and has video of shaking Trump’s hand. He went on television to support Trump after the pussy grabbing video came out.
Eeuw. I wouldn’t touch that guy with gloves on.
I don’t think Jason Smith is stupid. He graduated from college early. He’s one of the youngest members in the House.
He’s well funded by the Koch Brothers, of course, and every other extreme “conservative” group. FreedomWorks, Americans for Prosperity, Campaign for Working Families, Eagle Forum, National Taxpayers Union, Club for Growth, the John Birch Society and Heritage Action for America all give him high ratings.
The ACLU, on the other hand, doesn’t. They rate him 11% out of a possible 100. Think about that. The Bill of Rights, our Constitution….he doesn’t support that so much.
He gets a big fat 0 from both NARAL and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
None of this is unusual. People all around the country have “representatives” who vote against their constituents and then hide from them. They think they don’t have to engage or explain, that people are going to continue to vote for them because that is what they’ve always done. And, you know, they could be right. That’s what is so downright depressing.
So, that’s our “representative”. As far as I can find, he has offered absolutely nothing concrete to the 8th district. No jobs, for sure. He’s full of words, very short on action, unless it’s reducing taxes and regulations that protect people from corporations.
Embedded like a tick and just as useful.