Sunday, April 8, 2018

Not exactly a profile in courage

Our representative in Congress, John Shimkus (R, Illinois-15), commenting on the possibility of Chinese tariffs on soybeans and other crops: “I’m just a legislator.”

And: “I think what I can do is publicly talk about, which I do, that there is a dilemma here that we’re facing.”

And: “I don’t think anyone wins a trade war. Maybe Trump thinks he can. But we have to try to get him to be more targeted on these things.”

Shimkus is in a sticky situation: his gerrymandered district (whose shape suggests a dancing dinosaur or feeble rooster) is the reddest Congressional district in Illinois. (In the 2016 presidential election: 71% R, 24% D.) That stunning disavowal of agency — “I’m just a legislator” (not a member of a co-equal branch of government?) — makes it clear that Shimkus is unwilling to cross the boss. I wonder though how many voters in the 15th District have begun to regret their choice for president.

Related reading
All OCA John Shimkus posts

comments: 3

Elaine Fine said...

Shimkus is the chair of the subcommittee on environment, a member of the subcommittees on communications and technology, energy, and health. Just a legislator? Ha.

Pete said...

And by “targeted”, he means “directed at products for which China will retaliate against products of other congressional districts.”

Michael Leddy said...

@Elaine: A well-connected and well-financed legislator too.

@Pete: Yes, exactly. Even there he equivocates: nobody wins a trade war, but we have to help the president conduct one.