It wasn’t a good day for U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop (R-MI8).
He had already been running scared this weekend, too timid to either agree or disagree with Trump’s Muslim ban. Unable to take a side, he mumbled some words about security being important but also being fair is nice. Later, having failed to voice any reservations about the executive order, he then tweeted some more words about “our concerns,” but again failed to take a stand either way.
Well. That was yesterday. Today, Bishop had more words to offer. He has yet, however, to actually say anything.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mike Bishop (MI-08) issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s Executive Order on immigration:
“The primary duty of Congress is to keep Americans safe. All of our nation’s security agencies agree that admitting individuals without the ability to properly vet them places national security and American lives at risk.
“That said, we need greater clarity from the administration to ensure this order is not carried out in a way that infringes on civil liberties and the protections guaranteed by our Constitution. We must remain vigilant and focused on going after enemies like ISIS – without targeting our allies in the process.
“The reality of this situation is that our national security agencies do not have the proper resources or background information to fully vet refugees from Syria and the nations outlined by the Obama administration in this new Executive Order. While a pause is in place, we must strengthen our vetting process and immigration policies – and fast – so we can keep families together and bad actors out.”
… OK? I guess? I mean, were you trying to actually say something? Do you actually have an opinion here? Is there anything going on inside that Congressional noggin of yours?
Listen, Mike. This order is hurting people in your district. People who attend school at Michigan State University and don’t know that they’ll be allowed to come back to continue their studies if they go home to visit family. People who face grave risks if they are returned to their native countries. People whose families have been torn apart because of this unlawful order.
These are your people, Congressman. You have the obligation to protect them. Your inability to even figure out where you stand on this disqualifies you from your job.
OK, OK. So putting together a thought isn’t Bishop’s strong point. We get that.
Then it got worse for him. At 2 p.m., anywhere from 80-100 people descended on his Brighton office to let him (well, his staff, he was absent) know that they expect Bishop to do better on health care, immigration and other issues.
Good thing for Rep. Bishop that there’s no such thing as bad press, because he certainly got a lot of it, including being the lead story on the Livingston Daily website:
Brighton resident Penny Goldstein held a sign identifying herself as a cancer survivor and said she worried that pre-existing conditions would not be covered should the Affordable Care Act be repealed and replaced.
“What they are saying right now sounds like smoke and mirrors,” Goldstein said. “The argument they are going to keep (covering) pre-existing conditions doesn’t make sense if you take away the mandate and the taxes on the rich that help pay for it.”
And on WHMI.com:
Organizer Derek Stephens says the goal of the protest was to send a message to Bishop and his office that the repeal of the ACA, “is not what America wants or needs”. Stephens tells WHMI he feels that “a big portion of the country was scared” after President Donald Trump was elected. Stephens believes politicians need to be held accountable and know where the people stand. He says the ACA “is not perfect”, but that it has helped many and repealing it would mean millions would lose their health insurance. Stephens calls that outcome ultimately “a death sentence”.
Many thanks to the organizers and everyone who showed up!
Look, Bishop can’t hide forever. He can’t keep acting like Punxsutawney Phil, poking his head out every once in a while and running back inside when he sees a shadow. Besides, it’s not even Feb. 2 yet. At some point, he’s going to have to grow a spine and face his constituents and actually listen to us, or he’s going to be sent packing back to Michigan.
He makes his choice; we make ours.