We hear a lot about low-information voters, but I think we need to hear more about the public officials who deliberately feed their constituents slanted or outright bad information that disrespects citizens and poisons the political environment.
There are two jaw-dropping examples of this worst of the worst practice in the latest e-issue of Cong. Tiffany's quaintly-titled "Tom Tiffany's Telegram"
newsletter - though you have fight your way through his ignorant and routine griping about "illegal aliens" and other right-wing banalities to spot them.
Let me point them out:
*1. After voting against Biden's COVID relief bill and blasting it as "a train wreck," Tiffany used his taxpayer-financed
newsletter to steer constituents to the bill's improved childcare benefit package available because "Congress increased" it.
Many of you have likely seen in the media, recently enacted legislation will include $1.8 trillion in tax credits for families and children over the course of ten years. Until 2021, the child tax credit was $2,000 per child under 17, but in 2021 Congress increased the credit to $3,000 for children ages 6 to 17 and $3,600 for children under age 6. Beginning on July 15th, the IRS will begin making monthly payments in the form of one-twelfth the annual credit i.e. a single parent making $60,000 annually will receive $250 per month. You can learn more here .
Before you say, 'fine,' understand that a voter in Tiffany's district not closely following the factual news might assume that Tiffany helped the measure along since he's their representative in the "Congress [that] increased it."
And Tiffany didn't remind his readers that he voted "no" on the measure and called it "a train wreck."
His lack of transparency allows Tiffany to have it both ways on the issue and keeps his constituents poorly informed.
*2. Tiffany also used the
newsletter to continue downplaying - as have Republicans from the former President to Ron Johnson and all of Wisconsin's GOP House members on down - the severity of the Jan. 6 violent - and televised - insurrection that led to scores of injuries, multiple deaths and millions in damages to the US Capitol.
You may have also seen news regarding legislation to create a bipartisan commission on the January 6 Capitol riot. Unfortunately, by narrowly focusing on this one isolated event – while turning a blind eye to the months of widespread, politically-motivated rioting, looting, violence and mayhem across the country that preceded it – the bill missed the mark.
"One isolated event?"
That little-itty-bitty-event was an attempt to overthrow the Presidential election, seize the Speaker of the House and hang the Vice-President.
Tiffany also doesn't remind his readers that he with Cong. Scott Fitzgerald voted to throw out Wisconsin's electors' legitimate ballots - thereby endorsing the goal of the insurrectionists - and the two Wisconsin representatives did it after the Capitol had been retaken by law enforcement officers who helped protect all Members of Congress from the mob.
Fitzgerald and Tiffany went through with their objections after the Capitol had been cleared of a mob of Trump supporters who broke into the Capitol earlier in the day, incited by the president’s claims that the election had been stolen from him.
Even Ron Johnson didn't go that far.
Tiffany is engaging in some serious rewriting of what that bloody and anti-democratic "one isolated event" was really all about.
Tiffany also failed to mention that the bill passed the House with 35 GOP "Aye" votes - but not his or those of his Wisconsin GOP colleagues - because Democrats made key concessions:
An independent probe — and a public reckoning — is not only necessary, but also very much in line with precedent after events of national trauma. The commission would be shaped along the lines of the one that investigated the roots of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and made recommendations for how to prevent similar events in the future.
The legislation is a proposal worked out by Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and the panel’s ranking Republican, Rep. John Katko (N.Y.).
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) made several concessions to Republican demands, including that the panel be evenly divided, with Democrats and Republicans each naming half its 10 commissioners, and that any subpoenas it issues require agreement between the Democratic-appointed chair and the Republican vice chair or a vote by a majority of commission members.
Again - if low-information voting is a problem, let's not forget that there are public officials who like it that way and also like keeping voters in the dark.
It's about the crudest form of incumbent-self-perpetuation you could imagine being practiced in a democracy.