Trump has, in my view, been a disaster for the country. I know such a broad statement would require pages of examples, but for the sake of my argument let us accept that Trump has at least been less than ideal so far.
Somehow, perhaps, through Trump’s sheer genius and expert leadership, he has managed to continue his agenda despite the aggressive tweets of one caped crusader: Ted Lieu of California’s 33rd district.
Lieu has managed to think outside the box and realized: ‘why pass meaningful legislation and hold Trump accountable for his actions when you can just tweet insults and jokes at him?’ Where as Lieu’s peer from California, Adam Schiff, is focused on fighting Trump though his investigation of Trump’s ties to Russia, Lieu has decided to steep to Trump’s level telling the Los Angeles times, “Michelle Obama had that beautiful line, ‘When they go low, we go high.’ I thought about it a lot. But I also thought, ‘We lost the election.’ My view now is that when they go low, we fight back.”
All right, obviously I am being sarcastic. In reality, Lieu’s tweets are nothing but an attempt to gain stardom in the Democratic Party by basically doing nothing of value. I imagine Lieu was sitting in his office one day and thought to himself: ‘ if Trump can use twitter to advance his career maybe I can do it to advance mine.’
Unfortunately, Lieu is right. Despite his tweets being utterly unprofessional and essentially degrading the status of a U.S. congressman to that of an Internet troll he has gained a loyal following. As of writing this article, he has amassed approximately 270 thousand twitter followers and has managed to get the press to write article after article about him falsely characterizing him as “standing up to Trump,” or being a “political star.”
Tweeting “Yrsvjseubpihfcovswtvnjhgfefesxnklimnq” at Trump in response to his “covfefe” tweet does not make you the antidote to Trump, in all honesty it just makes you part of the problem; the problem being the degradation of political discourse. The sad thing is that Lieu, is a congressman and he has the power and ability to get real stuff done. I imagine, though, that Lieu figures that if he works hard he will get lost in the sea of other hardworking Democrats in the congress. So, in an attempt to stand out, he has essentially tossed aside the pen he uses to write legislation and instead has picked up the phone he uses to type tweets.
Perhaps the final and, for lack of a better term, pathetic nail in the coffin for Lieu is that Trump has not even responded to his tweets. Trump is known for being petty and seems to respond to practically every insult thrown his way. Trump felt compelled to defend the size of his reproductive organ on TV and even singled out a union boss and attacked him on twitter. Yet, despite Lieu’s constant attempts to prod and provoke Trump, Trump has yet to respond. What this says is that our President, despite his immense pettiness, does not even deem Lieu’s twitter escapades worthy of a response. I can imagine that probably upsets Lieu who was likely hoping for a response from Trump so he could garner more press coverage, twitter followers, and donations.
Yes, I will concede that Lieu does not do literally nothing. He still sponsors and co-sponsors legislation occasionally and shows up to vote most of the time. But this is nothing exemplary; this is the life of a congressman merely going about his day. This is not the life of a Congressman who genuinely wants to limit Trump’s negative affects on the nation. It would be different if Lieu tweeted ridiculous things and was a real go-getter in Congress. Unfortunately for the country, though, Lieu is only the former, not the latter.
Tweeting jokes and jabs at the President is not evidence of being part of the “resistance,” or being a great congressman. If Lieu wanted to advance his career in a more honorable and sustainable way he should look at representatives like the aforementioned Adam Schiff.
Schiff, unlike Lieu, is working very hard to get to the bottom of the Russia issue and is doing it without making himself look like a child. Schiff was able to get the chairman of the house intelligence committee, Devin Nunes, to recuse himself from the investigation due to a conflict of interest. The best part, Schiff did this without tweeting insults at Nunes. Schiff has also been careful to not cut corners and make his activity too partisan. He even humored Trump’s claim and investigated the “evidence” that Barack Obama had spied on Trump during his campaign.
Day after day, Schiff has attended private intelligence meetings to review and discuss details concerning the Russian investigation. These intelligence meetings are private so there can be no grandstanding. The Intel received at these meetings is classified, and Schiff, respecting that fact, is careful not to carelessly tweet out information that may compromise his investigation.
Ultimately, my point is this, there is a good way and a bad way to stand up to Trump. Where Lieu tweets a picture of himself wearing a “Trump Putin ’16” shirt Schiff is actually doing his best to get to the bottom of any collusion the Trump campaign and Putin may have had. While Lieu, in the short run, may get a lot of cheap media attention I believe that in the end, it will be Congressman like Adam Schiff who are remembered as the true leaders that stood up to Trump.