by Edwin Santana
For the last 10 years, Congressman Rob Wittman has made his living off the taxpayer dollar while being an ineffective and almost non-existent representative. I’m writing this to serve notice, that the constituents of America’s 1st Congressional District will no longer tolerate this government waste. Change is coming.
Having served during the Obama years, Congressman Wittman has been a conservative ideologue, comfortable in the fact that his policy decisions and actions would be nothing more than a protest vote. In fact, other than serving as a puppet for defense contractors, Congressman Wittman’s favorite pastime was voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act, something he did more than 50 times. Always eager to take healthcare away from those who need it, Rob Wittman also supported the American Health Care Act (better known as Trumpcare) a bill that would have stripped healthcare away from millions while raising premium prices for the rest. Fortunately for his constituents, and the country, this bill did not become law and was even called “mean” by President Trump.
Congressman Wittman’s ineffective tenure has actually been a saving grace for the 1st Congressional District, preventing us from suffering the worst of his destructive political views. Since President Trump has taken office, however, we’re seeing what we’ve been spared from the last decade. Rob Wittman has enthusiastically supported a tax bill that robs from our children’s future’s to pay off his corporate donors in the present. He supported the dumping of coal ash in our rivers and streams. He eagerly supports concealed carry reciprocity that would demolish a state’s ability to regulate firearms and is the lone Virginian Member of Congress who supports this administration’s reinstatement of offshore drilling.
Congressman Wittman has repeatedly said that Congress should not go home until they pass a budget, yet Congress has not done so since 2009, and his proclamations seem to be for show as he also likes to brag to constituents that he drives home every night. He must count his nightly trips to his own home as constituent time, because Rob Wittman has failed to hold a public town hall in years, preferring instead to host private events in the basements of Police Departments and flash Facebook townhalls with carefully selected questions.
Perhaps the most egregious offenses of Congressman Wittman’s tenure have been his deafening silence in the Trump era. Congressman Wittman is incapable of criticizing a man who is caught on camera admitting sexual assault and harassment, and he can’t be bothered to call out a president who equivocates Nazi’s to those who stand up against them. What we need now, more than ever, is a leader, and Congressman Wittman is either unwilling, or unable, to be that person.
The men and women of Virginia’s 1st Congressional District deserve, and demand, a strong, principled leader. Following the election in 2016, I saw an appalling lack of moral leadership, not only with our incoming President-elect but also here in the 1st District, and realized that I had to do something about it. The motto of Officer Candidates School is Ductus Exemplo, Lead By Example, and my time in the Marine Corps taught me that as leaders, we really serve those under our charge and we must be held accountable at every turn. Rob Wittman might currently be a congressman, but he is no representative, and he definitely is not a leader. The good news is that change is coming.