Our mothers were on to something when they cautioned, “You’ll be judged by the company you keep.” In George Washington’s “Rules of Civility,” the 56th rule is this: “Associate yourself with Men of good Quality, if you Esteem your own Reputation.” U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik would do well to bear that in mind.
Stefanik brags about her “bipartisan record” yet is the first to throw the “partisan” stone at Democrats. She doesn’t hesitate to participate in childish name-calling or to make personal attacks on opponents but plays the victim if others aren’t “nice” to her. Her intrusion into the politics of our state would not have happened were the governor a Republican, but she seems to have suddenly been reminded that she was elected to represent a district in upstate New York.
Perhaps she was away at school or working out of state at the time, but when there’s a crisis New Yorkers come together. Convoys of utility trucks arrived from downstate when the ice storm of 1998 crippled us, and when the towers fell in Manhattan on 9/11 upstate helpers of all sorts traveled there to provide assistance.
And the company she keeps? Devon Nunes, Matt Gaetz, Jim Jordan — quick to promote conspiracy theories and mock those who take the novel coronavirus crisis seriously.
And of course, President Donald Trump. She has supported, justified, defended and is now campaigning for a president who has shown over and over again that he has no regard for the truth and no concern for the citizens of this country. She continues to find ways to share the spotlight with the president, proving her allegiance is to him (and her career) and not her constituents.
We have a long history of moderate representation from the north country. Anyone elected to Congress from NY-21 would provide the advocacy we’re seeing now — it’s nothing unique to Elise.
Don’t be fooled by her sudden interest in the district. We are only a stepping stone for her as she seeks a larger stage.