Mia Love, for all her lofty rhetoric, is but another of the swamp creatures who are thriving in Washington's murky depths. Shouting through her megaphone and doing her Team Trump cheerleading routine, she has embraced the Christian Right "values" while totally forgetting the admonition of the "do unto others" essentials of charity, integrity and love. Considering her humble beginnings, she, of all people, should have a profound empathy for the plight of others, yet she has shown a surprising callousness to the pressing human issues facing our nation today.
Love's father, Jean M. Bourdeau, acknowledged, in a 2012 interview that he was only able to reunite his family—two children were left behind in Haiti—after Love was born in the U.S. in 1975; yet she was one of the congressional representatives who suffered from the cat-got-your-tongue-syndrome over the tragic and cruel separation of thousands of children and babies from their families at the border with Mexico.
Oh, yes, Love finally spoke up about it as any caring mother should, but not until weeks had passed and there had been a general outcry from multi-denominational religious and civic leaders and aghast child advocates. Far too late, she jumped on the bandwagon only because it would have been an embarrassment not to have done so. She now vocally decries Trump's application of immigration policy, and has pushed to end the cruelty. Yet, she still supports deporting other anchor babies to their countries of origin.
Love's deplorable, lengthy inaction on the kidnapping debacle puts into question whether she actually possesses a beating human heart. That seems to be just one of the essentials she lacks. For some reason, I was under the impression that all the swamp creatures were vertebrates, but Love has been spineless along with most of her congressional pals.
Each time it starts to look like she might have a genuine interest in promoting the happy lives of fellow Americans, Love's true colors bleed through her charming façade. Her recent push to make it easier for Utahns to borrow money is simply the prostitution of her congressional position to the moneyed interests of our financial institutions. Doing away with all the protections of the Dodd-Frank legislation, she has been an instrumentalproponent for the passage of a bill that essentially throws poorer Utahns to the wolves.
After the 2008 financial meltdown, which some estimate took more than $17 trillion from the American middle class, the passage of the Dodd-Frank legislation provided important controls and oversight of the financial industry, and particularly the payday-loans sector. Those predatory lenders support Love and are generously funding her reelection campaign—something the hotly-contested Citizens United decision made possible. (Legislative bribery is now perfectly legal.) Love's service to the lowest class of lending institutions is invaluable, but it is not in the best interests of her constituents.
While she claims to have served Utahns by making loans more easily available, Love has somehow forgotten that it is a matter of sound banking practices for lenders to first determine if the borrower has the ability to repay. Instead, she is only adding to the misery of the more than 45,000 Utahns who, unable to meet their obligations, default on their payday loans each year. If she considers looser lending practices to be a blessing to Utahns, she might as well send a little arsenic to each of her loyal supporters.
Now, add dishonesty to the growing list of Love's flaws. In a brochure funded by taxpayers she recently published a claim about the Small Bank Holding Company Relief Act: "This will be the most significant bipartisan action taken by Congress this year, and Love sponsored several key provisions in the bill." She placed that quote directly under the masthead of the Deseret News, with the obvious implication that the quote came from that newspaper's own editorial staff. Not so.
The quote, in fact, came from an editorial-opinion piece by Scott Simpson and Howard Headlee, who essentially are lobbyists for Utah's financial industry. Love can kick and scream, trying to defend her use of the Deseret News moniker, but what she did was, at worst, an outright lie, and, at its kindest assessment, an intentional deception. But why not? The White House has made lying fashionable.
In a nutshell, Love's charming use of her color and religion don't compensate for her heartless-spineless-dishonest-self-serving actions. It's time to call her on her bad behavior, and the November midterm election is the time to do it.
Michael S. Robinson Sr. is a retired Utah businessman and Vietnam-era Army assistant public information officer. He lives in Riverton with his wife, Carol, and one mongrel dog. Send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org