Over the last few weeks, Congressman Mo Brooks has been in the news...and it hasn't been pretty.
He has made public statements that are irrational, illogical and false. He has shown a lack of command of the facts and a lack of discipline for leadership. This should be disturbing for the voters in this district. His deficiencies have, and continue to, hurt the citizens of North Alabama during his time in office.AL.com OpinionAbout the writerMark Bray is a Huntsville aerospace engineer and prospective independent candidate for U.S. House District 5. He can be reached at .
Congressman Brooks' irresponsible statements about NASA, BRAC, the Russian annexation of Crimea and of President Obama are not only are factually inaccurate, they are needlessly endangering the economic welfare of the 5th District of Alabama. The greatest threat to the economic future of Alabama is a polarized federal government locked in stalemate. Our Congressman has shown an inability to build relationships or lead people to consensus.
On March 20, the Congressman stated on live radio that President Putin invaded Ukraine "because Obama has shown America to be weak by lying about Obamacare". Seriously? The only purpose for making such a statement is the Congressman's perception that he must pander to a dwindling base craving hateful rhetoric over real solutions. The Congressman does not seem to understand that the rest of the world does not revolve around America. More importantly, he does not seem to understand how dangerous these public statements are to the country and to this district.
We could possibly forgive this one misstep. Maybe. But, he continued last week by incorrectly blaming the Obama Administration for ending the Shuttle Program and canceling the Constellation Program. Did he forget the facts? Or did he not know them? Some of us lived both of those events and know very well that it was President Bush who ended the Shuttle Program. It was Congress who underfunded the Constellation Program (the second moon program) for so many years that it forced its cancellation. It was Congress which failed to pass a budget for more than seven years. If it were up to our Congressman, we would still not have a budget.
On Monday, the congressman tried to explain how . He told the Huntsville Chamber of Commerce that "some might look to take jobs away from Redstone Arsenal and use BRAC to do it." The implication is that our congressman is not in a position to make the BRAC a positive for our district. Could it be the abrasive and hostile tone our congressman has adopted which has placed a target on Redstone Arsenal? Perhaps the Congressman ought to reconsider statements (like the ) that are personal attacks on the President and members of his party.
Our Congressman has a record of damaging relationships. Last Fall, the Congressman sided with his caucus that NASA should actually receive fewer dollars, provoking Congresswoman Edwards to amend the appropriations bill accomplishing the reduction by closing our own Marshall Space Flight Center. Congressman Brooks then voted against a budget, forcing a government shutdown and harming this district. That harm did not end after the three weeks, last October. It remains today in the damaged relationships with other members of Congress. This Congressman is a liability we can not afford.
An ideology that promotes a vision of smaller government and encourages private sector growth is noble and necessary. However, to achieve that vision, it requires the desire to connect with people who may not share your vision or agree with your ideas, and the ability to persuade them to come along with you. Congressman Brooks has shown he does not possess these skills. We need a change. We need a representative who can serve first, then lead.
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