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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Republican presidential nominees have built their brand on being loudmouths attacking “political correctness,” Obamacare and almost any other hallmark of liberal American politics that occurs to them. But on the subject of Flint, Mich. and the continuing scandal that a Republican governor is facing there, they’ve remained very quiet.

Ben Carson, the noted pyramid theorist and Republican nominee, managed to blame everybody except Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder: “The people deserve better from their local elected officials, but the federal bureaucracy is not innocent in this as well. Reports show that the Environmental Protection Agency knew well beforehand about the lack of corrosion controls in the city’s water supply, but was either unwilling or unable to address the issue.”

Even Donald Trump, this cycle’s loudest mouth who likes to kick out silent protesters from his campaign rallies, was decidedly cool about passing judgement on Snyder. “A thing like that shouldn’t happen but,” he said, “I don’t want to comment on that.”

Notoriously thirsty Republican presidential nominee Marco Rubio‘s position on the water crisis is “a systemic and ugly breakdown at the local and state level. The governor has acknowledged that.” This was after he infamously told the press in a non-answer that the crisis was “just not an issue we’ve been frankly fully briefed or apprised of…in terms of the role the governor has played and the state has played in Michigan on these sorts of issues.” At least Rubio seems consistent in assuming that the federal government should do nothing for any of its citizens.

Ted Cruz was the only notable Republican candidate to articulate a clear position — well, relatively clear. “What’s happened in Flint, Mich. is an absolute travesty,” said Cruz during a press conference. “It is a failure at every level of government, a failure of the city officials, a failure of the county officials, and the men and women of Michigan have been betrayed.” Cruz probably knew he couldn’t blame President Obama, political correctness, or “the establishment” for a crisis presided over by a Republican governor. But that doesn’t mean he won’t try. After all, his fellow Tea Party favorite Sarah Palin managed to blame her son’s violent behavior, a symptom of PTSD we’re told, on Obama.

Flint has seen better days. In 1960, it was the second-largest city in Michigan, with a population of nearly 200,000. The local economy was based on manufacturing, much of it in the form of General Motors, the main employer in the city. The city began its decline as a result of deindustrialization that created the American Rust Belt in the 1970s. Globalization, outsourcing of jobs, urban decay and poverty all contributed to Flint and the wider region’s decline. The fatal city council decision to change the source of the city’s water supply to the Flint River was simply another step in the decline of this city.

“I thought it was one of those Onion articles,” said Flint resident Rhonda Kelso to Mother Jones, referring to officials who toasted to the change. “We already knew the Flint River was toxic waste.”

Among many failures, officials refused to test the pipes that delivered the tainted water to Flint residents, ignoring red flags from environmental officials’ warnings of lead and E. coli to the city council allowing GM to change its factories’ water supply from the Flint River after finding rust spots on newly machined parts. The city instead opted for stop-gap measures, such as installing additional filters in water fountains at the local university and using a cancer-causing chemical to treat tainted water.

As Flint’s health crisis continues to dominate the news cycle, the Republicans nominees may have to re-evaluate their positions on Snyder’s responsibility. But for now, the word is mum.

Photo: Michigan National Guard members help to distribute water to a line of residents in their cars in Flint, Michigan January 21, 2016. REUTERS/Rebecca Cook

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25 responses to “Loud As They Are, Republicans Mostly Silent On Flint Water Crisis”

  1. Daniel Jones says:

    The two factors that ensure Repugnant silence are in effect; party responsibility and there being a real problem to solve.

  2. itsfun says:

    There is no excuse for allowing this to go on. The Governor should be held responsible and resign. The main responsibility of government is to protect our people. This governor completely failed in this. By ignoring the problem he is allowing men, women, and children to get sick and possibility die. This should never be a partisan issue, this is a human issue.

    • Paul Bass says:

      Are pigs flying? 😉

      Itsfun, I agree 100%! I’m shocked, embarrassed and now have to apologize to you, itsfun. I do, I’m sorry.
      On another post I’ve been very harsh about your ideas, using unkind words. I thought I could never agree with you on anything. I was wrong. Here I agree, thanks for your thoughts. Have a fantastic day.

    • mike says:

      Yesterday we found out that EPA did not protect the citizens and the person in charge was forced to resign.
      No party or individual is without blame. Have you looked at Snyder’s emails on the subject? Are you aware that from EM to City Council they were all democrats that voted the changes. Are you aware EM Darrell Earley and City Council toasted during the ceremony when river was switched?
      No this is a bipartisan issue and should be handled as such. Everyone looks bad.

      • itsfun says:

        its a people getting sick and dying issue. One if Snyders emails was posted by the Democratic part of the Michigan House yesterday, It had every word except the to and from and subject blacked out by the Governor. Yes the city of Flint is ran by Democrats. The problem isn’t the Flint river, but the old lead pipes the water is going through. The houses in areas that don’t have lead pipes are not having a problem. The reporting of the problem didn’t work. Some are saying the samples may not have come from the bad areas but from the good areas, thus hiding the problem from the officials in charge.

        • mike says:

          No question people were not protected. Federal govt., state and local govt. are all responsible.
          One email big deal. What was the title of email?
          From what I read the Detroit water is still going thru same pipes.
          No one person or political party is without sin.
          A failure at every level of govt.. Even Obama went to Detroit but not Flint, was he just not interested or did he know that regional EPA told local EPA to ignore tests until more information was available.

          • itsfun says:

            Detroit water is good, the problem started when Flint started using the Flint river, thus using the old pipes from there. The Flint river had been their backup plan for over a decade.

          • mike says:

            Yesterday EPA announced take over water sampling and has ordered state to set up website to download results.

          • Sand_Cat says:

            Yes, GOP emergency managers appointed by GOP governor under law rammed down the people’s throats by GOP after repeal , but it’s the Federal government’s failure. Of course, had they intervened, you all would have screamed about “states’ rights” and federal overreach.
            And naturally, you found a way to blame it on Obama personally.
            Dogmatic Ideologue – I seem to remember hearing that somewhere.

          • mike says:

            Keep trying zealot. Looks like you missed the mark again, which by the way, you do constantly.

        • Sand_Cat says:

          Flint is “ran” [sic] by emergency managers appointed by Rick Snyder under a law overturned by the people of Michigan which he had reinstated. But of course, it’s Hillary’s fault.

      • Sand_Cat says:

        Get real.
        You have a way of blaming everything on the Dems. Guess this must be Hillary’s fault.

        • mike says:

          You are the zealot that needs to get real. Look at my last two sentences of my post above.
          You are acting like the person without substance again.

      • dtgraham says:

        From Michigan reporter Lindsey Smith:

        “The Detroit Free Press did a breakdown in late November. They couldn’t find a document that determines exactly which person made the call to put the Flint River back on the table as a viable option (after Flint council took it off). But, ultimately, Paul Egan highlighted the same two important documents I saw – the February 2013 report for treasury that says the Flint city leaders were no longer considering the river as an option and then the June 2013 decision from Ed Kurtz, to hire an engineering firm to prepare Flint’s Water Treatment Plant for the Flint River.”

        Snyder’s emergency manager forced this water change onto Flint for Snyder.

        • mike says:

          Go read WSJ.
          No one party, individual, state, local, Fed. department is without blame for this cluster f _ _ k.
          Remember the mayor In a ceremony before media pushed the button that redirected river water into treatment plant.

          • dtgraham says:

            That was a photo op for joining the KWA, which is a different thing. In any event, Snyder had made up his mind and those Flint city councillors had no choice in the matter. Their democratic power had been stripped away by Rick Snyder.

          • mike says:

            No, had nothing to do with KWA. It was directing water to water plant.

  3. pjm19606 says:

    Keep cutting those taxes Republicans. Heck, the planet is overpopulated anyway, right?

  4. rednekokie says:

    Perhaps that’s because they (the Republicans) caused it (and Kansas, and Wisconsin) in the first place. They keep trying in Oklahoma, but so far have only done a little damage, such as shutting down our schools from lack of funding because of tax breaks to the rich.

  5. Thomas Martin says:

    Of course, they are stupidified by the outrageous actions of their party. Austerity is their only answer to protect the safety and welfare of the people and they will stick with it.

  6. I’ll spell it out for you plain and simple: The water crisis in Flint was deliberately exaggerated (if not completely engineered) by the Michigan GOP for one simple reason: To kill Democrats. This was an urban, poor (IE: liberal) city in an on-average blue state where the GOP governor’s only hope of staying in office is to disenfranchise large numbers of Democrats of their ability to vote, even if that means making them too sick (or dead) to go to the polls.

    And the reason none of the Republicans running for POTUS want to talk about this is because, when you look at it, damn near EVERYTHING the GOP is doing today is done with the intention of disenfranchising Democrats.

    Affordable Care Act? They want to repeal it because the lives saved by it will predominantly be those of Democrats.

    Immigration? Not only are they opposed to it in all of its forms, they want to overturn birthright citizenship too. Because they don’t see immigrants — they see Democrats.

    Gun control? No, that would hinder the ability of Christian terrorists — oh, excuse me, “well-regulated militias” to threaten and/or murder non-gun owners (IE: Democrats).

    Global warming? They’ve got air conditioning. They won’t do anything about it until heat stroke and/or drowning kills off a bunch of poor Democrats.

  7. dana becker says:

    They are silent because this is how they plan to govern the whole country once they get their hands on the WH and Congress. They just tried to repeal clean air and water regs the other day, Obama stopped them. A GOP POTUS won’t. This is all being drafted by ALEC through the Kochs. This is their agenda being implemented by the GOP controlled states. Florida just did it a couple of days ago.

    Boycott Florida and tell them you can’t trust you are not being poisoned. In fact I think it is time to boycott all GOP controlled states. All of them. We have to take a stand and put our money where our mouth is. Literally.

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