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Dusty Cries “Terrorists!” Instead of Solving Infrastructure Problems

Congressman Dusty Johnson’s commitment to his “Problem Solvers” caucus is about as strong as the 17.7% of South Dakota bridges that are ready to collapse. Rather than voting for the infrastructure bill which he professes to like, he’s willing to vote against billions in long-term investment in South Dakota just because he doesn’t like how Nancy Pelosi manages the House:

As Democrats charge ahead with writing their massive $3.5 trillion spending bill, which they aim to pass on a party-line vote through budget reconciliation, at least one moderate Republican is warning the bipartisan infrastructure bill may lose GOP votes because it’s too intertwined with the reconciliation bill.

“I think Nancy Pelosi did this whole process a real disservice by linking them together so strongly and she continues to do that. And that makes it very difficult to bring Republicans to the party,” Dusty Johnson, R-S.D., a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus (PSC), told Fox News Wednesday. “I think for honest, forthright fiscal conservatives, it’s hard to get excited about the trillion dollar deal if in any way it makes it more likely that the three-and-a-half trillion dollar deal passes” [Tyler Olson, “Republicans May Abandon Infrastructure Bill Because Pelosi ‘Linked’ It with Reconciliation: GOP Rep. Johnson,” Fox “News”, 2021.09.16].

Johnson also seems to think it appropriate that, while his party’s base produces real domestic terrorists, he brand as “terrorists” Representatives on the other side of the aisle pushing for more investment in America:

Asked whether he thinks the House will actually vote on the infrastructure bill by the Sept. 27 nonbinding deadline Pelosi, D-Calif., set as a result of negotiations with moderate Democrats, Johnson said it’s extremely unclear whether that’s possible.

“I think the path forward looks incredibly murky. I wouldn’t even try to hazard a guess,” Johnson said. “What we know is that the ‘Squad,’ these folks are legislative terrorists, they love to take hostages” [Olson, 2021.09.16].

Dusty, Dusty, Dusty. Such language is unbecoming a professed “Problem Solver.” Progressive Democrats threatening to vote against the infrastructure bill if it isn’t tied to the larger reconciliation package are no more “terrorists” than you and other conservative Republicans threatening to vote against the infrastructure bill if it is tied to the larger reconciliation package. If we accept your language, you and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are both holding infrastructure hostage to achieve your political goals (see? I told you back in January that Dusty and Alexandria would end up on the same team!)

And you and Ocasio-Cortez would both be wrong to vote against this great investment in infrastructure. New York City will enjoy better quality of life and economic growth from infrastructure improvements as surely as South Dakota will. Arielle Zionts reminds us that South Dakota has dams, bridges, and waterworks that need fixing. New Yorkers and South Dakotans alike will all suffer longer and more directly from a failure to invest in infrastructure than we will from whatever partisan angst you and AOC may suffer from voting for a bill that gives your perceived political opponents (read: fellow Americans) a fleeting win.

Solve the problem: vote yes on the infrastructure bill!


  1. larry kurtz 2021-09-19 08:43

    In Dusty’s home town Lake Mitchell is a cesspool that will require federal funds to remediate. In eastern South Dakota because of environmental devastation to groundwater the Lewis and Clark Rural Water System needs millions in federal dollars to complete. Crops are dying in the field and landowners want federal bailouts. Tornadoes, flooding, habitat destruction, wildfire potential and now another eight month winter is poised to brutalize South Dakota. Climate disruptions are hampering harvests, driving farmers to suicide and crushing local economies. Most of today’s wildfire potential in South Dakota is clustered in Republican counties and according to the National Interagency Coordination Center that trend will continue through at least October. In June Howdy Doody Dusty told an audience his family survived on food stamps but now he has no use for poor people because he’s a Republican.

    But the instant the 2022 election is over Dusty will crash back to the center and if he’s reelected he will beg Congress for cash because Republicanism isn’t self-reliance; it’s moral hazard.

  2. mike from iowa 2021-09-19 08:56

    Since around 1994 magats have had zero interest in bi-partisanship with Dems. When SOH Gingbich, Hastert, Delay, Ryan et al wanted Dem votes they just threaten to call Dems unpatriotic during the next election if they didn’t vote against the best interests of the country.

  3. Edwin Arndt 2021-09-19 08:59

    Brutalized by an eight month winter? It seems to me that over
    the last twenty years or so winters have become a bit
    more tolerable here on the northern plains.
    (Global warming or whatever)

  4. Donald Pay 2021-09-19 10:10

    I don’t know why Dusty doesn’t just figure out what his position is on various parts of the legislation, weigh the various parts against his beliefs and his constituents interests and then make the decision on whether to support the legislation. I’m not sure how I would vote on such a big bill with all sorts of moving parts. Most of it I like, some of it is just pork for special interests. I tell you, I wouldn’t vote for all the nuclear power subsidies the nukie puke industry slipped into that massive mill. That’s why I like simple legislation. Vote on the stuff one program at a time.

    But, really, Dusty. This Pelosi fix is ridiculous. He’s like a 14-year-old acting out against a girl who is dancing with someone else. Man up, Dusty. Fix on legislating, not on the girl you ain’t ever going to date.

  5. WillyNilly 2021-09-19 10:19

    Sigh… Dusty is a disappointment… no doubt about it. I had modest hope but… no longer.

  6. Jake 2021-09-19 10:30

    Dusty is a true Republican-always AGAINST anything proposed by a Democrat!

  7. Bonnie B Fairbank 2021-09-19 10:51

    Hello, Edwin Arndt. I think both you and larry kurtz are right about SD winters, but in different ways, My calendar notes show the last day of snow here at the Rancho de los Gatos as April 20, 2021, and it rained/hailed/sleeted on May 2. I heat my house with wood because I can’t seem to find $6000 – $7000 just layin’ around the house to retrofit my WaterFurnace heat pump, but I CAN cut my own wood.

    I had my first fire (fortunately in my wood stove) October 2020. I’ve lived here since June 2001, and I think our cold isn’t as relentlessly cold as it used to be, but our cold, damp springs prolong the heating season. I’ve noticed people who cut their own firewood pay more attention to little details like this.

    Threadjack over.

  8. jerry 2021-09-19 11:53

    We only spent $300 million a day in Afghanistan killing civilians in mud huts. Why don’t we simply bomb these poor roads here and failing bridges too, and then “nation build” them back to new? Think of it, we get to blow the beejabers out of things and then assess the damage so private contractors can fix them. We can call Dirty a terrorist so he is satisfied with the accomplishment.

  9. Loren 2021-09-19 12:17

    Quit paying attention to anything any of the SD delegation says. In the end, they will do what they are told, and told they will be by the likes of McConnell and McCarthy, benefit to SD or not be damned! It’s just a game to them. Smilin’ Mike has been silent for most of the last couple years, and Thune/Dusty have been busy twisting themselves into policy pretzels, one way for the GQP and another for Democrats. They still back the Insurrectionist Party, The Grim Reaper and the Trump leg humper from CA. This is the best SD can do? I’m embarrassed!

  10. mike from iowa 2021-09-19 15:46

    Rumour has it we wasted 20 years and 6 trillion bucks fighting in Afghanistan, with 900k deaths. Could have rebuilt most of America’s infrastructure with that kind of money thrown down the drain.

  11. ArloBlundt 2021-09-19 18:27

    Well, I too thought this fellow had some potential…that he’d be a “good government guy” and develop a broader political philosophy..Wrong. He’s a empty suit. He goes where he is pointed.

  12. grudznick 2021-09-19 18:50

    I too, Mr. Blundt, felt the young fellow had some potential. I am giving him a wee bit longer to really stop hitting singles and doubles and blast one out of the park. I mean, our options here are Mr. Johnson or the insaner Ms. Taffy. So you should prolly cut Mr. Johnson just a little more slack, like grudznick is.

  13. Bob Newland 2021-09-19 20:43

    If one identifies, even a little, with the current wavy-picture tube-tv-screen-of-the’50s philosophy of government espoused by the Republican Party in general, then one will, every once in a while, remind us of the massive wisdom of their deity, Twitterpate45. Most, like Johnson, know it’s nothing more than insurance, and once the threat diminishes, serious qualified lawmakers (a group of which I am sure Johnson considers himself a member) will be able to get back to cutting deals some of which might actually benefit large sectors of people.

  14. ArloBlundt 2021-09-19 21:46

    Mr. Newland, I wish you were right, but I believe the Grand Old Party is past the tipping point and is no longer a functioning political party. It is a cult of personality.

  15. Bob Newland 2021-09-20 06:05

    Oh, I didn’t mean to sound optimistic.

  16. Porter Lansing 2021-09-20 12:31

    Putin and the Спецслужбы G.U. have an extensive file on Rep. Johnson.

    They know how to infiltrate his confidence and have explored and exploited it, in the past.

    He’s not the only rural, white leader susceptible to female agents.

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