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It’s been heartbreaking and I’m happy to leave • Colorado Newsline

It’s been heartbreaking and I’m happy to leave • Colorado Newsline


A version of this commentary was originally published in the Kansas Reflector.

Republican lawmakers in the US House of Representatives are fleeing for the exits.

News broke last week that Kansas Rep. Jake LaTurner, 36 and bright-cheeked, would be retiring at the end of the year. He joins Reps. Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, Ken Buck of Colorado and Patrick McHenry of North Carolina in choosing not to run or resign immediately. In total, Axios reports, nearly 20 House GOP members have decided to leave the chamber without a specific plan.

Of course, everyone who leaves wants to explain the reasons for their departure. I have taken the liberty of composing a generic explanation for these departing politicians. Anyone who wants to abandon this increasingly chaotic room can also use it as a template!

Dear friends and voters from the home state, but especially the donors who wrote gigantic checks to finance my election:

It is with a heavy heart that I write today to announce that I will no longer run for my beloved seat in Congress. It has been my pleasure to serve the amazing, wonderful, awesome, and totally hot people of Wisconsin, Colorado, or Kansas. This of course is why I decided to work in Washington, DC, so I wouldn't have to see much of it.

During these last two years in Washington, DC, all I could think about was my home state of Wisconsin, Colorado, or North Carolina. Especially how good it felt not to be there.



Sadly, the time has come for me to leave the hallowed halls of the U.S. Capitol. Actually, scratch that. I'll probably return to those rooms sooner or later, but as a high-profile lobbyist, making a lot more money and doing a lot less work.

Of course, some might say this has to do with the gridlock and dysfunction caused by the fact that Republicans have a narrow margin and a group of lawmakers prefer to talk about Jewish space lasers rather than legislation. But that's not true at all. Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, Matt Gaetz and I all get along very well. I prefer to encounter their awesomeness from a safe distance. With security guards if necessary.

What achievements am I most proud of? Well, I listened to Rep. Greene talk about these lasers for 45 minutes and I didn't throw my drink in his face. That counts, right?

No, I want to spend more time with my partner. Or I want to spend more time with my spouse and young children or my spouse and teenage children or my spouse and grandchildren. Maybe I just want to spend more time with my mistress and my possessions.

What achievements am I most proud of? Well, I listened to Rep. Greene talk about these lasers for 45 minutes and I didn't throw my drink in his face. That counts, right? Additionally, I voted for every bill the Speaker of the House told me to do, regardless of who was Speaker of the House that day. Whether it was Mike Johnson, Kevin McCarthy or anyone else who might have slipped in there for a minute or two, I respected and supported him.

Please know that we have always wanted to do the best we can for Kansans, Coloradans or Wisconsinites. Like when we didn't give aid to Ukraine for months and months and let Russian President Vladimir Putin come close to victory! It was awesome and something I'm totally proud of. So did our Senate colleagues who rejected an immigration compromise with Democrats for purely political reasons. Yeah for us.

Don't worry, though, we could kill even bigger bills before my time is up.

I can't end without paying tribute to the Big G, our lord and savior, the one who makes it all possible: Donald Trump. Ha ha, just kidding (but not if you're paying attention, Mr. President, sir). I am of course talking about Yahweh, the creator of everything around us. He never misled me, except perhaps when he suggested that I should run for office in an era of corrosive partisanship and existential threats to the republic.

Naturally, attention now turns to my potential successor. Whoever follows me to represent North Carolina, Kansas or Colorado, I look forward to helping them in any way I can. As long as they're Republicans and they don't talk about space lasers.

Furthermore, anyone who follows me in this work will experience incredibly horrible times and have their souls broken every day because of the horror that infests this place.


Clay Wirestone is an opinion editor for the Kansas Reflector. Through its opinion section, Kansas Reflector works to amplify the voices of people affected by public policy or excluded from public debate. Find information, including how to submit your own comments, here.

Kansas Reflector is part of States Newsroom, a nonprofit news network supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Kansas Reflector maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Sherman Smith with any questions: [email protected]. Follow Kansas Reflector on Facebook and Twitter.




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