Senator seems to enjoy the perks of his job
The headline should have read "Retired to Dysfunction, Risch loves Senate." As I read the article I became angry and could not believe what I was reading. Sen. Risch dismissing the job he was sent to do as "hopeless unless a national catastrophe occurs."
He chooses not to stick his neck out like Crapo and Labrador, by trying to help solve the problem. Instead he chooses to take his staff on "a lot" of overseas trips. When back in Washington, he and Mrs. Risch are busy being entertained at the theater and attending Senate social events where "everyone gets along wonderfully."
In reality, he probably doesn't want the chastising Labrador got from Simpson for at least trying to do what he was sent to do. He chortles when remembering good old days when he worked for the salary he was paid and was re-elected on the merits of his efforts. Instead of living in dreamland and clicking his heels, he should be digging in his heels and fighting the fight. I'm not sure if it's arrogance, stupidity, senility or a little of all three that makes him think this is acceptable to us. Retire at home, not in the Senate, Mr Risch.
DOUG HUNSAKER, Emmett
Keep for future reference
Please rerun Dan Popkey's interview with Sen. Risch (Statesman May 6, 2013) when the time comes for Idaho to elect new U.S. senators. Remind all of us that we don't want to send this "happy-to-be-doing-nothing" buffoon back to Congress.
JULIE DAVEY, Meridian
Risch becomes example of need for term limits
Dan Popkey's interview with Jim Risch vindicated our belief that there should definitely be term limits for Congress. We were under the impression that we elected our congressional members to represent us and work for us in Washington. Obviously from Mr. Risch's viewpoint, he is in D.C. to enjoy life and have a good time at taxpayers' expense.
As Mr. Popkey pointed out, Frank Church was partly defeated after 24 years in Congress because we "Idahoans thought he'd caught 'Potomac fever.' " It sounds to us that it has only taken Mr. Risch four years to catch Potomac fever.
DICK AND FRANCIE BODKIN, Nampa
Risch has it made within the Beltway
Gee ... I feel so much better knowing that Sen. Risch loves his job - and why not?
Works a three-day week, has great health care insurance, a solid guaranteed retirement pension ... when and if he ever wants to retire, a cushy condo on Pennsylvania Ave. where he can watch those pesky protesters occasionally, and hardly has to break a sweat working in D.C. - a career politician. Ain't it a swell job, a job he wants to do ad infinitum?
No worries, he's happy and ready to step up if there's ever a real crises or catastrophe - like the Dust Bowl? And, oh gosh, don't let anyone touch our guns!
And he blithely admits almost proudly, it doesn't matter if Congress is in session or on vacation, nothing gets done either way!
I couldn't have said it better, senator.
DELORES GORE, Boise
Working senator needed
I have never written a letter to the editor before, but Dan Popkey's interview of Sen. Risch in the May 6 edition compels me to alter my practice.
It is fine that the senator finds his job pleasing and that he and other members of congress are "civil" and enjoy each other's company socially, but I believe he was sent to Washington to represent Idaho and to work for the good of this country, not pursue his own interest. I believe this would entail more than filibustering, delaying Cabinet confirmations and traveling abroad.
If there is "nothing happening when we are back there and nothing when not ...," I would suggest to the voters that it is time to elect someone who will make something happen! A budget would be a good start.
KAY GOYDEN, Boise
Laughing in our faces while he avoids work
It is hard to believe we have an elected official that enjoys laughing in our collective face about his ability to enjoy the plush position we have given him where he doesn't have to work and could "do this ad infinitum." It is hard for me to discern who to be most angry with; whether it is the man himself, or the voters that put and keep this piece of scum in office.
I always knew Risch for being self-indulgent and arrogant, but his hubris really shines with remarks like this. So his job is a "breeze" - a "job," if you can call it that, where you are maybe in the office three days a week if you are not off on another recess.
I had expected a senator to work hard, at least as hard as the average citizen. Instead he prefers to not "stick his neck out" and stay under the radar, thereby coasting in the congressional trough of largesse.
The reason he "can't explain how dysfunctional it is back there" is because he refuses to look in an honest mirror.
ROBERT GOYDEN, Boise
Resigned to frustration
Resigned to dysfunction.
What a statement for one of our United States senators from Idaho to make. His quotes in the May 6 article include, "Governor will wear you down ... This you can do ad infinitum." "There's nothing happening when we're back there and there's nothing happening when we're not back there. What's the difference?"
I am so glad that Risch loves the social life and seeing the world while he and the other senators are willing to resign themselves to dysfunction while so many Americans suffer the consequences of their inability to come together, compromise and make things happen as they are supposed to happen in a democracy. I doubt that there is an employer in the private sector that would keep an employee on their payroll with the attitude expressed by Sen. Risch! Why do we keep electing men and women who get nothing done just because of party affiliation?
ELIZABETH MURTLAND, Nampa