Politics

EXCLUSIVE: The lost State of the Union rebuttal speech of Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst

Please note: This article is published as an archive copy from Philadelphia City Paper. My City Paper is not affiliated with Philadelphia City Paper. Philadelphia City Paper was an alternative weekly newspaper in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The last edition was published on October 8, 2015.

As a young girl growing up in Red Oak, Iowa, private spaceships were the last thing on my mind.

EXCLUSIVE: The lost State of the Union rebuttal speech of Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst

Rumors started swirling early Wednesday morning that Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst (R) had — due to a teleprompter error — read the wrong speech in her rebuttal to the President's State of the Union address. Apparently several drafts had been uploaded to the prompter but the wrong one was displayed on Tuesday night. After a little digging, we were able to find the speech Ernst intended to give. ...

Good evening my fellow Americans,

I’m Joni Ernst. As a mother, soldier and new Senator from the great state of Iowa, I’m proud to continue our political tradition of imperially addressing you and not letting anyone ask difficult questions.

A few minutes ago, the President laid out his vision of the year to come. While we might not agree, it is important to hear and immediately dismiss different points of view. We think it is admirable that the President still shares his visions even though he knows they can’t come true.

Rather than respond to President Obama’s speech, I’m just going to give my own, since Americans are intelligent enough to know that our speeches were written at the same time.

The new Republican majority in Congress understands how difficult the past six years have been, and I’m confident that the American people understand why I said six years and not seven years. We’ve felt the sting of a dysfunctional Washington unable to pass any legislation since my party took control of the House of Representatives in 2010. We know that families are working harder and harder for less and less and we feel certain that this has nothing to do with tax policies which allow our donors to get so rich they can build their own spaceships.

As a young girl growing up in Red Oak, Iowa, private spaceships were the last thing on my mind. I helped plow the fields on our family farm and worked construction with Dad. On rainy days, my Mom would put bread bags on my one pair of shoes, and when I got home, we would drink the rainwater. Mom made all of our clothes with materials purchased exclusively from Hobby Lobby.

I worked hard in the Hardees biscuit line and earned taxpayer-funded scholarships to Iowa State, which is why my party is proud to slash funding for higher education and raise tuition at state universities. Republicans feel that things should always be just a little bit harder for our children then they were for us. To test them and to make sure we always have someone to resent.

If those hard times taught me anything, it was this: If you have to waste something, you should lay waste to it, which is why the new Republican majority in Congress supports the Keystone jobs bill. The Keystone pipeline will release so much sequestered carbon that it will flood the coastal cities that support our opponents. Jobs mean growth, and my party believes in the limitless growth of everything except voter registration and Latino immigration.

We worked with Democrats in the Senate to pass this bill and we hope the President signs it, even though we know that no one in his party will turn out for the 2016 primaries if he does.

We intend to do serious work in this new Congress. Things like repealing Obamacare, or parts of Obamacare, at the beginning of every week. Things like closing tax loopholes on poor people and tearing down other people’s trade barriers without their permission.

President Obama has expressed support for these things in the past, which is why we will continue to put them in the very last pages of bills to repeal Obamacare that we know perfectly well will get vetoed. More than anything, my party is terrified that the American people will one day forget what our position on Obamacare is. To be clear: We are against it.

We’ll discuss ways to stretch our exceptional military even farther, and to confront and/or exacerbate the threat posed by Al-Qaeda and ISIL. If President Obama and I agree about anything, it’s that we will continue to be the only people left on the planet that insist on using the term “ISIL.” As events in France, Nigeria, and Australia prove, you need to kill at least 2,000 people in Africa to get an article on page 22A of the New York Times. All of these victims of terrorism are innocent, except when they are within the blast radius of flying freedom robots.

As a veteran, I know that we need a comprehensive plan to defeat these radicals, and I will let you know as soon as we have one that is sufficiently different from the President’s. We also have to continue honoring our veterans by sending them off to die in future wars, of which there have been far too few during this president’s six years, and then sabotaging the government agencies that provide their care when they return. But our military will always be our priority, and the new Republican majority in Congress stands firmly behind the one wasteful, centralized government spending program that wasn’t mentioned in Atlas Shrugged.

What else will this Congress do? We will correct executive overreach and resume prior levels of deporting helpless children.

We will continue to put forward ideas to balance the budget, and to return government spending to levels more appropriate to the kind of pre-industrial agrarian society my party loves to romanticize.

We will fight cyberattacks, most likely with a bill to end Net Neutrality.

We will confront Iran’s nuclear ambitions by sabotaging the President’s efforts to sign an agreement.

We will defend certain kinds of life, because #unbornlivesmatter.

Congress is back to work on behalf of dark money donors. We are ready to focus on the priorities of the 36% of registered voters who angrily put us here.

If history has taught us anything, it’s that there’s nothing we can’t achieve with hard work. Just look at my grandparents and parents.

They worked hard all their lives so their daughter — an ordinary Iowan — could be the mouthpiece for economic policies that have effectively made small farmers extinct.

With a little help from the President, there’s really no limit to the kinds of things we can make go extinct together.

Thank you for allowing me to speak to you tonight, and may God continue to bless the United States of America.

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