Tucson Rhetoric

Since the tragic events in Tucson on Saturday, political rhetoric continues to flare.  Everyone is looking for someone to hold responsible.  Some people on the far left fault Sarah Palin, the tea party movement, and private gun ownership for the calamity while some on the far right see it as justice for Representative Giffords’ support of liberal policies or punishment from God for increasing immorality in our nation.  In their mad rush to play the blame game, these groups have missed the point.  As far as I can tell, the fault for this terrible deed rests solely with the gunman, Jared Loughner.  No one else pulled the trigger, no one else handed him the gun, and no one else urged him to enact his plan.  It wasn’t the natural result of having too many freedoms…or too few.  It was not some grand political statement, but the act of a single coward.

Unfortunately, some political groups in the nation try to use any misfortune, be they natural or man-made, to push their agenda.  For them, the end justifies the means and they will exploit any opportunity.  I call upon all Americans to resist this temptation and rebuke any person or organization that seeks to profit from this terrible moment.

As they are similar to many of my own thoughts, I’d like to share with the words of Representative Steve Israel, the new Chairman of the DCCC:

Friend —

In the wake of last Saturday’s tragic shooting in Tucson, the thoughts and prayers of the DCCC remain with our colleague, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, her staff, the other victims of this horrifying attack, their families, and the people of Southern Arizona.

Today, the House of Representatives formally honored them with a resolution expressing the condolences of our entire nation. But since Congresswoman Giffords is both a colleague and a close friend, I wanted to share some additional thoughts.

Congresswoman Giffords is a rising star and I am always touched by her compassion and drive. She was simply doing what she loves to do – talking with and serving her constituents.

We mourn and honor the lives of nine-year-old Christina-Taylor Green, her congressional outreach director Gabe Zimmerman, her friend and Chief United States District Court Judge John Roll, and the other people who were senselessly murdered while simply meeting their representative in their neighborhood.

In Gabby’s spirit of thinking about others, I wanted to pass along the suggestion of her husband, Captain Mark Kelly who encouraged people to pray for the victims and their families, and for those who want to do more, consider making a contribution to two organizations that she has long valued: Tucson’s Community Food Bank or the Southern Arizona chapter of the American Red Cross.

Please join the DCCC in continuing to send your thoughts and prayers to the victims of this horrific attack and your wishes for Gabby’s recovery and return to the House of Representatives.

Thank you,

Steve Israel
Rep. Steve Israel
DCCC Chairman

Paid for by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee | 430 South Capitol Street SE, Washington, DC 20003 | (202) 863-1500 | www.dccc.org | Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

I too ask that you please remember the dead, the families of the victims, and Representative Giffords.  There is a time and a place for politics, but it is not right here and it is not right now.

Letters from Nancy

This past week or so, my inbox box has been abuzz with emails from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  The interesting thing is that the Democrats have been consistently writing that they will maintain their majority after the November election.  As Pelosi writes, “We will retain our Democratic Majority in the House because I have you in this fight”.  Now obviously she doesn’t have my backing, and I would expect the Democrats to suffer a strong backlash in these midterm elections in protest of Obamacare, a continually faltering and protracted conflict far beyond our borders, and the general weakness of the economy and the job market.

The historical trend is that the party in the White House will lose seats in both houses of Congress in midterm elections.  For example, when did the Democrats most recently gain control of Congress?  2006, during the middle of Bush’s second term.  After a forty-year drought, Republicans took control of the House of Representatives during Clinton’s first mid term in 1994.  Although there are exceptions, there have only been three times in the last one hundred years that have bucked this trend.  In the current cycle, according to Rasmussen Reports, Republicans have enjoyed a small, but uninterrupted, advantage on a generic ballot since June 28 of last year.   In addition, they report that the number of folks who identify themselves as Democrats have fallen to record lows.

Republicans will make gains in next months election, of that I am certain.  However, I am not unwilling to make the claim that this upcoming election will be a “slam dunk” for the Republican Party, nor do I think it necessarily should be.  Voters are in general fed up with politics and usual and until and unless one party (the Republicans) is consistently willing to stand for the Constitution and a limited government, the government will continually vacillate between the two parties, casting each aside in turn as they hope for something better.  We must reject politicians like Pelosi who claim first priority over our income, our general welfare, and even our children.  I don’t know who will be speaker after the November election, but given her very low popularity, 59% negative according to a yesterday’s Rasmussen Reports, I would expect that both Nancy’s reign and her letters are soon coming to an end.

Cajun Bile

For some reason that I don’t truly understand, I’ve been receiving emails from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee or DCCC.  Like most Republican emails, they implore the reader for money and are written by a variety of Democratic leaders:  Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, or Chris Van Hollen.  Regardless of the author, none are quite the same as those written by James Carville.  To fully illustrate my point, let me share with you the most recent words from the “Ragin’ Cajun” from May 26:

Joshua —


Remember when Sarah Palin threatened to take her lie-spewing, Obama-bashing, make-up-the-facts-as-she-goes-along freak show across the country to help her favorite Republican tea party extremists that are running for Congress?

Looks like Sarah’s summer of lies road trip has started.

Last week, Palin was in Idaho raising money for a tea party wing nut who didn’t even know Puerto Rico was part of the United States. This was one of her first stops this summer for these nut jobs running for Congress but believe me, it won’t be her last.

With the media closely watching how grassroots Democrats respond to Palin’s summer road show for all those tea party extremists, we need your help to make our grassroots goal of raising $225,000 before the critical filing deadline this Monday at midnight.

Contribute $5, $10 or more before Midnight Monday so we can show the world what we think of Sarah Palin hitting the campaign trail for all those tea party lunatics running for Congress this year as Republicans.

After one of Palin’s tea party crazies Rand Paul actually won a Republican primary last week, the media is closely watching her every move on the campaign trail. But while Rand Paul is busy digesting his own foot over bashing the Civil Rights Act, Palin ain’t even stopping to take a breath when it comes to helping more tea party candidates like him running in GOP primaries.

So far Sarah’s already helped over a dozen tea party lunatics running for Congress and she’s got plans to stump for a whole lot more this year.

We need to use the May 31st filing deadline to send the strongest message that grassroots Democrats won’t sit by on the sidelines as Palin tries to elect more Rand Pauls to Congress.

Contribute before Midnight Monday so we can show the world what we think of Sarah Palin hitting the campaign trail for all those tea party lunatics running for Congress this year as Republicans.

Sarah Palin’s doing everything she can to send her favorite Republican extremists to Congress.

Will you help us do everything we can to stop her?

Thanks,

James  Carville

Note the tone and information provided by Mr. Carville.  It is typical of his letters.  Absolutely nothing in his message is positive.  He doesn’t praise the accomplishments of President Obama and the Democrats.  Instead he uses his words to spread fear, hate, and to slander his enemies.  He is welcome to his opinions, of course, but is an email like the one above constructive at all?  Note his failure to actually address the political positions of either Rand Paul of Sarah Palin.  He uses highly demeaning terms like “Lie spewing…freak show…extremist…nut job”…and that is only from the first paragraph!  Unfortunately, all too often this sort of degenerative rhetoric is what passes for political dialogue in our country these days.  Worse still is the fact that Carville is not alone.  Pundits on both the left and the right have forsaken debate and rational discourse in pursuit of demagoguery and that fact is truly despicable.  Although personal attacks and character assassination without looking at the real issues involved is far easier that actually presenting a well reasoned argument, I strongly encourage news outlets, my fellow bloggers, political parties, and all citizens to forsake such people who engage in such a shameful and self-serving behavior.  Until and unless we do, our nation shall become increasingly divided, embittered, and ignorant.  It’s time for a change.