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On Monday, Best of the Web pointed us to KSFO, which reported on the response Rep. Pete Stark left on the voice mail of a constituent who disagreed with his "nay" on a resolution deploring the Abu Ghraib abuse while honoring American servicepeople. The letter-writer, Daniel Dow, had written a polite, respectful, but critical letter, summarized thusly:
I urge you to stop your contemptuous display of bitter partisanship and your politicization of this War. Your actions are very divisive and destructive to the morale of our troops and the morale of our nation. I know that a majority of the population of the 13th Congressional District are very strong in their support of our soldiers and in their support of the War in iraq [sic]. Your "NO" vote today reflects that you are way out of touch with the people of this district.
Stark's response to his constituent?
Dan, this is Congressman Pete Stark, and I just got your fax. And you don't know what you're talking about. So if you care about enlisted people, you wouldn't have voted for that thing either. But probably somebody put you up to this, and I'm not sure who it was, but I doubt if you could spell half the words in the letter, and somebody wrote it for you. So I don't pay much attention to it. But I'll call you back later and let you tell me more about why you think you're such a great goddamn hero and why you think that this generals [sic] and the Defense Department, who forced these poor enlisted guys to do what they did, shouldn't be held to account. That's the issue. So if you want to stick it to a bunch of enlisted guys, have your way. But if you want to get to the bottom of people who forced this awful program in Iraq, then you should understand more about it than you obviously do. Thanks.
You can hear the recording of the voice-mail message here, thanks to KSFO in San Francisco. Apparently a number of Stark's other constituents have already done so as well as voters across the country. One of them, reader Grant Newton, has e-mailed the Congressman with the anger-management issue to express his displeasure with Stark's unprofessional conduct. I'll run it in its entirety.
It is very difficult to take a political party seriously if its members do not take any measures to denounce or (dare I say it?) censure its members when they act like petty impetuous thirteen year old pre-teens. At this point in this paragraph, I should thank you for reading this even this far without deleting it. This is the point I believe I will make to my own congressman regarding your embarrasing message you left to one of my fellow service members (luckily not embarrasing to anyone but you).
It should be further embarrasing to the people of your own district, who (for reasons I can't fathom, unless you fill them up with pork) keep sending you back to Washington. How is it that you are as old as you are, yet can't display any kind of the wisdom and maturity that would usually accompany someone at your age and station in life? Getting riled up enough to call someone a "fruitcake" and worse seems rather childish.
I am not going to comment on your vote, except to say that it is transparent. I know that all of the normal tired excuses would be put out as a response to any allegations of partisanship on the Resolution 627 vote. However, I can tell you that your giving the symbolic finger to our servicemen (not once, but twice) in less than a month has finally given me the motivation to do whatever I can to put the spotlight on ridiculous things like that phone message. Try and backpedal all you want, or don't. Either way, it's great entertainment for us, as it is yet another loony-bin story from west of the San Andreas.
Hey, it would be great entertainment for all of us, as long as Stark didn't actually matter. Unfortunately he does, at least until November. Let's hope that Stark's raving madness convinces his district to vote for sanity this fall.Sphere It View blog reactions
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