Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Another Letter to King from the 80 Year Old Constituent

We posted a letter sent to King back in October. Here is a follow-up letter.
Apparantly the writer did get a response from King and I'm working on getting a copy of that.

Enjoy the letter.. I'm sure King didn't.

Dear Congressman King:
You stated that you found my October 23rd letter “reassuring.” I assume you meant that to be humorous. If so, please know that you succeeded, earning you, in my judgment, a comic rating somewhere between John Kerry and George Allen.
But now… let’s see where we are, with the election behind us and your fifteen minutes of - what has it been, fame, notoriety, hype? - running out. We’re back to approaching irrelevancy, aren’t we, Congressman? A condition more likely to be achieved by virtue of approaching minority status.
One nice thing (for the officeholder) about being a member of Congress - you can be irrelevant and still draw your paycheck.
How do you figure you got back in? I mean, realistically. Lest you have other illusions, I think it can be safely said that you won your narrowest election in years against an able but much less well known opposition candidate, thanks to:
The almost unbeatable advantage of incumbency in a gerrymandered district where ability doesn’t seem to enjoy the highest priority
The help of a still creaking Gulotta-Mondello political machine
Greatly outspending your opponent
Misrepresenting your opponent’s support
Assuming the mantle of a tough guy without ever having to prove it
Avoiding calling attention to your theretofore very public support of the misadventure in Iraq
Not dealing with such issues as the economy, taxes or health care
A mandate to stay the course? Don’t think so.
Let me, in retrospect and fairness, credit you with two acts of decency in your Congressional career: not joining in the chorus to impeach Bill Clinton and not letting Tom DeLay escape ethical scrutiny (not that the House Ethics Committee has any teeth or guts to be concerned about).
Other than that, what have you contributed to the country in these dangerous times? Let us count the ways.
You have posed endlessly for photos (how you have helped Louisiana since you went down there and had your picture taken isn’t clear but I assume you’ll let us know), given interviews while attacking the media, sounded off about terrorists (both real and imagined), identified yourself gratuitously with our fighting forces (without calling for any sacrifice on the part of the country to help support them) and made a whipping boy of immigrants – all very jingoistic and obviously appealing to enough people to reelect you.

You have supported the speciously titled Patriot Act, approved the wiretapping of phone calls to American citizens and called for “tough” CIA interrogation of those you believe to be terrorists, without finding it necessary to distinguish between toughness and torture. Or would that be too wimpish a difference from where you safely sit?

A lot of flagwaving from someone who apparently has never had to face a real enemy (unless Newsday counts). But with little substance and no discernible legislative effect.

You’re aware, of course, that a Vatican cardinal, speaking for Pope Benedict has decried the building of the Bush- and King-championed wall along the Mexican border, as have the American Catholic bishops. Evidently, they haven’t seen the wisdom of your pet project or recognized its moral justification. Clergy can be pesky sometimes, can’t they, Congressman? All caught up in ideology. But no matter. When you’re right, you’re right.

But have you noticed a problem? Congress hasn’t actually appropriated the money to build the wall, has it? Did you fail also to convince your colleagues of its merits or was it all for show? Truthfully, we know the wall won’t be built, don’t we?

Let’s face it. Your soon to end service as Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee has accomplished exactly what? The peril of terrorism is as great as, if not greater, than ever. The country is grievously unprotected. You preemptively got Dubai booted out of port management, embarrassing the White House and State Department, while New York (your home base) got short shrift in security funding. There is precious little to prevent a 9/11-type air attack on any of our ports, transit systems or exposed nuclear energy facilities. We have more lethal enemies who hate us than we had before and alerts have become a fact of life.
Meanwhile, Iraq is in shambles and getting more chaotic and murderous each day, our troops continue being killed and wounded, additional billions of dollars are going down the drain (you’ll soon be approving more and adding to the deficit), the Taliban is thriving in Afghanistan and we are facing ominous threats in Iran and North Korea.

And what is your and Bush’s solution? More of the same? Let someone else’s sons and daughters pay the price for this tragic folly?

Henry Kissinger says we can’t achieve a military victory in Iraq. He’s not my favorite statesman but at least he fought in a war. But is anyone listening? If you and our non-battle tested CIC have a new plan to accomplish the “mission,” tell us what it is. Throw in more troops? (If so, where will they come from – National Guard, reserves, re-recycled units, high school seniors?) Start moving troops to Kuwait? Train more Iraqi militia so they can kidnap and kill more Iraqis? Establish “benchmarks?” God forbid, set a timetable.

You have been uncharacteristically silent on the war lately. And for a good reason. You have nothing to say.

Yes, getting rid of Rumsfeld was a start but more - a lot more - change is needed.

Since posturing and preening don’t seem to help, how about a suggestion as to what you, as a patriot, can do?

Seriously consider whether now may be a good time for you to cut and run, to resign your congressional seat for the larger good. Such an act wouldn’t cause much of a blip on the national screen but it could set an example and help continue the momentum for further change. Some people might even consider it noble. What more could you ask as a legacy?

Think about it. Your contribution could be to give up the burdens of public office and the irritation of unappreciative critics. You could treat yourself to a farewell party (make sure the caterer’s help are all documented) and take your plaques home. Let someone else (almost anyone) take over while you look around for another job with free health care, expense account and pension.

You must at some point have thought about joining some of your well-connected cronies to become a post-Congress lobbyist, right? If you act soon, I’m sure the Defense Secretary (you’d better hurry), Majority Leader (ditto) and Ed Koch (take your time) will give you good references. You could ask the Vice President, too, if you can find him. I don’t know about the President; I think you may have alienated him, although publicly, he’d probably say you did a heck of a job.
You could still hang around Washington, go home on weekends and attend an American Legion meeting or two. You could continue to take trips, maybe not to the Green Zone, but to, say, Mexico.
And you’d have time to visit some of the sick and injured in Walter Reed and veterans’ hospitals.
I bet if you put your mind to it, you could come up with a friend or a family member on K Street to put in a good word for you. As a last resort, you could always hit up Al D’Amato.
What do you think?

Sincerely,
MH

2 comments:

liberal elite said...

Thanks. Great blog. Are you on blogpac, leftyblogs, or any such syndication service?

Anonymous said...

It is amazing how, much like Legislator Mejias, irrelavent this blog has become. I guess we're not going to be seeing Michael Rothfield and Newsday quoting you anymore or covering your pissing contests.