Why Heather Wilson is the Kind of Politician I Hate Most
By Gwyneth Doland
Heather Wilson's practiced hypocrisy is exceeded only by her arrogance. In a form letter recently mailed from her office, she responded to signatories of a MoveOn.org petition by saying, "I don't participate in these games, no matter which side of the partisan divide they originate on." The MoveOn petition, which has been signed by over one million people, urged her and other members of Congress to censure President Bush for misleading the American people on the reasons for invading Iraq. Apparently Wilson wants us to believe that when constituents who don't agree with her engage in the political process they're just playing "games."
In fact, MoveOn is an Internet-based organization that shares Wilson's views on partisan game-playing, only they're on the other team. The group was founded in 1998 by a couple of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who were fed up with Congress's fixation on the Monica Lewinsky affair. They got their start circulating a petition that asked members of Congress to censure Clinton for his behavior and then "move on" to more pressing matters.
There is no question that MoveOn is decidedly left-leaning, but it is not a tool of the Democratic Party. Though most members probably now support Sen. John Kerry's bid for the presidency, during the primary season MoveOn members were overwhelmingly behind Gov. Howard Dean—at a time when many in his own party were attacking the candidate.
One might reasonably expect Wilson to disagree with MoveOn's ideology but, given her staunch refusal to engage in partisan game-playing, she would probably explain the reasons for her difference of opinion and leave it at that. Right?
Wrong. In reference to MoveOn.org during a recent appearance on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," Wilson described the group this way: "This is a radical left-wing political group that really doesn't have much credibility, at least with any kind of legitimate people that I know of. I think it's pretty trashy."
Trashy? Feuding with your in-laws on "Jerry Springer" is trashy. People taking five minutes away from watching "Jerry Springer" to communicate with their elected officials is good citizenship. If name-calling doesn't fall into the same category as game-playing, then wouldn't it be fair to say that Wilson's letter and CNN comments make her sound like a condescending bitch?
Of course Alibi doesn't play partisan games either, and we believe it's wrong to call a member of Congress a condescending bitch. Personal attacks are counterproductive and we would prefer to just discuss the political record.
It's even more wrong, however, for Heather's Republican puppet-masters to secretly design a war for political and financial gain, purposefully manipulate intelligence to create an illusion of imminent danger to our country, send our troops off under-trained and under-staffed and then obfuscate the true cost and length of the ensuing war. It is wholly wrong to allow or order soldiers and private contractors to commit brutal atrocities upon prisoners of this war, thereby delivering to our enemies the best-ever rationale for anti-American terrorism.
Let's just cut the crap here. Partisan game-playing is practically synonymous with politics. It's precisely what Heather Wilson is doing when she says she's not doing it.
It's hypocritical of her to say in her letter, as she does, "These issues [the war in Iraq] are far too important for them to be used for partisan gain." Again, what she really means here is exactly the opposite. Did she castigate Bush for using images of 9-11 and the war in Iraq for his re-election campaign? Of course not. And didn't her loyal supporters in the state GOP just sponsor the "winning the war on terror tour" here in Albuquerque a few weeks ago?
Partisan game-playing is business as usual for Wilson and it wouldn't be so sickening if only she would lay off the smug prudishness and save her self-righteous diatribes for real issues like this miserable war in Iraq. Who didn't see her teary reproach of TV executives (over Janet Jackson's boob, of all things) as a blatant, if horribly misguided, appeal to women voters? She certainly wasn't using the issue for political gain. No, not Heather.
Heather Wilson voted to impeach President Clinton for misleading the public about whether or not he did it with his intern, but she has no problem sending a snide letter to constituents who ask her to censure President Bush for misleading the public about a gruesome war that the majority of Americans believe began for the wrong reasons?
Wilson's hypocrisy is sadly common among politicians in both major parties but the arrogance she displays in expecting us to ignore her doublespeak is unwise and it will come back to bite her in the ass—I hope. It is plainly she and the recklessly arrogant men in the White House who view this war as a game, and it is they who will share in paying the political price for it in November.
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