Yesterday, my wife got the envelope above in the mail.
It contains the usual “paint-yourself-as-a-victim-of-the-inhuman-opposition” language that we are accustomed to seeing in fund-raising appeals:
I’ve been under attack by the liberal left for months because of my opposition to their policies, especially government-run healthcare. They’ve run commercials in the Second District and flooded my office with phone calls and protestors. They’ve done everything they can to quiet my very vocal opposition to more government interference in our lives. Now, it’s gotten even worse.
Hmmm. Could the fact that it’s “gotten even worse” have anything to do with the form that Joe’s “very vocal opposition” has taken?
Of course, Joe goes on to express regret — but not really — for his outburst, in a classic political non-apology apology:
I am also frustrated by this and, unfortunately, I let that emotion get the best of me. Last week, I reacted by speaking out during the President’s speech. I should not have disrespected the President by responding in that manner.
But I am not sorry for fighting back against the dangerous policies of liberal Democrats. America’s working families deserve to have their views represented in Washington. I will do so with civility, but I will not be muzzled.
Of course, he needs your money to buy himself a bigger megaphone…
Call the tone “defiant regret.”
You see, in the world of hyperpartisan politics, you NEVER really give ground to the other side, because it is ALWAYS wrong. Raking in the big bucks means never having to say you’re sorry and mean it.
You can’t mean it, and you can’t be seen as meaning it, because you’re counting on getting contributions from the very people who are GLAD you yelled “You lie!” at the president.
This is why I don’t mind Joe’s outburst nearly as much as I mind his continued, deliberate efforts to cash in on it. Anybody can lose control for a moment. Remind me to tell you about the time I yelled out in church when I was four years old, an incident that some old folks in Bennettsville still talk about. I didn’t mean any harm.
But this cold-blooded campaign to benefit from that outburst is what I find unforgivable. I find it contemptible on all sides: Democrats demonizing Joe, and Joe demonizing them back. But Joe is my congressman, and he’s the one I hold accountable. I’ve always liked Joe personally. We get along fine. But that’s because I always thought he was the sort of guy who’d REALLY be sorry about such an outburst.
Anyway, this mailing was an invitation to a “Welcome Home Reception” for Joe in West Columbia on Sept. 28 at Kenny Bingham’s house. One is asked to RSVP to fellow blogger Sunny Philips… and to contribute between $25 and $500, or more.
The “LET’S GO JOE!” seems an unfortunate choice of a battle cry. It sort of begs the opposition to come back with “Let Joe Go,” which has more of a ring to it. Maybe someone — someone other than Rob Miller — should have a party with that on the invitations, and welcome Joe home for good.