Friday, September 22, 2006

Thanks For Weighing In, (My) Sen. Harkin [Update 2]

[Posted by reader_iam, in this case a.k.a. An Iowa Resident Who Votes And Who Is Registered No Party*** Which Is Why I Get Literature And Run-Up-To-Election Phone Calls From Everyone]

Update 2: For those of you who may just now be visiting, you may wish to read the comments for a back-and-forth that might provide additional clarification. Or fodder. Whatever.

Actual start of orginal post:

... on Hugo Chavez's comments at the U.N.

Not! Still "Not"!

It really is better to actually listen to what he said to get the tone. Talk about clueless. I mean, even some of President Bush's harshest critics, including people more influential (and even more beloved among Bush despisers) than Harkin, whacked Hugo Chavez for this one.

For the record, I have now lived in Iowa long enough to twice have had the opportunity to vote or not for Sen. Harkin. Once I did. Once I didn't. He's just now made my choice the next time, should we still be living here a couple of years hence, a whole lot easier (depending, always, of course, on his opponent--but in this case, the benefit of the doubt will likely redound to Candidate X). (Then, of course, there are all the examples of evidence to demonstrate the sloppiness of a key assertion of Harkin's).

This, for me, isn't about President Bush. It's about Hugo Chavez, and particularly (though there's more to it) with regard to whom he's been embracing and what he's been saying about them, largely in complete disregard of the records of the regimes and plight of the people living under them. And--yes, though to a far lesser extent, but still--the people who would embrace a Chavez, it seems almost on principle (meaning, the principle that he is and has been so outspoken about President Bush and the U.S. generally).

Psssst, haters of the sitting president of the U.S., I've got a hint for you: It is possible to despise President Bush with every breath of your body, to even be deeply suspicious of U.S. intentions generally or The American Project, or whatever, and still not embrace Hugo Chavez or overlook the utterly reprehensible regimes and leaders with whom he has sought to establish a coalition, whether to oppose the U.S or for any other purpose under the sun.

I'm resigned to this conflation among certain segments of our body politic (please read the first comment attached to this post).

But I'll be damned if I'll tolerate it from a sitting senator, who should know better and has an obligation to be informed, not to mention a staff whose job it is to help him get there. Especially when I'm a constituent.

Nice job of seizing the opportunity to hit the standard line of talking points. But you get a big old "F" from this Iowa voter for lack of sense, or, apparently, even a clue.

Shame. On. You. Senator. Harkin.

Update: I should probably clarify that in the state of Iowa, one does not have to declare a party affiliation in order to be a registered voter. Prior to moving to this state a little more than a decade ago, I lived in a state where that was not the case when I initially registered. (I don't now if that's true now.) Upon reaching voting age in 1979, I picked "Independent," because I was just "starting out," so to speak. (I believe that my parents, by the way, then at least, did not share a party affiliation.) I never changed my designation, through various times and evolutions of personal opinions/views, primarily because during a large chunk of my adult life on the East Coast, I was involved in print journalism, in one form or another--stringer, part-timer, full-timer--first in reporting, but then primarily in various editing roles. As such, at that time (or, more precisely,during that time period), I thought it inappropriate symbolically to make a change, either way, whether or not anyone knew. However I may feel about that now, and for whatever reasons, that's how I felt then.

The "No Party" choice stemmed from something different, originally, and since then has come to mean something else.

Just to both clarify ... and simultaneously muddy the waters, at the same time.